Linux ext4 file system errors on new WD1001FALS-00J7B0

I have a strange problem with a new WD1001FALS-00J7B0 hard drive on Ubuntu Linux. Even though the disk passes all health tests, I cannot create an error-free ext4 (or ext3, ext2) file system.

Here are the steps I tried on two different computers, one running Ubuntu 10.04, the other one 10.10.

  1. Create a partition (any size) with fdisk or parted (tried both). Here is fdisk’s output of the partitioned drive.

    root@Canopus:~# fdisk -l /dev/sdbDisk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylindersUnits = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytesSector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytesI/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytesDisk identifier: 0x0004a86b Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System/dev/sdb1 1 8355 67107840 83 Linux

  2. Create a file system:

    mke2fs 1.41.12 (17-May-2010)Filesystem label=OS type: LinuxBlock size=4096 (log=2)Fragment size=4096 (log=2)Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks4194304 inodes, 16776960 blocks838848 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super userFirst data block=0Maximum filesystem blocks=4294967296512 block groups32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group8192 inodes per groupSuperblock backups stored on blocks: 32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208, 4096000, 7962624, 11239424Writing inode tables: done Creating journal (32768 blocks): doneWriting superblocks and filesystem accounting information: doneThis filesystem will be automatically checked every 39 mounts or180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

  3. Attempting to mount the file system fails:

    root@Canopus:~# mount /dev/sdb1 /mntmount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb1, missing codepage or helper program, or other error In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so

  4. A file system check results in numerous errors:

    root@Canopus:~# fsck.ext4 -fn /dev/sdb1One or more block group descriptor checksums are invalid. Fix? noGroup descriptor 0 checksum is invalid. IGNORED.Group descriptor 1 checksum is invalid. IGNORED.Group descriptor 2 checksum is invalid. IGNORED.Group descriptor 3 checksum is invalid. IGNORED.Group descriptor 4 checksum is invalid. IGNORED…

  5. Ok, so maybe the hard drive is bad? Well, I dont’t see anything suspicious when running smartctl:

    smartctl 5.40 2010-03-16 r3077 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] (local build)Copyright © 2002-10 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===Model Family: Western Digital Caviar Black familyDevice Model: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B0Serial Number: WD-WMATV8075786Firmware Version: 05.00K05User Capacity: 1,000,204,886,016 bytesDevice is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]ATA Version is: 8ATA Standard is: Exact ATA specification draft version not indicatedLocal Time is: Sun Jan 9 09:30:41 2011 ESTSMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.SMART support is: Enabled=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSEDGeneral 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 Offlinedata collection: (18600) seconds.Offline data collectioncapabilities: (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate. Auto Offline data collection on/off support. Suspend Offline collection upon new command. 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 routinerecommended polling time: ( 2) minutes.Extended self-test routinerecommended polling time: ( 214) minutes.Conveyance self-test routinerecommended polling time: ( 5) minutes.SCT capabilities: (0x3037) SCT Status supported. SCT Feature Control supported. SCT Data Table supported.SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE 1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x002f 200 200 051 Pre-fail Always - 0 3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0027 253 230 021 Pre-fail Always - 3458 4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 28 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 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 105 10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 253 000 Old_age Always - 0 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 253 000 Old_age Always - 0 12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 21192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 17193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 28194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0022 113 108 000 Old_age Always - 37196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0030 200 200 000 Old_age Offline - 0199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate 0x0008 200 200 000 Old_age Offline - 0SMART Error Log Version: 1No Errors LoggedSMART Self-test log structure revision number 1Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error# 1 Conveyance offline Completed without error 00% 95 -# 2 Conveyance offline Completed without error 00% 70 -# 3 Extended offline Completed without error 00% 3 -SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1 SPAN MIN_LBA MAX_LBA CURRENT_TEST_STATUS 1 0 0 Not_testing 2 0 0 Not_testing 3 0 0 Not_testing 4 0 0 Not_testing 5 0 0 Not_testingSelective 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.

  6. Finally, I downloaded the WD diagnostics tools and ran the extended test, which completed without error.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem? Any help is appreciated.

Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support
http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?lang=en