More on the imminent hard disk crash

As I previously reported, reicore’s hard disk might be dying. This is not surprising in the least, since I have been hearing loud noises from the drive during high activity since a long while — playing vanilla Minecraft is apparently the most straining task for it for some reason. Considering reicore didn’t present any such issues at the beginning, it’s possible the person who gave her to me when bluecore croaked did something bad to her while I wasn’t looking. He’s unlikely to confirm such a thing, though.

A short drive self-test last night revealed that one of the bad blocks is currently part of the very root filesystem. Since I started to consistently hit a bad block while logging into KDE, I decided to run e2fsck -c on all partitions from a Grml live CD system (also Debian-based).

(Yes, I just realized I inadvertently left the swap partition out of the emergency check procedure. I just ran badblocks on it in read-only mode and it appears to be clean.)

Scanning a 466 GiB hard disk for bad sectors isn’t a quick task, but it took just as long as it did with the 1.18 GiB disk on my first computer back in 1998 — about two hours and some minutes — and here are the good news: there are only two damaged sectors, both of them within the root filesystem, and only one file was lost: /usr/lib/, provided by the libqt4-designer package in Debian wheezy.

Why the dynamic linker felt it necessary to access this file while launching Akregator and KMail during the login process is beyond me, but it’s good that nothing was lost, as I promptly reinstalled the package. Either way, I had a fresh pre-upgrade backup in my external 2 TiB hard disk drive ready just in case.

I’ll certainly have to get used to making backups more often than my previous, sloppy biweekly n-weekly schedule. Thanks goodness for rsnapshot.