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Re: Hard drive crashed!!

From: Mike Blatchley
Subject: Re: Hard drive crashed!!
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 16:15:42 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 14 Mar 1997, Lynn Chen wrote:
> After fsck failed, I decide to reinstall Linux, all the partition
> informations are still there, but when I try to format the swap 
> partition, it would run forever (> 10 mins) with some occasional
> cracking
> sound ( not the usall noise from WD drive). I then downloaded the
> Western digital WDDIAG.EXE, it stopped saying error exceeded maximum.
> WD rep said if the error is <10, then low level format it.
> Just let you know I learned the lesson the hard way. I would not run
> more that one copy of octave at the same time any more.

This sounds like it had _nothing_ to do with Octave or Linux.  Instead, 
the hard drive is probably "growing" new media defects.  As drive 
capacities have gone up, drive manufacturers have had to fly the heads 
closer to the disks, making them much more sensitive to any contamination 
inside the drive unit.  That's why WDDIAG is failing.  It sees these new 
media flaws, and low level formatting is needed to repair them.

The cracking sound you hear is probably due to the drive detecting the 
problem and trying to retry the operation, or the embedded servo 
information written on the disk is damaged and the unit can't keep the 
heads positioned over the right track.  If the latter, formatting 
probably won't fix it.

A word of warning...if it's happened with this drive once, it'll probably 
happen again!!  If the drive is new, and still under warranty, demand a 


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