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Unmounting (during shutdown) then mounting (during bootup) USB-attached external hard drive fails fsck


I have a USB-attached external hard drive with an ext3 partition that was working very successfully for 18 months with a Pentium-4 3.0 GH processor. That motherboard failed and last November I bought an AMD64 motherboard as a replacement. Now, frequently, but not 100% of the time, after I have shutdown the system and then rebooted, that partition fails the bootup fsck and I am put into single user mode. The error message indicates that fsck can't find the superblock and suggests running fsck manually specifying an alternate superblock. When I then issue the command

fsck.ext3 -v -y -b 32768 /dev/sdb6

a bunch of errors are found (and fixed) during the last pass. After exiting single user mode the system boots successfully and sdb6 functions normally.

Are there any suggestions for preventing these occurrences? I can provide as much detail about the system as necessary, just let me know what is required. Unfortunately, the console display during the relevant part of the bootup is not captured in any of the log files. Is there any method of capturing these?

Any help would be appreciated.


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