Help! Hard drive vanished...

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Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby cavgirl on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:08 pm

I've been running Helena KDE for the past week on my Vaio AR-51m and was slowly getting it to the point where everything worked. The only outstanding item was the mic, and I planned to tackle that tonight. So I came in and woke up the computer from hibernation - to find that it had apparently 'lost' one of the laptop's two physical (not partitions!) hard drives! It appeared as /media/Documents/ but now there's nothing - just the CD/DVDdrive and a virtual acetone drive. In the process of waking up it did spawn a message about a problem with the uvcvideo - the webcam, anyway. I restarted, hoping that the hard drive would be picked up on reboot, and no luck. Tried again with a full shutdown - again, no luck. It' s not that the drive isn't mounted - it's not appearing ANYWHERE. I'm really annoyed because this computer was getting so close to usable, and not it's suddenly not, because all my personal files are on the vanished drive.

Any suggestions?

ETA: The drive is NTFS formatted, and is visible in the partitioner as /dev/sdb/ but when I go there I still can't access it!

ETA2: Managed to get the drive remounted, will now edit the fstab to keep it mounted ... but why did this happen to begin with?
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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby exploder on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:36 pm

I wish I had an answer for this but I could only guess. Have you had both drives in the whole time you have been running the KDE Edition? Is the drive that's using NTFS running Windows 7 by any chance? I only have one drive in my machine and am trying to piece together what happened to your system.
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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby Pierre on Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:06 am

I would hazard a guess that the HDD <fat> table crashed for sdb.

that you got it back was great, otherwise you would have been looking at re-formating or restoring that table.

BTW - i'm always dubious about hibernation on a lappy, even with M$.
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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby JoeFootball on Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:23 pm

fyi, while I'm sure there are several options out there, I can recommend Clonezilla for making backup images of your hard drive.

Like I was telling someone else recently, it's a good habit to get into, whether you're having disk issues or not.

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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby cavgirl on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:00 pm

Thankfully, this computer is used primarily for multimedia and any really important files are also backed up on my netbook. The keyboard on the lappy is dire, so it can't be my main machine which is a shame as it's a very powerful system despite being several years old.

The drive in question is my data drive - formatted ntfs for first Vista (bleck) and Win7RC, which I really liked. The only time I ever had a disk issue before this was after sending the machine to Sony for some servicing with the OS drive, and when it came back they hadn't 'added' my data drive so I had to hoke in Vista's Disk Management Console to get it back, which was easy enough.

As I said above, I was able to get the drive back and remount it with no issues, but I'm having no luck with the fstab. The drive comes back ok after sleep, so I suppose one option is to simply never shut it down, but I hate to waste the power!

And now I'm having wireless issues, but I think that's hardware - I was having occasional lapses in Windows as well. The on/off switch for the card doesn't always work. On the up side, my mobile broadband dongle works beautifully. :D

I'll post the edited version of fstab. Clearly I haven't added something vital!

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
# for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
# devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=8ae6e4ad-095e-4f79-8a9c-b50b276d0a23 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=a1652b3c-02e1-4260-be91-aaf5bce060fe none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
UUID=F07A8C917A8C566E/ ntfs


I got the uuid for the drive ok and put in the filesystem type, but it doesn't work - I still need to manually remount the drive after boot.
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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby Rank0 on Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:10 am

The fstab file shows what is needed to mount drives: <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>

Let's take a look at this line in your fstab:

Code: Select all
UUID=8ae6e4ad-095e-4f79-8a9c-b50b276d0a23 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1


First there's the identifier for the drive, then the mount point (/ which is root), then the filesystem type (ext4 in this case), some options and last dump and pass options. Dump I think has something to do with backups, but if you don't know what it does, just set it to 0. That's what I do :) Pass is used when checking drives/partitions for defects. Root should be 1, other partitions can be > 1 or 0.

So, you should replace the line UUID=F07A8C917A8C566E/ ntfs with something like this:

Code: Select all
UUID=F07A8C917A8C566E /media/mydrive ntfs defaults,rw 0 0


Note that I removed the slash from the end of the UUID, I don't think it belongs there.

You can replace /media/mydrive with whatever directory you like. Just make sure it exists first! To create a directory in /media you can use

Code: Select all
sudo mkdir /media/mydrive

If you want to mount the drive in your home directory, replace /media/mydrive with /home/your_username/directory

Some useful commands:

Code: Select all
mount

shows all mounted partitions

Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -l

lists all recognised drives

Further reading:

Mounting NTFS Partitions (with read/write privileges)

Graphical interface

There's also a program, pysdm, which provides a GUI for setting fstab options.
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Re: Help! Hard drive vanished...

Postby cavgirl on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:11 pm

Doh! I get it. I thought the random slash after the ext4 UUID was just Linux being funny. It never occurred to me to think of it as meaning the root drive. Silly silly me. I'll edit the fstab as soon as I have access to that computer again... and the funny thing is, I was sure I *did* have to include the pathway information, but the slash confused me so I didn't. Plus, I wasn't sure whether it had to be shown as /dev/sdb1 or /media/mydrive.

Will also check out the app, thanks. If this is going to be a recurring issue it sounds like a useful sort of thing to have. I'm also going to make a backup of the working fstab and keep it in my home folder in case this happens again. I still don't know what the original perfectly working fstab threw a wobbly!

Now if only I could make plasma stop randomly crashing and get my mic working I'd be totally satisfied. I've some hope of the former, but absolutely none of the latter. Getting VAIO lappy mics seems to be a particular pain.

WOO HOO! All fixed. Even the mic works perfectly now. Very chuffed.
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