A Journey of Fidelity (As Luck Has It)
A few weeks ago, my monitor kept blanking out on me. I’d been having a couple troubles with X crashes so I attributed them to that. I had been wanting to change my partitioning scheme so I decided to just re-install and use the older version for awhile (thinking the problem came after an update). So I installed Windows, then started Parted Magic’s Gparted to resize the NTFS partition only to get 22 Unaccounted Clusters errors. ‘ntfsresize‘ (which GParted uses) does a filesystem integrity check before resizing I found out. Thinking that Windows must not have unmounted the disk cleanly on shutdown, I rebooted and forced a filesystem check… no errors. When I went back and tried again, I got the same problem. I learned that there are different versions of the NTFS filesystem so I reinstalled Windows again and let the Windows installer format the partition instead of Gparted which I had done previously. When I went to resize again, I got the same problem. Here I eventually came to the conclusion that very possibly my hard drive was failing on me. This threw me off because my drive was only a year and a half old and because it was a Western Digital. Nonetheless, I had to check. So I ran a S.M.A.R.T conveyance test and then an extended test. Both tests passed. I knew (…Ughh!) that I’d have to run a ‘badblocks‘ test. I ran a non-destructive test (… long wait here) and discovered I had 44 bad sectors on my hard drive. I checked the Western Digital website (who had a very nice warranty check/RMA program) and thankfully my drive was still under warranty. I got a replacement drive (in only two days!!), did tests this time, and installed Windows again. When I went to resize… uggggh, I got the same problem again. At this point, I got out an older version of Parted Magic (6.3) and everything worked… perfectly.
Through all this the fun part was my monitor which kept blanking out on me (its just getting old) and was only able to read the screen for about a minute at a time.
I got a new monitor now too and am doing good again. It turns out that ‘ntfsresize‘ had a bug in it. I’m not sure what version of ‘ntfsresize‘ had the bug but it’s also on the Ubuntu 11.10 install disk. I upgraded to Parted Magic 11-11-11 and was able to resize my NTFS partition.
On this journey I learned is to never buy a a new drive and not test it, que sera sera. Because of this, I wrote badblocks page on the Arch Wiki for reference.