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Ok, I was working on my Asus TX300CA, which has a tablet part with CPU and one hard drive in it (/dev/sda), and a keyboard dock with another hard drive (/dev/sdb). The partitions on the drives from the keyboard dock were mounted, when I suddenly started getting "input/output error: read" or something similar when I tried to cat files on those drives (ls was still working). So I rebooted, and realized the system will not even boot if tablet part is connected to keyboard dock (just the boot splash with ASUS logo shows, and it never proceeds to GRUB boot menu).

Luckily my primary Ubuntu 14.04 OS install is on the hard disk which is in the laptop part, so I undocked and booted into the OS; then I connected the keyboard dock again. The messages in syslog do not immediately indicate any error:

Oct 29 21:48:14 mypc kernel: [ 1348.596871] ACPI Error: [^^^XHC_.SSP1] Namespace lookup failure, AE_NOT_FOUND (20150930/psargs-359)
Oct 29 21:48:14 mypc kernel: [ 1348.596896] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed [\_SB.PCI0.LPCB.EC0._Q82] (Node f389e288), AE_NOT_FOUND (20150930/psparse-542)
Oct 29 21:48:14 mypc kernel: [ 1348.601331] asus_wmi: Unknown key 75 pressed
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.297028] usb 4-1: new SuperSpeed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.320942] usb 4-1: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0612
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.320953] usb 4-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.320959] usb 4-1: Product: USB3.0 Hub
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.320964] usb 4-1: Manufacturer: GenesysLogic
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.329092] hub 4-1:1.0: USB hub found
Oct 29 21:48:18 mypc kernel: [ 1352.329477] hub 4-1:1.0: 4 ports detected
....
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc mtp-probe: checking bus 4, device 4: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb4/4-1/4-1.4"
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc mtp-probe: bus: 4, device: 4 was not an MTP device
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc kernel: [ 1360.719291] usb-storage 4-1.2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc kernel: [ 1360.719384] scsi host4: usb-storage 4-1.2:1.0
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc kernel: [ 1360.719787] usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
Oct 29 21:48:26 mypc kernel: [ 1360.723564] usbcore: registered new interface driver uas
Oct 29 21:48:27 mypc kernel: [ 1361.067216] ax88179_178a 4-1.4:1.0 eth0: register 'ax88179_178a' at usb-0000:00:14.0-1.4, ASIX AX88179 USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet, 74:d0:2b:0a:6b:62
Oct 29 21:48:27 mypc kernel: [ 1361.078810] usbcore: registered new interface driver ax88179_178a
Oct 29 21:48:27 mypc NetworkManager[1001]: <warn> failed to allocate link cache: (-12) Object not found
Oct 29 21:48:27 mypc NetworkManager[1001]: <info> (eth0): carrier is OFF
Oct 29 21:48:27 mypc NetworkManager[1001]: <info> (eth0): new Ethernet device (driver: 'ax88179_178a' ifindex: 4)
...

... the above showing that the Ethernet port and the USB hub in the dock have been detected; and the only thing related to the disk is:

Oct 29 21:48:29 mypc kernel: [ 1363.961212] scsi 4:0:0:0: Direct-Access      osz osz  osz osz osz osz AD04 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
Oct 29 21:48:29 mypc kernel: [ 1363.964557] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
Oct 29 21:48:29 mypc kernel: [ 1363.964978] sd 4:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0

So, the state of this disk now is:

  • sudo mount does not even display partitions of /dev/sdb
  • sudo fdisk -l does not show this device, but also WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted. (although /dev/sdb wasn't ever bootable)
  • sudo parted -l does not report this device /dev/sdb at all

The only commands that sort of show it are:

$ sudo lshw -class disk -class storage -short
H/W path      Device     Class          Description
===================================================
/0/100/1f.2              storage        7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [A
/0/2          scsi0      storage        
/0/2/0.0.0    /dev/sda   disk           128GB SanDisk SSD U100
/0/3          scsi4      storage        
/0/3/0.0.0    /dev/sdb   disk           osz osz osz osz
/0/3/0.0.0/0  /dev/sdb   disk           

$ sudo smartctl --all /dev/sdb
smartctl 6.2 2013-07-26 r3841 [i686-linux-4.4.0-57-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-13, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

/dev/sdb: Unknown USB bridge [0x05e3:0x0735 (0x4104)]
Please specify device type with the -d option.

Use smartctl -h to get a usage summary

$ sudo smartctl --all -d scsi /dev/sdb
smartctl 6.2 2013-07-26 r3841 [i686-linux-4.4.0-57-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-13, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Vendor:               osz osz
Product:              osz osz osz osz
Revision:             AD04
Logical block provisioning type unreported, LBPME=-1, LBPRZ=0
Device type:          disk
Local Time is:        Sun Oct 29 22:25:01 2017 CET
NO MEDIUM present on device
A mandatory SMART command failed: exiting. To continue, add one or more '-T permissive' options.

Also, gksu gnome-disks shows this disk too:

enter image description here

Well, I cannot remember what this drive was called, but it certainly wasn't osz osz osz ... (that may change to orj orj... after reboot, which I had to do, as the system crashed again while I was writing at this spot), so I can tell something is wrong.

I also managed to print something with by reading directly from /sys:

$ cat /sys/bus/scsi/devices/4\:0\:0\:0/model 
 osz osz osz osz
$ cat /sys/bus/scsi/devices/4\:0\:0\:0/vendor
 orj orj
$ cat /sys/bus/scsi/devices/4\:0\:0\:0/dh_state
detached
$ cat /sys/bus/scsi/devices/4\:0\:0\:0/state
running
$ cat /sys/bus/scsi/devices/4\:0\:0\:0/type
0

So, my question is - what else can I do, to troubleshoot a device in a state like this? Can I force the OS to somehow rescan it, and dump more verbose error messages - and where would I look for those (i.e. syslog)? What other tools (if any) can I use to query a device in a state like this?

  • 1
    (Its dead Jim.). Are you able to run ddrescue on /dev/sdb and make a bitcopy of the data that you can then try and restore from. (Maybe running testdisk on the copy, if you can get one?) – davidgo Oct 30 '17 at 3:45
  • Thanks @davidgo - turns out ddrescue didn't even see a disk on sdb (it just said it copied zero bytes); I tried to inspect it with MHDD, but no dice... Unfortunately, it does seem its quite dead :( ... Thanks for the ideas, though! – sdaau Nov 5 '17 at 1:48

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