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[all variants] partition won't mount, "short read" errors

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linux-howto

http://ubuntuforums.org – I have a partition which won't mount, and keeps giving errors on every command I try. Patient history: - was on a dualboot machine with most of the HD space dedicated to windows. - As I started to use linux more I ran out of space and used gparted to shrink the windows partition and get an extra linux partition. - formatted as ext3. - used it for over a year, no problems. - recently bought a new pc, placed this HD in as an extra one. - all partitions mounted ok, copied some data off it. - (possibly deleted some things as well. not quite sure.) - (at this point or afterwards there was possibly a hard crash + hard reboot. can't quite remember how close this was, but the partition was possibly still mounted.) - some time afterwards I noticed the partition had disappeared. - other partitions on the same disk still work. Diagnostic tests: $ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb Disk /dev/sdb: 251.0 GB, 251000193024 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30515 cylinders Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes Disk identifier: 0xae65ae65 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 * 1 11443 91915866 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sdb2 28048 30410 18980797+ 83 Linux /dev/sdb3 30411 30515 843412+ 5 Extended /dev/sdb4 11444 28047 133371630 83 Linux /dev/sdb5 30411 30515 843381 82 Linux swap / Solaris Partition table entries are not in disk order $ sudo e2fsck -f /dev/sdb4 e2fsck 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009) e2fsck: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while trying to open /dev/sdb4 Could this be a zero-length partition? $ sudo debugfs /dev/sdb4 -w debugfs 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009) /dev/sdb4: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while opening filesystem $ sudo e2fsck -f /dev/sdb4 -b 32768 e2fsck 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009) /dev/sdb4: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while reading block 1545 /dev/sdb4: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read reading journal superblock e2fsck: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while checking ext3 journal for /dev/sdb4 What is the problem here and how can I fix it? - Is it physically crashing? If not I could just reformat as most of the data is either backed up or not that important, although I would prefer not to. (Hardware)