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Old 20th December 2008
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Carpetsmoker Carpetsmoker is offline
Real Name: Martin
Tcpdump Spy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,204

I'd first check the hardware, since hard drives used in laptops are quite fragile and don't last particularly long (even with good care). I'd suggest one of two ways: boot from a live CD and check whether you can read data from it, or move it to a desktop for more thorough checking. For the latter you can use something like smartmontools; it is not perfect, but can give you a good idea if the disk is functional.
This method is far from reliably, and provides little information.

You should use a program such as MHDD to test your hard drive.
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.
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