In the last 3 days, my Ubuntu box got stuck about 10 times, By stuck I mean everything froze, and the only way to restart was from the button on the case.

Today it froze about 10 times, and I have been also getting the past 2 days problems restarting the computer, sometimes the POST screen wouldn't come up, so I'd restart some more, or pull the plug, leave for an hour and return. Today was the weirdest, it got stuck 2-3 times right before GRUB coming up, I suspect GRUB was the reason the PC froze.

I suspect I have a failing HD on my hands, so I opened the case, took out the HD and listened to it a bit while booting windows 7. It makes weird clanking noises, BUT I don't know how it should sound, so maybe I'm just paranoid.

Also, what's really weird about all this, is that Windows operates totally normally.

I'm really no sure what is happening to my computer. I'm backing files up just in case.

So it really comes down to: how should I stop my ubuntu from freezing, and whether I should be getting a new HD soon.

Edit: I did several scans and tests on HDTune, even checked every block of the HD for bad sectors and what not, all came back normal. Then ubuntu \ cinnamon \ removal of package 'tracker' \ other is the offender. I'm not sure where to begin looking. Also, since noon, no crashes.

  • It should never make clanking noises... Is windows on another HDD? – terdon Mar 28 '13 at 12:38
  • a Partition for win, for ubuntu, and for data. – mirandalol Mar 28 '13 at 12:47
  • First: Backup all data your still need. Then check the drives SMART values. If it is failing the numbers of unreadable and/or relocated sectors should be increasing. (You can do that from both windows and Linux). Lastly: any errors on console when it freezes? (e.g. error reading from SDA, resetting controller, ...) – Hennes Mar 28 '13 at 12:59
  • no errors on console, though when starting up, it started, then immeditaly stopped ana(c)hronistic daemon or something similar, and a 2-3 messages I usually don't see. Weirdly enough, I've been running on windows for the past 45 minutes and nothing. Perhaps an ubuntu problem? Or even Ubuntu's FS? (Ext4) – mirandalol Mar 28 '13 at 13:04
  • HDTune\Health-Tab reports everything's completly fine with my HD, is it safe to say my HD is fine then? – mirandalol Mar 28 '13 at 13:13

If you strictly are wanting to test whether or not the drive is failing, there are a variety of bootable disk utilities to test the health of Hard Drives. My personal favorite for checking these types of issues Drive Fitness Test.

This will tool will essentially go through the drive checking for bad sectors as well as performing a number of other checks in the process. If it finds bad sectors it will return an error code with a red background. If no errors are found, an all good messages with a green background.

If DFT detects bad sectors it is up to you whether or not to RMA the drive (don't know how hold it is or the warranty information). If you simply want to know if it is bad or not then DFT is your answer. If however you do decide to RMA the drive then you will more than likely need to run a tool specific to that manufacturer. I just want to let that be known as a precaution before investing time if you are planning on RMA'ing the drive. Hope it helps!

  • I tried them all, my drive is perfectly good. Clicking noises apparently within the normal range. I suspect something wrong with ubuntu. – mirandalol Mar 28 '13 at 18:31
  • Interesting. And you said there is no issue with the Windows install on the same HD? – jmreicha Mar 28 '13 at 18:53
  • It seems like it's gone. Weird.. – mirandalol Mar 29 '13 at 16:51
  • You might test the RAM as well as physically inspect the motherboard to make sure there are no damaged components or blown capacitors. I have seen both of these issues cause seemingly random problems before. – jmreicha Mar 29 '13 at 16:54

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