In a previous post I documented the use of ddrescue to recover the data from a failing hard drive. I follow-up a few months later noted that the second drive had started failing but this time I was able to copy the data before needing to resort to the rescue tools. As I promised, here's a follow-up.
After using the second replacement drive for just a couple weeks, I started noticing the same errors creeping into the "dmesg" output. Though I know some manufacturers have a bad line, I've never experienced any that failed that rapidly, especially when the production runs and the differences were getting to be substantial.
My first thought was that the motherboad might be failing, unfortunatly I wasn't able to find an inexpensive SATA disk controller so I did the next best thing and move the disk to a different SATA port. The move helped a bit but the errors still came back after a bit of hard disk activity. On a whim I decided to change out the SATA cable with a different one in my collection. Neither cable was especially "high quality" compared to the other, but when I put the new cable in on Dec 2 I haven't seen an error since.
I'm at a loss as to what has happened to the old cable - the drive and cable are well inside the case and not touching anything so I don't think it's a problem with wear, but it's possible there is some oxidation/rust on the cable that I can't see.
I hope this is my last update on this issue, but I'll continue the saga if it's necessary.