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My question is about choosing Linux distribution that don't cause hardware errors. Here is my problem, I have Western Digital 500 hard drive, and first Linux I use it was Ubuntu 9.04 and everything was ok, that I move to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. After a while the Diagnostic Tool show me that HD has bad sectors. The store that I bought my computer replace the hard drive. I install Ubuntu 10.04, and after 4-5 mouths the Diagnostic Tool show me bad sectors. My HD is still on warranty and they again will replace it but, I must replace the Linux Distribution, this is too much for my nerves.
Someone can give me explanation to which distro to move. My experience with Linux is: openSuse 10.02 (some problems with flash drivers)
Ubuntu 9.04 and Ubuntu 10.04.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 10 '11 at 15:40

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... Your hardware keeps failing, but you want to replace the software? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Feb 10 '11 at 9:26
I guarantee that the Linux distribution was not responsible for your hardware errors. –  Cody Gray Feb 10 '11 at 9:26
Maybe consider where and how the hardware is used. Is it 24/7 running? Is it in surrounding that is hot (sunshine, heater), wet (rain, high humidity), dust/sand around, are its fans unblocked... –  rene Feb 10 '11 at 9:32

3 Answers 3

The hardware problems could not have been caused by your Linux distribution. It seems that you're just very unlucky with hard drives, or you are mishandling them (vibration or mechanical stress could damage the hard drive surface).

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The problem is that the same hard disk, work fully operational with no bad sectors for 1 year (on Ubuntu 9.04), and how the newly hard disk is just 5 mouth and have a lot of bad sectors (on Ubuntu 10.04) –  Xoke Feb 10 '11 at 13:05
@Xoke: So you got a bad hard drive. Why do you think that it's unheard of for a hard drive to fail after 5 months? –  Falmarri Feb 11 '11 at 6:51

I seriously doubt it that any Linux distribution, let alone a popular one that is used by millions of people can cause bad sectors on the hard disk. More so, same OS components like kernel and file system modules are shared by many Linux distributions.

It can be just bad coincidence or there might be something else wrong with your system - I had problems with hard disks caused by faulty motherboard before.

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In this case it's bad sectors (surface damage), so I find it unlikely that a motherboard could be the culprit. –  Gintautas Miliauskas Feb 10 '11 at 9:33
Unlikely but certainly possible. Rogue disk controller wrecked havoc in my drives before, other faulty hardware (e.g. RAM, fans) can easily cause them too, directly on indirectly. Even software (malicious or buggy) can cause them. –  barduck Feb 10 '11 at 9:58

It's unlikely that your OS is causing the failures. As disks increase in size and data density, the likelihood of encountering a bad sector is increasing. I would expect a new disk to see bad sectors as time went on.

More likely, any other distros you've used that didn't report failures were simply not reporting them, or didn't even detect them (silent failures). Also, I'd check with your warranty repair -- you might be getting refurbished units that have filled their bad sector defect tables already. Read up on using smartctl to diagnose the problems on your disk. (Although research has proven that not all disk problems are reported by SMART, it's still a good place to start.)

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I've heard that SMART isn't even 100% reliable on errors it does find. It might say a drive is bad when it really isn't. I'm pretty sure the tool the asker was using would have used SMART, so it may have been a false positive. –  jonescb Feb 10 '11 at 17:36
Indeed, I've heard that too. However, that's still the hardware's fault, and not Linux or the SMART tools thereon. –  jsbillings Feb 10 '11 at 18:34
Harddrives increase in size since they were invented. If the likelihood of bad sectors would increase meanwhile, more people would encounter them and stop using such unreliable things. The argument is flawed; factories have tolerances, how many disks might fail, if they don't meet this criteria they won't sell the next generation. –  user unknown Feb 11 '11 at 9:41
@user unknown: I think the evidence backs me up here. –  jsbillings Feb 11 '11 at 13:15

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