I keep getting this error message each time I start GNOME, even though I created a new partition table on this drive, I formatted all the partitions, and created them again, and this just won't go away.

Any suggestions?


I ran badblocks, and this is what I got

badblocks -svw /dev/sdb Checking for bad blocks in read-write mode From block 0 to 80042206 Testing with pattern 0xaa: done
Reading and comparing: done
Testing with pattern 0x55: done
Reading and comparing: done
Testing with pattern 0xff: done
Reading and comparing: done
Testing with pattern 0x00: done
Reading and comparing: done
Pass completed, 0 bad blocks found

  • What happens when you click the icon? Apr 15 '11 at 19:17
  • @Gilles It says that the disk has too many bad sectors, I click on it, the message disappears, but the icon just stays there. Apr 15 '11 at 23:33

Open System->Administration->Disk Utility, select your hard drive from the list on the left and then click SMART Data on the right. You will get a report about your disk status and errors.

You may continue by clicking the Run Self-test button and start an Extensive self-test. Wait until it's finished and read the final report. Running badblocks or e2fsck -c (from your live rescue disk) on your filesystems will mark bad clusters so they won't be used by the OS. But if error counters keep rising by time, your disk needs replacement asap. You should already have a backup.

Unfortunately, current inexpensive disks are as reliable as floppy disks were a decade ago. Though, being inexpensive makes raid1 (mirror) a considerable option for desktop systems too.


I thought Disk Utility was installed by default in Ubuntu. The package's name is gnome-disk-utility, so one way to install it is sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility. Get the same functionality in command line with smartctl from smartmontools package.


I forgot that there was a bug with gnome-disk-utility reporting false warnings. I don't know if it's fixed yet, I never experienced it myself. More info in dealing with disk problems here.

  • I don't have Disk Utility, I only have disk usage analyzer, I don't think it's what you're referring to, I'll try one of those two commands you've mentioned, though. Apr 15 '11 at 9:35
  • @Mahmoud Hossam, updated my answer.
    – forcefsck
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:40
  • @forcefsck I use mandriva. Apr 15 '11 at 9:41
  • @Mahmoud Hossam, they all look alike these days :) . Package names are more or less the same in most distros. Use the distro's package manager to install it.
    – forcefsck
    Apr 15 '11 at 9:45
  • @forcefsck hmm...that's interesting, gnome-disk-utility is already installed, yet there's no program with this name, even when I'm root, however, I ran badblocks and it's checking the device right now. Apr 15 '11 at 11:18

Replace your hard drive?

Did you click the icon for more information? It sounds like your drive's S.M.A.R.T. firmware is reporting an imminent hardware failure. Keep those backups up to date.

  • That's a secondary hard drive that I don't use very often, I don't have any problems with it if it fails, is there a way to get rid of this notification while keeping it for now? Apr 15 '11 at 9:33

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