It seems like a never-ending fight at the moment, I'm able to fix it every time it happens, but having migrated to an 18 month old SSD pulled from a different (fully working) machine, I now seem to somehow corrupt something whenever I shut down Ubuntu.

The machine will work fine for a couple of days solid running, then start behaving oddly - most recently setting the root partition to read only, mid-session. I reset the computer from the power menu, and there don't seem to be any error messages, and then when it reboots I get the error:

Error: Environment block too small.

Please Press any key to continue...

Pressing any key does nothing, and so I boot to a live CD and run boot-repair, as described here:


This seems to fix it a little bit, and so I then follow the instructions on this previous answer to get my "environment block" back to normal.

Error: invalid environment block. Press any key to continue

Only trouble is that it only seems to last short while!

  • What have I done wrong?
  • I accepted all the defaults when installing Ubuntu onto the SSD - should I have done something to run some kind of scan of the disk to avoid any bad sectors?
  • I've run a SMART test which seemed to hint that there weren't any issues - what else can I try?
  • Boot Repair creates a boot log, which is here: http://paste.ubuntu.com/14120685/ sda is the SSD


    This may not be a universally applicable solution, but it turns out that the case was bending the power line to that disk bay, and the new SSD liked that less than the spinning disk did. Over time the power would work loose to that disk, causing write failures in use and corrupting everything. The old spinning disk was more resilient to this, for whatever reason.

    I only noticed this problem when I ran the computer with the case lid off for 6 months, and had no errors. I ran various trials monitoring SMART diagnostics for temperature, voltage etc, and discovered this intermittent fault.

    The solution was to change the arrangement of the disks in the case, and to use a right-angled power lead on the top-most disk power lead.

    Hope that helps someone else.

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