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#1 2017-05-10 11:47:11

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

[SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Hello guys,
I need your help figuring out what is happening to my system.
I wanted to format and perform a clean instal of Arch. However, after the first attempt where the partitioning and formatting went alright, I experienced very bad pacman mirrors and some of the package were not installed. So I installed them again hoping it would reinstall and correct the missing packages. But then I had other problems so I went back to my bootable installation and performed the installation again.

However, since then my partitioning is extremely laggy, the formatting (mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda*) is very slow to the point that it seems to halt and take ages. I am thinking that the previous installation must have messed up my HDD. Is it possible? Dispite the fact that I formatted afterwards?

Hope I am explaining the situation well, but I don't know what to do and improve the installation speed and boot up.  Any advice to completely wipe my disk  in a way that it can be restored in case of malfunctioning?

Last edited by VinceNardelli (2017-05-13 23:53:41)

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#2 2017-05-10 11:52:01

slithery
Member
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 1,925

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Boot from you installation media and run short and long SMART tests on the drive. Post you results.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/S.M.A.R.T.

Your drive may be dying - this will have nothing to do with the previous installation attempt.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#3 2017-05-10 12:59:49

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Is it per installed in the arch installation usb live? How do I run it ?

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#4 2017-05-10 17:59:50

x33a
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 4,231
Website

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

No, it's not installed on the live medium.

Here's the correct wiki link: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/S.M.A.R.T..

Note: slithery, apparently the last dot is considered as a full-stop and isn't included in the hyperlink tongue

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#5 2017-05-10 18:55:07

slithery
Member
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 1,925

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

@x33a - That 's either a forum or firefox bug then, I copy-pasted the URL from the address bar into my post. Will investigate further.


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#6 2017-05-10 22:04:20

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

The disk is fine, my guess is that the file from previous installation are still there (somehow). I personally thought that partitioning and deleting the partitions would also format the HDD. By the way I am running "shred -v /dev/sdX" at the moment, for what it seems a very long process. That is in the hope that I can finally install arch on a fresh HDD.

It is also worth mentioning that whenever I tried to format the partitions it would say that a file system is on that partition, also mkswap /dev/sdX was impossible as "already mounted" (????)

By the way, I hope to solve with shred.
What should I expect from this?

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#7 2017-05-10 22:39:12

slithery
Member
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 1,925

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Unless you want to securely delete all of the previous data there is no need to run shred, it will take a very long time. You can just use gdisk to wipe the MBR/GPT, this will only take seconds.

However, this doesn't explain why it took so long to partition/format the drive - this really does point to a hardware issue. Can you post the results of your SMART tests please.

Last edited by slithery (2017-05-10 22:54:40)


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#8 2017-05-11 10:02:47

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Little update. I finish the shred and after 6 hours I installed Manjaro for the only purpose of setting up the disk sectors in a correct way.  Later today I ll try again with Arch.
I usually do the  partitioning with cfdisk and so far it served me well.
I actually installed arch on my Chromebook with no problems. After that I ll update the s.m.a.r.t. results. I verified the integrity of the disk with gparted and it seems fine. No errors found.

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#9 2017-05-12 23:29:19

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Sorry for the delay!
I managed to restore my ArchLinux system. However, I needed to use the shred to format the disk. Silly I know but I cant seem to find a better/faster way to do that. When I do the partitioning the system keeps telling me there is already a file system on that partition. Furthermore, I could not mkswap the other partition because... already mounted. Well, it obviously looks like I need to learn how to format the HDD. I might be wrong, but I think to remember some "gsdisk -zapall" command, but it could be referred to something else. Any suggestion on how to start my partitioning ?

However, I finally ran the s.m.a.r.t. test and (the short one) the result seems positive:

 [vince@arch]: ~>$ sudo smartctl -H /dev/sda
smartctl 6.5 2016-05-07 r4318 [x86_64-linux-4.10.13-1-ARCH] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, [url=http://www.smartmontools.org]www.smartmontools.org[/url]

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED" 

Thanks again!

Last edited by VinceNardelli (2017-05-12 23:31:13)

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#10 2017-05-13 16:30:32

x33a
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 4,231
Website

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

You should find all relevant resources for partitioning here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Partitioning

If you aren't comfortable partitioning using CLI tools, you can always use GParted Live.

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#11 2017-05-13 23:53:31

VinceNardelli
Member
From: London
Registered: 2017-03-12
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] HDD failing? Laggy partitioning, slow formatting.

Yes, I will do. I mark the post as solved. Thanks for the help.

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