Here is a screenshot of booting Arch.

I guess the reason is that I force poweroff my Arch linux many times. (I already force poweroff my Arch because my firefox flash plugin use too much memory to stop my system.)

screenshot when booting Arch linux

Note: I can boot my Windows 7 system on the same drive disk. So I think it is not a disk problem, mostly is a partion problem.

Update: I check out more information, the partion /dev/sda9 is /home directory. And always error on same sector 798717984. I use DiskGenius software under Windows to check error. Then found an error. and that partion is not formated. Disk Genius screenshot

I want to recover my Arch linux. How to solve this ?

If I can not fix this error, then how to get the partion data out ?

Update2: I really hope to save this partion data out. Because I have a lot of important things in this partion. I think the first step is backup this bad partion or whole hard drive into an image file (what image file ?), then let someone who can fix this partion to fix.

More update: After I use DiskGenius software to fix the partion sector error. Then I use e2fsck to check. get error:

fsck.ext4: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/sda9.
/dev/sda9: The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2 filesystem.
VFS: can't find ext4 filesystem.

(my this broken partion /home -> /dev/sda9 is ext4 when I create it before.)

And I execute command # mke2fs /dev/sda9 to get block information:

OS type: Linux
Block size: 4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
Stride = 0 blocks, stripe width = 0 blocks
65536 inodes, 261888 blocks
13094 blocks (5.00%) reserved for super user
First data block = 0
Maximum filesystem bloack = 268435456
8 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
8192 inodes per group
Super block backup stored on blocks:
    32768, 988304, 163840, 229376
  • 2
    Check the SMART data to get more detailed information. You could zero out the drive and restore a backup. If the I/O errors return, replace the drive.
    – Marco
    Mar 16, 2013 at 10:50
  • 1
    Put a liveCD in and run e2fsck -c -y on the partition. If there are bad blocks in the partition, that may solve the problem but you may loose some stuff, possibly including critical bits (eg, the above error might be while reading /etc/passwd).
    – goldilocks
    Mar 16, 2013 at 13:52
  • Absolutely unrelated to powering off. It's just disk's failure.
    – poige
    Mar 16, 2013 at 14:26
  • "How to solve this ?" Let me clarify my last comment a bit: you NEED to try and run e2fsck on that partition. Anything else you do between now and then is a waste of time.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 16, 2013 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Are you able to login and use Arch Linux too, other than the error messages cluttering the console? If so, then most likely your hard drive is failing, just not completely dead yet. The line that says "I/O error" indicates that the kernel encountered an error trying to read data from the harddrive, and the lines beginning with "ata1.00" provide detail about the internals of the read request in the hardware. Windows doesn't show such messages, which is probably why you don't see any problems there, yet.

If you had file system corruption caused by killing the power, then the kernel should still be able to read the data from the drive, but wouldn't be able to interpret what files the data belongs to. That would result in a different set of errors.

Another way to tell would be to reboot and see if you get a similar error but with different details, e.g. a sector number different than 798717984. If so, that means the error is occurring somewhat randomly, which is another sign of hardware failure. Again, this is mostly likely your hard drive, though it is possible another hardware component could be failing.

I'd suggest making a backup and replacing the drive before it's too late.


If only one sector is bad, you could use e2fsck -c -y as goldilocks suggested and continue to use the drive if that fixes the error. But modern drives have transparent error-correction built-in, and in my experience, by the time the OS starts to detect errors in the course of normal I/O, the drive is very close to the end of it's life.

Regardless of what course of action you take, absolutely make sure you have a good backup of the entire drive before trying to repair anything!

  • 1
    Also, even if the drive is broken (unreadable parts) where Windows doesn't try to read (e.g., Arch space), Windows won't be aware of the problem. And get a new drive, if it is starting to fail, it will be totally gone very soon (think hours or days, not weeks or months).
    – vonbrand
    Mar 16, 2013 at 22:19
  • I know my belowing question is out of my previous question. But I want to ask here. How to port my current hard drive data (all data including systems) into a new hard drive ? Mar 17, 2013 at 3:46
  • @NagatoPain Try Google first, then ask a new question with info about what tool and method you are trying to use and what you are trying to copy the data to.
    – depquid
    Mar 17, 2013 at 20:03
  • I was still able to continue to use the drive, until I re-formatted the whole hard disk to install Linux. I am now attempting to learn the technique to reuse the drive. Please never hesitate to write us your recommendation to solve the problem. Thank you. Peace. Aug 31, 2020 at 8:08

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