Causes of and how to minimize damage from forced shut downs?

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http://askubuntu.com – Backstory: Since running 12.04 LTS, my computer has experienced two sudden losses of power; one due to my ham-fisted attempt to reboot and one due to a battery-less power cable disconnection. Both times there were booting problems directly after that the automatic fsck could not fix. I reinstalled after the first boot error and that fixed the problem but the second time I decided to try to figure out what the actual problem was. I learned a lot by messing around with the hard drive and OS trying to figure out what the heck was wrong but the two year old hard drive was unable to survive any m (HowTos)