The slow death of sombragris

My trusty laptop sombragris is dying a slow death. That was pretty evident since a long, long time ago, but it wasn’t painful, at least until yesterday.

Yesterday evening, before going to bed, I booted the laptop and shortly after, fsck complained about a corrupt file system. More thorough checks showed {DriveReady SeekComplete} and {UnrecoverableError} errors. The errors were in the /opt/kde/lib directory. After hours of rebooting, checking, correcting, rebooting, the laptop finally could boot normally.

I tried to boot into X and KDE, and at least the graphical KDE environment could start normally. It was already too late, so I wasn’t able to check for the extent of data loss. Hopefully, none of the personal directories was affected.

I don’t even know what to do. It’s obvious that I have to replace the laptop Real Soon Now; but when? Right now I can’t afford even a simple purchase; we are on a shoestring budget. Yet, a well functioning computer is essential for my work. Please pray with me on the issue.


  1. Eduardo, I’ll be ok, one way or the other things always work out, yet I’m praying for you, and hope you can find a solution real soon!!!!

  2. I’ll be praying for you too. Could it possibly just be a hard disk issue where you could replace the drive and not the whole laptop?

  3. Yeah, the HD is probably the issue. Sounds like the same errors I have had on HD and CD problems. Either media or physical drive issues and you usually get both. Get the important data off ASAP as it will only get worse. Research later or you might loose it all.

  4. To everyone: thanks for the insight and the prayers. I’ll be doing backups tomorrow. The drive is, IIRC. a standard 2.5″ (laptop) drive. The problem is that I never ever in my life had opened a laptop, so I’m reluctant to say the least. But I have to move on.

    Ed: Yes, 6GB would be perfect; it’s just the size of my actual drive.

    As for the causes, I’m at a loss; but I suspect the heat one of the biggest factors in this situation.

    Blessings to all! (Now I’m off to bed, I’m in the verge of collapse).

  5. Eduardo: replacing the hard disk is usually easy. Often it will slide out of a little access door (after you unscrew the screw that keeps the door shut). Do you still have the manuals for your system? I bet you’ll find it easier than you suspect.

  6. Ed: Thanks for your mail. However, my reply to you couldn’t get through because it looks like my ISP’s SMTP server is blacklisted, and requires authentication, and now KMail from KDE 3.4 Beta 1 does not allow SMTP authentication. I’ll try to get you ASAP.



  7. Tim: Yes, I have the manuals with me. However, all they say is that “this equipment does not have user-serviceable parts”. However, around three years ago I saw advertisements for kits to replace my Compaq Presario 1200XL-118 HDD (6GB as you already know) for 30 GB hard drives. The kits came complete with tools and instructions, but were TOO expensive ($350-500), so I didn’t go with them.

    But I think I would be able to perform such a repair, based on your experience and the others. Thanks again!

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