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Hard drive issue

Using a debian sarge system, with postfix and courier-imap.

Yesterday morning I started having IMAP connectivity problems with this mail server. Going to the box itself I discovered that the following error was occurring repeatedly:

kernel: end_request: I/O error, dev hdc, sector 61870207
kernel: EXT3-fs error (device hdc1): ext3_find_entry: reading directory #3866625 offset 0

So, I was certain this meant my HD was giving out on me.

After rebooting the system seemed fine for about 30 min. But then the same error starting occurring.

Again I had to reboot. Right after rebooting I shut all mail services down, and unmounted the drive in question (mounted as /home). Whereas I had another drive by the same manufacturer and the exact same type (size, etc.) I then decided to copy all of the failing drive to the new one. (i.e.: dd if=/dev/hdc of=/dev/hdd)

By all calculations (the drive was 80 G), this copy process should have taken no more than 50 min. Well over an hour and a half later I decided to stop the copying. I mounted the new drive just to look at it. It looked as though everything was there. But even a simple command as du on the file structure and size caused that process to hang. No matter what I tried I could not stop the process so I had to reboot.

I set /dev/hdc back to /home in fstab and rebooted. As I expected everything worked. But I was expecting meltdown at any minute. Well, that was yesterday. The system has been running since without a single error. So, what am I supposed to make of this?


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