Hard disk failure: Additional sense: Unrecovered read error – auto reallocate failed

Last week my laptop suddenly refused to boot any longer. Having configured nothing as root for quite some time, I read:

grub: Error 29: Disk write error

After restarting I got this error again. So I booted my Feisty cdrom and started to inspect the system. There was no obvious error in the first place. Being in a networked environment I decided to save my $HOME using netcat. This worked fine. So in the next step I backuped the root file system. This too worked fine. I finally tried to save another partition containing data of a virtual machine I use with vmplayer.

This failed spitting out a lot of driver error messages, e.g.

Additional sense: Unrecovered read error - auto reallocate failed

But the tar came back finally, saying:

root@ubuntu:/# tar cf - mnt | netcat cheetah 2342
tar: mnt/now2/now2-s004.vmdk: File shrank by 944635904 bytes; padding with zeros

To make a long story short:

After replacing the disk, restoring the filesystems, fixing grub and /etc/fstab my system came up – but with a lot of error messages. I could log in and after a while I found that all links like this one in /sbin were broken:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 2008-01-15 14:30 ip -> /bin/ip

Instead I found:

---------- 1 root root 0 2008-01-15 14:50 ip

I fixed a lot of missing links in /sbin, /bin and all of the run level scripts manually. But finally I gave up because I did not find a method to fix the links in a really reliable way (apt, dpkg do not seem to help here – no way to rerun postinstall scripts IMHO).

So finally I reinstalled my laptop. Fortunately all data in $HOME was fine, so I was up and running again rather soon.

Nevertheless: Why failed my backup procedure ?

Solved: See next blog entry

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7 Responses to “Hard disk failure: Additional sense: Unrecovered read error – auto reallocate failed”

  1. Olli Salli Says:

    You should use the -p (preserve permissions) flag to tar in these kinds of use cases exactly of this reason 😉

    I found your blog entry by googling for similar error messages I’m now getting from my laptop. However, it’s still running… somewhat. Disk I/O hangs for a few seconds once in every 5-10 minutes or so and dmesg gets appended with a few disk errors like yours. Currently doing backup of /home first, then if I can get there, full / … time to call Lenovo for a replacement HDD in any case, I guess.

  2. cheesee Says:

    Hi,
    while I was updating my Ubuntu 10.10 and working on the same Laptop my Screen got sticky – I couldnt work any more. It works for 2s then waited 10 etc… I had to reboot.

    And Ubuntu starts like usual, login also. But then its stuck like before, The log (messages) are the same as yours.

    >>>>

    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261120] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Unhandled sense code
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261126] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261136] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Sense Key : Medium Error [current] [descriptor]
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261146] Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261152] 72 03 11 04 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261176] 00 0f c5 eb
    Oct 27 15:32:07 dellux09 kernel: [ 539.261186] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error – auto reallocate failed

    >>>>

    It loops all over again.

    Still I can read and write on the HD, linux runs but when the XServer tries to setup the Desktop, it gets stuck.

    What does it mean to me now? Shall I get a new HD or reformat the disk and set it up from the root?

    Thanks for your work.

  3. nir Says:

    hi…i am wrking with Linux SUSE in server.when i boot the servr ,it give theerror like Additional sense:Unrecovered read error
    end request : I/o error,dev sda, sector 1651558811,
    Reiser FS: sda2: warning :us-13070: reiserFS_read_loacked_incode……………….it loops all over again

    Please help me…

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