[svlug] Files That Will Not Delete

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Sun Nov 2 04:29:18 PST 2014

On Sat, Nov 01, 2014 at 09:35:44PM -0700, Scott DuBois wrote:
> On 11/01/2014 11:37 AM, Sarah Newman wrote:
> > 
> > With USB hard drives (that's what this is right?) also install smartmontools and run ""smartctl
> > -dsat -Tpermissive -a /dev/sd<x>"  There is usually a log of errors.  SMART tests can be run by
> > adding "-t short" "-t long" or "-t conveyance" .
> > 
> > If that all looks OK I would personally look in /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages for the error
> > message around the time of the original issue and research it. The log will probably indicate
> > whether the issue was physical or related to the file system. Additionally, with physically disk
> > errors, it is usually the disk itself but sometimes it's a cable. It could be something as simple as
> > the cable was loose.
> It is an external but it's running on eSATA instead of USB (not that
> that makes much difference in this case).
> I've installed smartmontools just now and will try running your tests
> tomorrow and report back my findings. Thank you for this suggestion. I
> love chasing these things down, I find it both fun and interesting
> learning new ways of working with the system.
> I "typically" never touch the drive or disconnect it as I am the only
> one in my home with an eSATA connection and it's a desktop. However, I
> did recently clean out the computer and install a new internal drive so
> I will make sure to check the connection tomorrow as well.
Hi Scott,
You do not have to physically touch a connector for the connection to fail.
The connection surfaces can corrode over time. This is caused by a compositional
difference of the two contacts, which creates an electrical difference at the
point of contact, that causes impurities to diffuse out of the contacts towards
the surface. In really cheap contacts, there can also be oxidation at the surface
as well. Re-seating contacts cleans the surface due to abrasive effect between
the two contact surfaces. This problem is quite common with cheap commodity

High quality electrical contacts are made of gold.

Karen Shaeffer                 Be aware: If you see an obstacle in your path,
Neuralscape Services           that obstacle is your path.        Zen proverb

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