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My system seems SLOW.

In addition, I've suffered file corruption, both to my FAT32 /boot/ and to the ext3 partition.

I haven't a clue why it might be slow as the SD card is a quality Phillips card very recently (within last fortnight) imaged and verified with Etcher.

How can I check if (somehow) the SD card is going or gone?

I had to write over the files on /boot/ with fresh copies to even get the Pi to boot today.

Are some SD cards just kind of - only half good?!

I'm surprised a branded card is giving me these issues.

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The only check I know if is fsck, and its underlings e2fsck and fsck.vfat. A recent answer here provided a step-by-step procedure for this.

Oh - wait... there's another utility that may be useful for checking the speed: It's called agnostics, and is available through RPi's apt repository:

$ sudo apt-get update
...
$ sudo apt-get upgrade 
...
$ sudo apt-get install agnostics
...

There was an article on the RPi website about it recently.

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    hdparm -Tt /dev/<disk> will also run a nice speed test. – FelixJN Jan 21 at 17:06

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