Thanks... I'll make a diagnostic disk using the local WIndows box. And next time I'll remember to make sure that my hard drive's manufacturer caters to Linux users...
(Oh, I forgot to give the thing's model number... RIght. It's a WD400BB, the 40 GB Caviar model with a 2 MB cache.)
So I went to the trouble of creating the Data Lifeguard diagnostic floppy on the Windows box (because the idiots at Western Digital give you this fancy EXE instead of a disk image), wired the floppy drive back up to my box, stuck in the floppy, booted from it... And it sat there for ten seconds and spat out this message:
Cannot load DOS! Any key to retry...
Googled it, found several complaints about it but nothing on how to solve it. Feel like throwing floppy drive out of window. :evil:
well thats really useful isnt it ! - i may have something thatl work. check your priv msgs
I got it working... It was a bad floppy. Apparently low-level formats corrupt the things (as can happen with HDDs), and this one had previously been an ext2 formatted boot floppy, so of course the WIn box had to do a low-level format and leave tons of bad sectors.
(Doesn't making a new filesystem overwrite the old one, negating the need for a low-level format? :? )
Anyway, I did an extended test and got no errors... I want to make damned sure this drive is good though, so I might go over it again with the Norton Utilites disks or some floppy-based diagnostic distro. I'll also have to do mprime and memtest86 again... And if there's anything else I could do to pinpoint the problem please suggest it.
Hmm this is bizarre. Last night I figured that I'd zero out my drive with the WD utilites, since I'd lost all my data, and some searching had indicated that some drive problems might surface when the drive is wiped... And now that I've put Arch back on it, it seems a lot faster and is definitely a lot quieter. Anyone seen something like this before? I can guess at an explanation but it's not one that seems likely to me...