1

How does Ubuntu end processes when it shuts down? Is it possible that shutting down and then unplugging my external hard drive could have broken a path?

I have Ubuntu 16.04 and a WD Elements 10A8 1TB external HDD. The HD worked fine on Ubuntu and Windows but now it does not show up in Nautilus Files and it shows up in Disks as an Unknown partition and won't let me mount it. In Windows when I try open the HD the message reads F:\ is not accessible. The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable. This makes me think that perhaps the HD has been bricked by not safely unmounting before removing. Both OS's will let me format the drive but will not let me read it but then I will lose all my data.

The last time I unplugged the drive the computer was switched off (not hibernated) so I don't know what might have caused this. I have noticed that Ubuntu shuts down almost instantly whereas Windows takes much longer and often pauses on closing 1 application and shutting down so I am not sure if Ubuntu ends all processes properly before shut down. If a process was abruptly ended when it was reading or writing to the drive then it may have corrupted it.

Anyone know?

  • I don't like posting my personal opinion on products, but in this case, I just can't help myself because of my experiences. I've had 3 WD 1TB hard drives fail on me. One was able to get partial data back, the other 2 were completely toast and not accessible at all. After searching for solutions I found the failure rate of the WD drives are very high. Either way, if you recover your data or not, I suggest staying away from WD. They're cheaper for a reason. Again, my opinion, but it's a very strong one and I've convinced my department to stop using them after several failures at work as well. – Dorian Jun 25 '16 at 19:10
2

Is it possible that shutting down and then unplugging my external hard drive could have broken a path?

No. And if it did it would not kill the contents of the disk.

I have noticed that Ubuntu shuts down almost instantly ...

We do not probe for an update as Windows does.

whereas Windows takes much longer and often pauses on closing 1 application and shutting down so I am not sure if Ubuntu ends all processes properly before shut down.

Windows does more than that during shutdown

Ubuntu does not physically touch the external disk on shutdown. You can disable the splash screen during shutdown and you will see it will scroll a fair amount of instructions. It will go through a bunch on "init" levels. Finishing those takes not a lot of time.

If a process was abruptly ended when it was reading or writing to the drive then it may have corrupted it.

Only if you killed the machine by removing the power from a desktop. Even a notebook running out of battery will gracefully stop all processes and shut down.

All said and done though ...

Unknown partition

Is bad. Really bad. I would suggest rounding up some tools to investigate it. It could be bad luck and a bad disk. Have a look and see if fdisk can see it. If fschk can be used on it.

  • fdisk can see it. It shows one partition /dev/sdb1 and the Type is HPFS/NTFS/exFAT. There is only meant to be one partition but the type is supposed to be exFAT. Although # parted /dev/sdb 'print' shows that the File System is ntfs so I'm not sure. How would I use fschk? Thanks. – wpbdry Jun 26 '16 at 8:22
  • if it is exfat/ntfs you probably want to need a tool from windows that can repair a filesystem. – Rinzwind Jun 26 '16 at 8:35
0

Something has clearly gone wrong. If you have important data on that disk get a new disk and take an image of the original disk using dd or dd-rescue. Do not try to recover data before you got that image, as the recovery atempt might destroy your data. Get help from your local linux user group, if you are not shure what to do, but do that disk image first.

After that you can try to recover your data, use fdisk/gdisk to check the partitioning and fsck your filesystem.

  • As far as I know fsck only works with Linux file systems (ext2/3xt3/ext4). Perhaps I should have mentioned, my hard drive was exFAT Correct me if I am wrong about fsck – wpbdry Jun 26 '16 at 8:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.