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Thread: [OT] Windows 10, Ubuntu Linux, dual boot, HDD partitions, and virtual machines

  1. #1
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    Cool [OT] Windows 10, Ubuntu Linux, dual boot, HDD partitions, and virtual machines

    Recently, I attempted to use my 2-1/2 year old Win10 Toshiba Satellite laptop as my primary machine, planning to retire my six year old Win8 Dell laptop. I found it acting very sluggish and the process manager reportedf 100% disc usage, but there was probably 800 GB free. For a while I was able to connect my computers via the WiFi home network, and transferred some files, but eventually the machine would not even boot. When I tried the Toshiba service app in BIOS, the only option was to erase the disk. I was able to install Linux Ubuntu, and I ran a quick disk check, which reported OK, but the long version took several hours, and as the last 90% was finishing, it reported failure. Something like 1200 sectors were found bad (which is really not much on a 1 TB disk.

    I found a two-year old thread discussing some of the issues:
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...inux+dual+boot

    So, I bought a 480 GB SSD and installed it in the Toshiba laptop. I used an ISO DVD of Windows 10 to load the OS on the new disk, after allocating 400 GB to Windows and a 68 GB unassigned partition for Ubuntu. Once I had installed Windows 10, I used an ISO DVD of Ubuntu 18.04.1 to install Linux on the smaller partition. I was able to set up Thunderbird for email and Firefox for the browser, which I am now using (with Ubuntu).

    I tried connecting the 1 TB drive to my Win8 machine using a SATA - USB adapter, expecting it to show up as a disk drive, but it did not. The device manager showed the drive as working correctly, but it could not be "mounted" as a drive. However, doing the same thing on the Toshiba running Linux, I was able to adjust the size of the Linux partition (using "Disks" utility), to justy 100 GB, and then I created a new partition with NTFS file system as used by Windows. When I plugged it into the Win8 laptop, it showed up as drive E: with 465 GB of space, and I was able to transfer files into it and read them.

    Here is a way to use a utility that allows Windows to access Ubuntu EXT4 partitions:
    https://getintodevices.blogspot.com/...s-windows.html

    I don't know just why the drive failed and if it is reliable enough to use as a backup drive. Maybe there is a utility to perform a comprehensive test on this drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PStechPaul View Post
    I don't know just why the drive failed and if it is reliable enough to use as a backup drive. Maybe there is a utility to perform a comprehensive test on this drive.
    I suggest you use the smartctl utility to investigate the SMART self-tests and health info that every drive maintains. It is part of the free smartmontools package. I use it under linux via the command line, but it is available for windows

    You can use the tool to query the current status and health, run built in diagnostic tests (typically short, long and conveyance). The package will monitor the health of your drives on an ongoing basis. It can often inform of pending failures.

  3. #3
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    You might try Spinrite. I have used it in the past with success, no guarantees, but worth a try.
    see:

    https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

    Good luck
    paul
    ARS W9PCS

    Esto Vigilans

    Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
    but you may have to

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    It looks like SpinRite is based on MSDOS, so I don't know if it will run under Linux Ubuntu. I think the SMART self-tests are part of the "Disks" utility, and I ran checks on file system and benchmark on the 1 TB drive on the USB port, and they seemed OK. Only the partitions of the installed SSD were reported as healthy, and I think the more intensive tests must be run directly and not through the USB adapter. I remember doing the short and long diagnostics when the 1 TB drive was running Linux in the laptop, and it showed a failure on the long test.

    There are some suggestions here:
    https://askubuntu.com/questions/1099...agnostic-tools

    and:
    http://hddguru.com/software/

  5. #5
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    Several things from your OP made me cringe. However if it's working then power to you.

    I think a destructive badblocks run is probably your best best on "testing" the disk, but I don't believe bad physical media was the issue.

    Also check posted stats on the net for MTF on your specific model of drive, and if it's near End Of Life on the bell curve, then don't trust your data to it.

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    I would query the drive with smartctl -a devicename (like "smartctl -a /dev/sda > /tmp/outputsavefile") and post the output.

    The output will provide a lot of historical health information that has already been saved on the drive, including the results of any past smart tests. Those tests are absolutely mandatory on any new drive. It may have been fine when it left the factory but not after it was launched in shipping.

    USB connectivity is provided via an interface board between the drive and PC. That board doesn't always support all normal drive functions, like these diagnostics. In recent years those boards have improved, and the diag software has improved to work around the quirks. But it doesn't always work, and not in every operating system.

    Destructive write testing is important, both for new drives and suspect drives. It is a hassle. And it takes a long time on USB interfaces, especially usb 2.0.

    Some of us have our own scripts to do this, with checksums, etc. Of course there are more user friendly utilities. With external enclosures the drives often don't get adequate cooling, especially not over hours of use. It is important to make sure the drive is vertically oriented and access to the vents is completely open. Some people even put a fan on the drive if they are going to light it up for hours.

    Before and after the holiday there were great - and very brief - sales on large capacity external disks at B-buy. I just bought an 8TB external for $130. I thought about posting the sale here, but there really are other places for that and I don't want to turn OT sales into a thing here. That's $16 per TB. These are the latest and greatest. The drives are filled with helium. The drive cases are welded shut to try and contain the helium. Though the helium will actually diffuse through the metal of the case. How's that for storage paranoia? What's that hissing sound? Am I losing my He? There is even a drive parameter that reports the status of the helium.

    The science of storage, and constantly pushing the envelope, is incredibly fascinating - materials science, electronics, control strategies to position, error detection and correction, computing power to do all that realtime, reliability, and then commoditization at a cheap price point. Add to that the tremendous race between the manufacturers (and is it any surprise that the industry has consolidated?).

    I will probably pick up a couple of usb powered small fan to set on the top of this and my other external drives when I am doing long duration transfers. Cool drives are happy drives. The He does make me nervous. I looked and there is no schraeder valve to top it off :-P

    I have a bunch of aging drives and this is a good way to snapshot them. It also gives me a bit of room to try and consolidate too many copies of stuff, and backups that included junk. If your hobbies or work include the production of audio, video, and film scans, it is easy to get into lots of terabytes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    Before and after the holiday there were great - and very brief - sales on large capacity external disks at B-buy. I just bought an 8TB external for $130. I thought about posting the sale here, but there really are other places for that and I don't want to turn OT sales into a thing here. That's $16 per TB. These are the latest and greatest. The drives are filled with helium. The drive cases are welded shut to try and contain the helium. Though the helium will actually diffuse through the metal of the case. How's that for storage paranoia? What's that hissing sound? Am I losing my He? There is even a drive parameter that reports the status of the helium.
    Did you shuck them and find WD RED's in there? I bought 10 of 8TB WD easystores from B-buy ~2 years ago knowing they contained 8TB Helium WD REDs w/NAS firmware. I saved around $2k shucking the WD REDs for my QNAP server:

    Work hard play hard

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
    Did you shuck them and find WD RED's in there?
    Not at this time. I need to re-org some old backup drives, refresh some archives, and semi-retire drives. It all takes time. The storage density roadmaps for the next 5-6 years are pretty encouraging.

    What are your helium status levels, and do they vary across your array? Curious if they have moved off the initial level. I still need to dig into the basis of that metric is. I read some mentions about the max number of drives per enclosure, due to vibration, but haven't had a chance to dig into it, since that's down the road for me. I have had some 10 drive systems in the past. Those are on the refresh and retire list.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    Not at this time. I need to re-org some old backup drives, refresh some archives, and semi-retire drives. It all takes time. The storage density roadmaps for the next 5-6 years are pretty encouraging.

    What are your helium status levels, and do they vary across your array? Curious if they have moved off the initial level. I still need to dig into the basis of that metric is. I read some mentions about the max number of drives per enclosure, due to vibration, but haven't had a chance to dig into it, since that's down the road for me. I have had some 10 drive systems in the past. Those are on the refresh and retire list.
    Helium is reported for in SMART ID#22 and it's 100 on all drives. The threshold for errors is 5. My NAS considers ID#22 an unknown attribute. I guess QNAP hasn't added a description for ID#22 yet in their software that displays the SMART data for me on each drive.
    Work hard play hard

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    Quote Originally Posted by PStechPaul View Post
    It looks like SpinRite is based on MSDOS, so I don't know if it will run under Linux Ubuntu. I think the SMART self-tests are part of the "Disks" utility, and I ran checks on file system and benchmark on the 1 TB drive on the USB port, and they seemed OK. Only the partitions of the installed SSD were reported as healthy, and I think the more intensive tests must be run directly and not through the USB adapter. I remember doing the short and long diagnostics when the 1 TB drive was running Linux in the laptop, and it showed a failure on the long test.
    <<snip>>
    It is a DOS based tool, it uses FreeDOS
    see the extract from the FAQ's:
    ********************
    SpinRite is self-contained, including its own bootable FreeDOS operating system. It can be used on any operating system and any file system. This means it can run on drives formatted with Windows XP's/Vista's/Windows 7's NTFS and all other older FAT formats (in addition to all Linux, Novell, and all other file systems.) It can be used to pre-qualify and certify unformatted hard drives before their first use. Drives on non-PC platforms, such as Apple Macintosh or TiVo, may be temporarily relocated to a PC motherboard for data recovery, maintenance and repair by SpinRite.

    SpinRite provides complete interaction with IDE-interface PATA (parallel ATA) and SATA (Serial ATA) drives, and it can also be used with any other type of drive SCSI, USB, 1394/Firewire that can be made visible to DOS through the addition of controller BIOS or add-on DOS drivers. To obtain the best performance, IDE drives can be temporarily removed from their external USB or Firewire cases and attached directly to the PC motherboard.
    Note: See the SATA knowledgebase article for specific information about SpinRite v6.0's operation with SATA drives and controllers

    I purchased and downloaded the SpinRite program file. Now what?

    SpinRite is a single program file that offers completely different services when it is run under Windows or DOS. It should first be run under Windows to choose and create some form of bootable media. You can choose to create a self-booting floppy diskette, a bootable CD-R ISO image file, or to prepare a USB flash drive or other bootable device for booting.

    Then, when the media prepared by the Windows-side of SpinRite is booted, the FreeDOS operating system included within SpinRite will boot, and it will, in turn, start SpinRite to begin performing data recovery, maintenance, and repair.

    So . . . after you download the SpinRite.exe program, run it under Windows to have it create a bootable media format of your choice. Then shutdown and restart the target system, booting it with the SpinRite bootable media to start the FreeDOS operating system which will automatically run SpinRite under FreeDOS.
    *******************
    You will need a Windows system to create the SpinRite disk, but ultimately SinRite is a stand alone tool.
    paul
    ARS W9PCS

    Esto Vigilans

    Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
    but you may have to

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