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#1 2013-02-26 19:12:22

w201
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Registered: 2012-10-04
Posts: 243

[SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

Greetings- I'm trying to install arch on this old 500 GB drive using gpt, and when I get to the third partition table and try to write it to ext4 I get "warning, had trouble writing out superlocks"

I did a little searching around google and from what I gathered you can correct bad superblocks if you have a running system, but since this drive is empty.... Do I have any solutions or do I have a brick? Just curious. Like I said its an old drive I didn't even know I had. 500 GB though it'd be a shame to trash it.

Thanks.

Last edited by w201 (2013-02-28 06:10:16)

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#2 2013-02-26 22:16:20

the sad clown
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From: 192.168.0.X
Registered: 2011-03-20
Posts: 833

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

I had this before and just kept issuing the mkfs command.  It took a couple of tries but eventually formatted without the error.


I laugh, yet the joke is on me

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#3 2013-02-26 23:53:12

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
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Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

If the drive isn't too ancient, it probably supports SMART. If so, you should run a SMART test on the drive to determine its state. It could be that it's OK and that you're seeing some other sort of error (perhaps a bad cable, for instance); but if the disk is developing bad blocks, I wouldn't trust it for anything but experimenting with new distribution installation procedures or other low-importance tasks -- and even for that, using a virtual machine might be better.

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#4 2013-02-27 04:44:31

w201
Member
Registered: 2012-10-04
Posts: 243

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

I ran mkfs a several times, thought I was in the clear, but the problem re-emerged later in the install process. This time it spit out a bunch of error codes (if I were more patient I would have written them all down). Funny thing is that it lets me finish the install but it won't even recognize the bootloader on reboot.

srs- it's not too old - It probably supports smart. Is there a command line utility to run smart? Not familiar with that program but I'm sure this disk is fried. I was actually using it to store image files a while back. If anyone want a 500 gig drive cover the shipping and it's yours. It's a western digital caviar green

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#5 2013-02-27 09:33:55

sano
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Registered: 2012-02-11
Posts: 113

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

The cli utility to check the SMART status would be

smartctl

It is part of the package smartmontools.

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#6 2013-02-27 19:08:44

w201
Member
Registered: 2012-10-04
Posts: 243

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

sano wrote:

The cli utility to check the SMART status would be

smartctl

It is part of the package smartmontools.


Thanks for that. Maybe I'll give it another go and give that a try.

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#7 2013-02-28 06:10:00

w201
Member
Registered: 2012-10-04
Posts: 243

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

Hi Sano- thanks again for suggesting that program. It shed much needed light on what was going on with that drive. Turns out it's extremely old and it had about 10% life left. Nice little tool there. I'll definitely be using that on some of my other drives.

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#8 2013-02-28 06:42:12

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

$ man 8 badblocks 

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#9 2013-02-28 18:15:53

srs5694
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From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 719
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

I don't recommend using badblocks on a disk that's failing SMART tests. Frequently, bad blocks accumulate over time, so if you've got (say) 100 bad blocks today, you might have 159 bad blocks tomorrow, and then the disk will stop working entirely a week later. It's just not worth the risk to your data to try to eek out a little more life from the disk. An exception might be for some test purpose, like doing a test installation of a new OS -- but even then, I'm not sure it's worth the effort of using badblocks before the installation. IMHO, it's better to use a virtual machine for such a test installation, assuming you've got sufficient disk space.

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#10 2013-03-01 17:53:19

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] Bad superblock error message when partitioning in GPT

srs5694 wrote:

I don't recommend using badblocks on a disk that's failing SMART tests.
<snip>

Yeah I didn't reload my browser to I didn't see that it had definitely failed SMART. Though I think your advice on pretty much anything regarding partitions/storage holds much more wieght than my own.

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