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I've had the live cd fail on me relatively quickly when trying to read
a disk with zfs on it.  But I dont think you can say definitively that
slow detection is a hardware issue.  With generic IDEs, linux is
pretty good about reporting errors in the logs.

dan

On 7/8/07, Bill Schwab <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> I have been having or associated with an unusual number of computer
> failures lately.  My increased interest in Linux is partly due to the
> failures, partly because live CDs offered a way to test machines, I
> wanted to try some recovery tools, and because I didn't want to pay Mr.
> Gates to activate his OS on machines that might very well be junk.  My
> real interest in Linux is strategic: I hope to escape from Windows at
> some point in the future, and Linux seems the likely landing zone.
>
> But for now, back to the hardware.  One system that I would really like
> to keep in service is an older (1.8GHz) P4 that came to me after an
> apparent disk failure.  It turned out to have a bad memory stick that I
> replaced with a stick from another junker; the problem followed the
> suspect module and memory tests passed after the switch.
>
> I put an 80 GB drive from yet another failed box (my friends know where
> to go to dump old computers), and promptly built an Ubuntu system on the
> resulting Frankensteinware.  It ran great for a week or so, and then
> started barking about a file system problem.  The motherboard could be
> bad, or the drive could have failed.  I threw an even older 20GB drive
> in it, and spent a whole lot less time configuring Ubuntu, and will give
> it some exercise.  An actual _new_ hard disk is on the way from newegg,
> along with a couple of DVD burners; given my luck lately, I plan to make
> lots of backups.
>
> So what's the question?  I am wondering whether Ubuntu's live CD spends
> too much effort trying to mount installed drives.  Let's say it does not
> boot reliably.  Would that point to a certain hardware problem (either
> the motherboard or disk), or would logical damage to the file system
> throw Ubuntu into hysterics?  Or, is Ubuntu so solid in your mind that
> any hint of trouble suggests defective hardware?
>
> Knoppix is also in my bag of tricks, but I do not have a CD handy, and
> it would be just as quick to wait until tomorrow to burn one at work vs.
> downloading it tonight.  The 80 GB drive has little of value on it,
> though I am curious whether the damage is physical or logical, and of
> course about the health of the machine.
>
> Comments?
>
> Bill
>
>
>
>
> Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.
> University of Florida
> Department of Anesthesiology
> PO Box 100254
> Gainesville, FL 32610-0254
>
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> Tel: (352) 846-1285
> FAX: (352) 392-7029
>