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I've just recently started to get errors when starting up, which vanish from the screen too quickly for me to note down, lots of disk activity during normal use for no readily apparent reason. I have studied other questions on this site and so used sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda and the results include several instances like this...

  Error 979 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 12516 hours (521 days + 12 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 9f 06 1e 40

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  60 08 00 9f 06 1e 08 08      01:14:02.225  READ FPDMA QUEUED
  ef 10 02 00 00 00 00 08      01:14:02.225  SET FEATURES [Reserved for Serial ATA]
  27 00 00 00 00 00 00 08      01:14:02.225  READ NATIVE MAX ADDRESS EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 00 08      01:14:02.224  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 46 00 00 00 00 08      01:14:02.224  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]

The disk utility is showing a warning for "Current Pending Sector Count"

Does all this amount to grounds for suspecting a failing hard drive. The machine has been running very slowly (to the extent that editing this question is difficult) since this started so I'm sure there's something wrong somewhere.

I'm running 10.04 on an Acer Extensa 4220, BTW.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's safe to say that your HDD is about to fail (and 12,500 hours sound like a fair amount of life time). Backup everything you haven't already backed up and get a new disk.

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Righto; thanks. – Brian Hooper Jun 4 '11 at 12:50
no this answer is incorrect. if you do the test after 50 days also, then, it will same the same time – user204653 Dec 9 '13 at 15:47

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