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Bug 102711 - installation fails due to bad blocks found, but it is an apparently incorrect finding
installation fails due to bad blocks found, but it is an apparently incorrect...
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: anaconda (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Michael Fulbright
Mike McLean
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2003-08-20 02:47 EDT by Dennis Calhoun
Modified: 2007-04-18 12:56 EDT (History)
0 users

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2003-08-22 15:25:56 EDT
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Regression: ---
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oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Dennis Calhoun 2003-08-20 02:47:02 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624

Description of problem:
My first installation of Red Hat Linux 9 (RHL9) SEEMED to go ok, but, being a
complete green horn at it, I had not set it to "check for bad blocks" before
formatting the partitions I'd established. I later found that OpenOffice.org
would not run right, not at all. It barely gave me more than the frame of a
window that X windows opened for it to run in. Further investigation and
discussion in an openoffice mailing list drew my suspicions to the posibility of
a failing hard drive.... bad blocks.

Upon my second attenpt at installing RHL9 I DID set it to check for bad blocks
before formatting the partitions. It reported that it had found some and
recommended that I not use that drive. This is just a 2 year old Dell with a
Maxtor 40GB drive that has been running Windows ME just fine, so I began trying
to be SURE of the condition of the drive.

Eventually I learned about running the command "badblocks" at the shell promt. I
booted from the CD, mounted NO partitions, ran "badblocks" on the root partition
and when it had finished it made NO report of any bad blokcs having been found.

I tried Anaconda again and then the badblocks command again, just as before. All
in all I did these things 3 to 5 times each and NEVER got any report of bad
blocks having been found by the running of "badblocks" command, but 3 of 5 times
Anaconda DID terminate installation because it SAID it found bad blocks.

Since then I decided to ignore Anaconda's bad blocks report and run the
installation without that check. I SEEM to now have a solid installation.

It seems relatively obvious to me that there is a problem of some sort with
Anaconda. I've heard that it something in the kernel of Anaconda and that this
has been reported a number of times since version 7.2, but I don't see any
bugzilla reports that seem to relate to it at this time.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. run anaconda installer in graphical mode
2. set it to "check for bad blocks"
3. set back and wait to see if it kicks about bad blocks when it finishes

Actual Results:  3 of 5 times, anaconda reported having found bad blocks in the
root partition.
0 of 3 or 4 times, the "badblocks" command, ran from the shell prompt in Linux
Rescue mode (booted from the CD and with no partitions mounted) found NO bad blocks.

Expected Results:  If it DID find bad blocks, TELL me sometihng useful, like how
many, which ones, where, something I can use. Maybe even recommend that I buy
something like Spinrite to REALLY evaluate my drive.

Additional info:

This bug is a particularly painful one for those of us that are COMPLETELY new
to Linux.
Comment 1 Michael Fulbright 2003-08-22 15:25:56 EDT
Not to trivialize your experience, as I can tell it was frustrating, but we've
removed the bad blocks option from future releases. It has been our experience
it causes many more problems than it solves, and modern hard drives do some bad
block detection of their own when you format the drive.

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