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I have a Debian box with additional ( it is not a system disk ) 1.5Tb sata hdd (wd caviar green). There is only one partition on the whole disk.

Disk is used for backups from remote system (with rsnapshot, backup update runs every 4 hours) and rtorrent for some files. So disk is permanently in use.

Everything was perfect, until some filesystem errors appeared and I couldn't delete a lot of files due to filesystem read/write error.

fsck saved me, within one month errors appered several times. Every time I need to umount partition and run fsck to fix all errors.

During fsck different fs block read/write were fixed, also appeared some messages like:

Inode 61477311 ref count is 3, should be 2.  Fix? yes
Block bitmap differences:  -(246948483--246948494) -(246987843--246987871) -(246988756--246988758) -(246989103--246989109). Fix? yes

smartctl doesn't show any errors at all.

So, should I backup the whole data and format it or hard is dying or maybe there is another way to fix the issue?

ps. Here is smartctls output:

smartctl 5.40 2010-07-12 r3124 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

Model Family:     Western Digital Caviar Green (Adv. Format) family
Device Model:     WDC WD15EARS-00Z5B1
Serial Number:    WD-WMAVU1111103
Firmware Version: 80.00A80
User Capacity:    1,500,301,910,016 bytes
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82) Offline data collection activity
                                        was completed without error.
                                        Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0) The previous self-test routine completed
                                        without error or no self-test has ever 
                                        been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:                 (33000) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:                    (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                                        Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                                        Suspend Offline collection upon new
                                        Offline surface scan supported.
                                        Self-test supported.
                                        Conveyance Self-test supported.
                                        Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                                        power-saving mode.
                                        Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                                        General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:        (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:        ( 255) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (   5) minutes.
SCT capabilities:              (0x3031) SCT Status supported.
                                        SCT Feature Control supported.
                                        SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   197   197   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       36297
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   206   177   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       4658
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       267
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   084   084   000    Old_age   Always       -       12335
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       265
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       57
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   142   142   000    Old_age   Always       -       176547
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   120   087   000    Old_age   Always       -       30
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       3
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       3

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%     12335         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.
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Do you have full fsck output? Or at least some of the other messages? –  derobert Oct 1 '12 at 21:26
@derobert unfortunately there were too many fixes. only last 390 string from fsck left at console output. here they are. –  rush Oct 1 '12 at 21:40
Hmmm, those all look like fallout from previous errors. Looking at your SMART data, nothing in it says 'disk failure' to me. Instead, I'm wondering if you have some other hardware failure (e.g., RAM) or possibly a software bug. –  derobert Oct 1 '12 at 21:44
It looks like your short offline test did not fix and reset Offline_Uncorrectable. This isn't unusual, but may indicate a problem. On a side note, I dealt with lots of WD Green drives at one time, and wouldn't put them near any of my servers. –  jordanm Oct 2 '12 at 0:14
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3 Answers

It looks like your HDD or controller is failing, it seems to be missing some writes.

I would recommend taking a full backup ASAP, and running a full offline disk check. This may take a while with 1.5tb drive. If you can, run a full disk check with something other than the drives SMART, as there is a possibility that SMART is not reporting errors correctly to you. The Bad Blocks section at the bottom of this page may be useful. Try a read write test (after you make a backup)

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Fortunately, I have no important info on it. Anyway I will run offline test, thank you. –  rush Oct 4 '12 at 7:44
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It's possible that you have bad RAM. Try running a memory test for about 24 hours.

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Unfortunately I can't go offline for 24 hours. But I'll try it as long as possible. thank you for your answer. –  rush Oct 4 '12 at 7:42
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

additionally I discovered some messages in dmesg like:

[2429573.624923] ata6.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
[2429573.624945] ata6.00: error: { UNC }
[2429573.632900] ata6.00: configured for UDMA/133
[2429573.632942] ata6: EH complete
[2429576.564846] ata6.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x1 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
[2429576.564885] ata6.00: irq_stat 0x40000008
[2429576.564910] ata6.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
[2429576.564942] ata6.00: cmd 60/08:00:e8:14:c0/00:00:75:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 4096 in
[2429576.564946]          res 41/40:00:e8:14:c0/00:00:75:00:00/40 Emask 0x409 (media error) <F>

Google suggested to change data cable. So now everything looks ok. Thanks to everyone.

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Thank you for sharing the solution. It certainly highlights the limitations of SMART, and why checking at a different level is required! –  Rqomey Oct 5 '12 at 6:16
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