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In syslog I am seeing messages like below

Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30354.925789] ata1: soft resetting link
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.093298] ata1: EH complete
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.106165] ata1: soft resetting link
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.273103] ata1: EH complete
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.389621] ata2: soft resetting link
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.553122] ata2: EH complete
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.570366] ata2: soft resetting link
Apr 30 18:55:10 platform2 kernel: [30355.737368] ata2: EH complete

Can someone let me know what do these messages mean? Are they dangerous?

Ubuntu Version 16.04

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In your case two drives seems to disconnect and connect again.

This may be caused by loose cable. Make sure that your drive is properly connected to the motherboard. If it's notebook you should be able to disassemble its cover, unplug the drive and plug it again. If it's PC you can try to replace sata cable.

Another thing that may cause this is power saving, especially on laptops. In most cases you can disable such options in your BIOS.

If the problem persists: use SMART monitoring tools to analyze your disk drives.

You can install it with:

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

Then use it with your drive name.

sudo smartctl --all /dev/sda
sudo smartctl --all /dev/sdb

In most cases ata1 is the first sata device and its block device name is /dev/sda, ata2 is /dev/sdb and so on.

But you can list your drives using:

sudo fdisk -l

In SMART results look especially for attributes:

sudo smartctl --attributes /dev/sda
sudo smartctl --attributes /dev/sdb

Things like:

Reallocated_Sector_Ct
Reallocated_Event_Count
Current_Pending_Sector

can idicate your disk drives failing, if their RAW_VALUE is above 0. Basicly this means that your drive have badsectors. Then it's up to you to decide if you want to use it or replace it. It doesn't mean that your drive will stop working right away, but it may eventually - so in this case do your backups.

But it's unlikely that two drives are failing at the same time. So in case of soft resetting link it's rather something with cables, or PC/notebook itself. This might be also caused by failing motherboard or power supply.

| improve this answer | |
  • What can happen on the end user side? Can there be loss of data or symbolic links getting lost, etc ? – tuk May 1 '19 at 6:16
  • Modern file systems should handle bad sectors. But eventually you may face data loss. For example, I'm using such failing disk for two years now, as an additional backup. But I am aware of possible data loss so I don't treat it as my primary data storage and I don't do writes too often. Because at some point it may even stop responding, so the loss of data could be not onl partial, but also complete. – Comar May 1 '19 at 13:38
  • However as I said, in your case this doesn't seem to be disks that failing. – Comar May 1 '19 at 13:41

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