As the title suggests, I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Screenshot of SMART Data: SMART Data

I have installed GParted but I have no idea how to use it.

Screenshot of my partitions in GParted: enter image description here

Could someone please explain to me, the layout of my hard drive and what it all means? I have looked at all the other similar questions but I just can't make sense of the answers.

I know the best for me is to get a new hard drive but that's not an option at the moment. Could anyone please provide me with a temporary solution using GParted or otherwise?

Thank you.


This is not a software or configuration problem. It's a hardware problem, and nothing you can solve repartitioning your hard drive. The hard drive failing is /dev/sda, where the Ubuntu installation is in /dev/sda1, while the other partitions /dev/sda5 appear to be an unused partition. This secondary partition is not formatted.

About using gparted in the damaged hard drive /dev/sda, I wouldn't recommend it, since it's not going to solve anything and it can make things much worse, accelerating the process.

I suggest you use an external unit like an USB or DVD recorder to make a backup of all important information you want to keep because soon your disc is going to stop working completely and you'll have no access to the system at all. By the number of reallocated sectors I can tell you that more than 3712 MB (about 3,6 GB) have been damaged already, so the disc fail is quite serious.

If you can't install a new hard drive but you still want to be able to use your PC, I recommend you download an Ubuntu iso and make a bootable USB or DVD so you can boot in live mode. Not a perfect solution but at least you'll have still some use for the computer while you get a new hard drive.

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    This answer is mostly correct, but I believe you've misread the display; GParted is showing three partitions on one disk (/dev/sda): /dev/sda1 is the main partition, /dev/sda2 is an extended partition, and /dev/sda5 is a small logical partition within the extended partition. There's no information about /dev/sdb or /dev/sdb5 in the original post. Other than this, you're quite right: The disk is failing, and no software fiddling will fix it. Ciaran should replace the disk or risk losing all the data it contains! – Rod Smith Jan 5 '14 at 17:01
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    @CiaranBaselmans, like suggested here in this answer and what you know the best option is to backup your data & get an new HDD.. whether you repartition or use the current partitions the disk is bound to get worse with use.. so, like darent wrote, as a temporary solution you could use live environment; and probably detach the HDD physically to prevent further damage or power off HDD when using live CD/USB.. – precise Jan 5 '14 at 19:06
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    @hash Thanks everyone for the help, what exactly is meant by live mode? – C_B Jan 5 '14 at 19:32
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    please visit this link for the idea about live mode/sessions: help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_CD – precise Jan 5 '14 at 19:52
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    Live mode means basically an operating system being loaded from DVD or USB directly into RAM, without the need to install it on the hard drive. You can follow the instructions provided by @hash – animaletdesequia Jan 5 '14 at 20:09

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