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EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 6:34 am
by Spec-chum
Hey all, LTNS :)

I'm having a weird issue with an old Maxtor 500Gb hard drive that completely locks up when formatted to EXT4 in Linux with GParted but works absolutely fine when formatted to NTFS in Windows!

And when I say locks up, I mean locks up, it's not even recognised in the BIOS anymore unless I do a full power down, then there it is again!

Oddly, the drive first did this 2 years ago but has since been formatted to NTFS it worked fine and dandy, no issues at all. I decided yesterday to EXT4 is again, and BANG! Oops.

SMART returns all OK and badblocks reports no (more) bad blocks(I've got a few but these are from years ago and the drive has been working in Windows fine for years with these).

Are there any issues with EXT4 on older drives? Also as a point of note, I've got the Seagate version of the same drive which continues to work fine on EXT4 but is a year or so newer. Firmware related perhaps?

Many thanks

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:37 pm
by rloftus
I Googled for info on this topic and found quite a few complaints similar to yours.

Based on what I saw it appears that EXT4 was really designed for newer SATA III drives.

Here are instructions on how to create an EXT2 or EXT3 file system from the command line.
http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2011/05/ext2-ext3-ext4/

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 6:36 pm
by Spearmint2
Does this also happen if the first partition is NTFS but Linux is loaded to EXT4 on other partitions? I've heard some new drives are "windows locked", but haven't researched exactly what that entails yet.

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 6:51 pm
by catweazel
rloftus wrote:it appears that EXT4 was really designed for newer SATA III drives.
Rubbish.

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:40 pm
by wayne128
No issue for my 10 year old compaq presario, built in 2003.
it had a 10-year old 40G hard disk drive, IDE or parallel ATA.

500G drive cannot be that much older.

ran many linux os on ext4 format without problem
Disk /dev/sda: 40.1 GB, 40060403712 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4870 cylinders, total 78242976 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0002d7d8

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 20486143 10242048 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 40968192 78241791 18636800 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 20486144 40968191 10241024 83 Linux

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:52 pm
by Orbmiser
Same here using old ide Western Digital 160gb - Win7,Winxp & 3 ext4 linux partitions.
And would be interesting in seeing where it was said that ext4 was designed really for sata.

Ext4 may have added using features to take advantage of sata.
But no evidence that it is problematic with IDE drives.
Ext4 always was compatible with IDE drives.
.

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sun May 26, 2013 1:02 am
by 2chunky
Boot a Mint live disk and see if fdisk recognizes it.

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Sun May 26, 2013 3:15 am
by eanfrid
File-systems are agnostic regarding hardware and partitioning schemas. As such, EXT4 can be used on any drive, PATA, SATA, SCSI, through USB interface (for external drives), SD-cards, virtual devices (like loop or encrypted volumes): I do work with all of these without any issue. EXT4 may not be the best choice for performance on some devices but it works on all of them.

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:16 am
by Spec-chum
I've got to the bottom of this :)

It would appear there's something physically wrong with the drive near the end, as when I benchmark the (unformatted) driver it locks up at the same place every time, which is about 2/3rds in. Why badblocks doesn't make it bail I don't know, but this happens each and every time I benchmark the drive whether it's NFTS, EXT4 or unformatted.

In the bin it goes...

Re: EXT4 for older Hard Drive causing drive to fail?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:59 am
by Spearmint2
before trashing it, why not download the drive manufacturer's software which will boot from a CD and run that against it? SATA drive have been around long enough that a lot of IDE drives would be failing about now, reaching their end of life. I just recently ordered a "new" PATA drive as "white label" since new "branded" IDE drives are getting more expensive. If you decide to replace with a "white label" IDE drive, avoid the smaller dealers on EBay and Amazon to look for someone who deals enough to have true "OEM white label" drives to avoid the scammers who are selling "refurbished" or "tested" drives as if they are "new" or "like new" under a "white label".