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I have two old PC's currently running Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS at home and they both seem to have HDD failures every now and then. The issue is the same on both, system goes into read-only mode, sometimes crashes completely and I have to reboot the machines for it to go back to normal. While rebooting I'm getting an error saying something about the hard drive failing and wishes to "fix" the problem, however it goes through that "fix" step, boots up the system and then it's fine for a few days then boom, crash again.

It's probably worth to mention that I've reinstalled Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on both systems twice without any luck. I don't think this is HDD related as this occurs on both machines. One is an old PC of mine and the other one is my previous laptop (If you need specs, please tell me) The first one is 32-bit and the second one is 64-bit, and I have installed the correct architecture of ubuntu. I am fairly new to linux, I've googled, searched the entire web and can't find anything about this that can help me solve the issue.

Here are some of the relevant (in my opinion) errors in the dmesg log (Both machines have the same, if you need the entire dmesg log file of both machines, please tell me):

[    2.239578] ata3.00: ATA-7: Hitachi HDT725025VLA380, V5DOA58A, max UDMA/133
[    2.245936] ata3.00: 488397168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32), AA
[    2.253166] ata3.00: configured for UDMA/133
[    2.272299] sd 3:0:0:0: [sda] 488397168 512-byte logical blocks: (250 GB/232 GiB)
[    2.285467] sd 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
[    2.285537] sd 3:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[    2.285541] sd 3:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[    2.285576] sd 3:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[    3.241596] EXT4-fs (sda1): INFO: recovery required on readonly filesystem
[    3.248461] EXT4-fs (sda1): write access will be enabled during recovery
[    3.725449] EXT4-fs (sda1): recovery complete
[    3.752546] EXT4-fs (sda1): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[    5.794220] init: ureadahead main process (287) terminated with status 5
[    7.288860] Adding 2094076k swap on /dev/sda5.  Priority:-1 extents:1 across:2094076k FS
[    9.660321] EXT4-fs (sda1): re-mounted. Opts: errors=remount-ro

EDIT: Found 2 lines in the boot.log that might be relevant aswell:

fsck from util-linux 2.20.1
/dev/sda1: clean, 110596/15138816 files, 1810722/60525568 blocks

EDIT: Here are the output from smartctl -A /dev/sda

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000b   100   001   016    Pre-fail  Always   In_the_past 1
  2 Throughput_Performance  0x0005   158   100   050    Pre-fail  Offline      -       211
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0007   123   100   024    Pre-fail  Always       -       295 (Average 314)
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0012   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       2448
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   001   001   005    Pre-fail  Always   FAILING_NOW 509 (0, 382)
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000b   100   100   067    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  8 Seek_Time_Performance   0x0005   132   100   020    Pre-fail  Offline      -       33
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0012   096   096   000    Old_age   Always       -       28704
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   060    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       1164
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   098   098   000    Old_age   Always       -       2655
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0012   098   098   000    Old_age   Always       -       2655
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0002   142   122   000    Old_age   Always       -       42 (Min/Max 13/49)
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   087   087   000    Old_age   Always       -       390
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0022   021   021   000    Old_age   Always       -       1517
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0008   079   079   000    Old_age   Offline      -       531
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x000a   200   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
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migrated from Feb 19 '14 at 19:27

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

...and it hasn't occurred to you that a couple hard drives in "old" machines at home might actually be having problems? Why's that? – HopelessN00b Feb 19 '14 at 19:22
Yes, it surely has occured to me. But I just recently switched from Windows Server 2008 to Ubuntu on one of them and it didn't have any issues during that time. The second machine (The laptop..) is fairly new though. – Svenskunganka Feb 19 '14 at 19:25
You posted a large number of messages related to your video card. You'll need to post something relevant to your hard drive, such as smartctl -A output. – Michael Hampton Feb 19 '14 at 19:26
Alright, I've added smartctl output to the main question now. – Svenskunganka Feb 19 '14 at 19:45

Filesystems frequently do this on disk related hardware errors. The usual culprit is bad blocks, though the reallocated_sector_count might possibly be something else. Either way I'd avoid using fdisk and would try ddrescuing your drive to a new drive, fairly good instructions can be found here: - needless to say, be very sure you have the correct device name. If you get the disk uuid by visiting /dev/disk/by-uuid before attempting to copy the data to a new drive, you can be assured that you're not going to accidentally overwrite your data with a blank disk due to the operating system reordering the drives (which happens sometimes).

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Alright, I'll get the drive replaced by another one and see if it works. Will post back with results in a few days. – Svenskunganka Feb 19 '14 at 20:08

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