FAQ
Ok, I saw more sectors on a drive yesterday, so this morning, no one was
running on it, and I took it out of use, then bounced it onto a DVD, and
ran fsck -c (check for bad blocks). It finished. I bounce the server.

And SMARTD reports the sectors as "currently unreadable (pending)
sectors", and "offline uncorrectable sectors".

Does smartd cache its info somewhere, or is it reading what fsck already
marked as bad? And this has happened before, under 5.3, and under
continuing current updates of 5.4....

mark

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  • Robert Nichols at Feb 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    On 02/25/2010 02:25 PM, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
    Ok, I saw more sectors on a drive yesterday, so this morning, no one was
    running on it, and I took it out of use, then bounced it onto a DVD, and
    ran fsck -c (check for bad blocks). It finished. I bounce the server.

    And SMARTD reports the sectors as "currently unreadable (pending)
    sectors", and "offline uncorrectable sectors".

    Does smartd cache its info somewhere, or is it reading what fsck already
    marked as bad? And this has happened before, under 5.3, and under
    continuing current updates of 5.4....
    smartd queries the drive directly. Running "fsck -c" will have caused the
    drive to discover all of the unreadable sectors within that file system and
    mark them as "pending reallocation". Those sectors will remain in the
    "pending" state and visibly bad to the OS until the next time they are
    written. If you were able to copy all of the files from that FS without
    error, that suggests that all of the bad sectors are in free space, and
    you could stimulate reallocation by filling all of the free space with
    zeros:

    mount /dev/{whatever} /mnt
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/xxxxxx bsdk
    sync
    rm /mnt/xxxxxx
    umount /mnt

    Then run "smartctl -A" on the drive and see if it still reports pending
    sectors.

    Of course if that drive is continuing to develop new bad sectors you
    should get rid of it immediately.

    --
    Bob Nichols "NOSPAM" is really part of my email address.
    Do NOT delete it.
  • Mike McCarty at Feb 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
    Ok, I saw more sectors on a drive yesterday, so this morning, no one was
    running on it, and I took it out of use, then bounced it onto a DVD, and
    ran fsck -c (check for bad blocks). It finished. I bounce the server.

    And SMARTD reports the sectors as "currently unreadable (pending)
    sectors", and "offline uncorrectable sectors".
    I recommend to replace that disc ASAP. When they start having to
    reallocate more sectors, they are in a pending complete failure state.

    Mike
    --
    p="p=%c%s%c;main(){printf(p,34,p,34);}";main(){printf(p,34,p,34);}
    Oppose globalization and One World Governments like the UN.
    This message made from 100% recycled bits.
    You have found the bank of Larn.
    I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!
  • Mark Roth at Feb 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
    Ok, I saw more sectors on a drive yesterday, so this morning, no one was
    running on it, and I took it out of use, then bounced it onto a DVD, and
    ran fsck -c (check for bad blocks). It finished. I bounce the server.

    And SMARTD reports the sectors as "currently unreadable (pending)
    sectors", and "offline uncorrectable sectors".
    I recommend to replace that disc ASAP. When they start having to
    reallocate more sectors, they are in a pending complete failure state.
    Actually, the f/s is back in read-only mode, so I'm going to do that. It
    still bothers me that after an fsck -c, and a reboot, that SMARTD still
    saw the same number of sectors as bad.
  • William L. Maltby at Feb 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    On Fri, 2010-02-26 at 16:27 -0500, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
    m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
    Ok, I saw more sectors on a drive yesterday, so this morning, no one was
    running on it, and I took it out of use, then bounced it onto a DVD, and
    ran fsck -c (check for bad blocks). It finished. I bounce the server.

    And SMARTD reports the sectors as "currently unreadable (pending)
    sectors", and "offline uncorrectable sectors".
    I recommend to replace that disc ASAP. When they start having to
    reallocate more sectors, they are in a pending complete failure state.
    Actually, the f/s is back in read-only mode, so I'm going to do that. It
    still bothers me that after an fsck -c, and a reboot, that SMARTD still
    saw the same number of sectors as bad.
    That's because fsck remaps /file system/ blocks to spares while the
    firmware/vendor diags handles media sectors. So if you fsck's inumerable
    times, the drive firmware is not affected and still sees the /original/
    bad sectors until those are re-mapped.
    <snip sig stuff>
    HTH
    --
    Bill
  • William L. Maltby at Feb 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    On Fri, 2010-02-26 at 15:23 -0600, Mike McCarty wrote:
    <snip>
    I recommend to replace that disc ASAP. When they start having to
    reallocate more sectors, they are in a pending complete failure state.
    I second that. I had a SATA drive that showed a few bad sectors in 2008
    sometime. I got the vendor software (DOS version) and ran the diags and
    repair. Used it for another year or so.

    Bad sectors started appearing again and I knew what this meant. Started
    taking more frequent backups. When it was convenient, downloaded the
    latest diags from the vendor, ran it repeatedly and every time it found
    and repaired more bad sectors and finally confirmed the drive was NG.
    Warranty exchange was easy and prompt.

    If you've been through a small initial set of bad sectors and are now
    seeing more (especially if you ran the vendor's software), the drive is
    living on borrowed time.

    This has been characteristic of drives for decades - a few early defects
    may appear, re-map and the drive works a very long time but when more
    start appearing a slow death is in progress.
    Mike

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