Dear disk – don’t die

My trusty crusty home desktop (a Dell OptiPlex GX260) is nearly ten years old, and it’s been a bit flaky on recent occasions when booting up Fedora 16. One time this week I let it have about six attempts before I gave up; it would get stuck – after quite a while – and say something like

udevadm settle - timeout of 120 seconds reached, the event queue contains:
/sys/devices/pci0001:00/0001:00:02.0/0001:01:0b.1/usb3/3-2 (623)
/sys/devices/pci0001:00/0001:00:02.0/0001:01:0b.1/usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0 (624)
/sys/devices/pci0001:00/0001:00:02.0/0001:01:0b.1/usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0/0003:05AC:1000.0001 (625)
/sys/devices/pci0001:00/0001:00:02.0/0001:01:0b.1/usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0/0003:05AC:1000.0001/hidraw/hidraw0 (626)

(Unfortunately I don’t have the exact details to hand. I’m writing this from memory, but the OP’s question at udev reaching timeout is pretty much what was happening to me.)

The Disk Utility in the Accessories area

Accessories, Disk Utility

told me in the SMART Data section for the drive that there are bad sectors

SMART Data, bad sectors

For any repair work to be able to happen the drive has to be not mounted, so I booted from an old Fedora 15 Beta LiveCD I had lying around. I ran

$ sudo lvdisplay

to find my root partition (since it’s on a logical volume), and then ran

$ e2fsck -c my_root_partition

After several days of usage following this, booting seems a lot more stable. Hopefully there are another few years left in the old girl.

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