I currently have some annoying problem with external HDD. I'm using some old (7yrs) WD salvaged from laptop in portable enclosure. I have external 4A PSU wich power drive and backfeed rpi. Disk is formatted in NTFS, I added some lines fstab to auto mount it. I distabled power saving options. Everything is good but after few days of usage I'm unable to acces files on it (mainly music on MPD service). Dmesg show multiple : Buffer I/O error on device sdaX, logical block X and Buffer I/O error on dev sda, logical block X, async page read X. It is possible that drive itself is failing form old age ?

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I don't have full logs at this moment but It show one I/O error msg, they just multiply when I'm trying to acces files.

  • 1
    Can you please post a full log? It depends on the precise message Mar 17, 2016 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


If it was working to start with and then began to fail, I suspect drive age issues. Install smartmontools (sudo apt-get install smartmontools) and run a short test (sudo smartctl -t short /dev/sda). Wait about five minutes then get the results (sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda). You'll see a bunch of info, most of which you can ignore, but if you see any "FAIL" or such, then you can know the drive is faulty. A long test (sudo smartctl -t long /dev/sda) will take much longer but will expose more potential issues.

If you don't see any problems there, check the filesystem; perhaps it was not unmounted cleanly at some point. You'll need to connect the drive to a Windows system to properly check an NTFS filesystem.

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