Potential failing NTFS disk, how to stop ntfs-3g journal spam?

It looks like my NTFS disk is failing. Not surprised as it’s an old Samsung EVO 840 drive.

When I logged into my PC this morning, I noticed a wall of text (where two lines are still repeating) regarding ntfs-3g:

Wanting the journal spam to stop, I thought I’d first try umount the drive, but it was “busy”…

$ sudo umount /data/evo840/
umount: /data/evo840/: target is busy.

Read the umount man page and thought I’d try the “lazy” option… $ sudo umount -l /data/evo840/ it unmounted the drive (confirmed in Dolphin), but the journal entries persist.

Looked a bit in ntfs-3g and found there was a ntfsfix command related to it (needed to remount the drive), and it basically tells be the “Volume is corrupt”…

$ ntfsfix -n /data/evo840/
Mounting volume... Error reading bootsector: Is a directory
Attempting to correct errors... Error reading bootsector: Is a directory
Failed to startup volume: Is a directory
Error reading bootsector: Is a directory
Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk.
No change made

… and the output is the same (sans the last line) if I remove the “-n” option.

So how to I safely stop the ntfs-3g from doing what it’s doing and stop the journal spam?

  1. I thought of using gnome-disk to dump the partition table (I won’t miss the drive contents as I have a VDI file I use for Virtualbox), but I suspect the fact “it’s busy” would throw a wrench in that
  2. I thought of rebooting, but I suspect the fact “it’s busy” would interfere with the reboot cycle/process
  3. I’ve thought that maybe REISUB might have a good chance of exiting cleanly.

In preparation I’ve edited /etc/fstab so that the drive no longer mounts at boot.

broken is broken and keeps broken. replace or disassemble it, linux can’t provide magic.

okay, looks like gnome disk was able to interrupt the ntfs-3g journal spam.

I think I was confusing kde’s partitionmanager when i suggested I could use gnome disks to dump/recreate the partition table… but the moment I removed one (of five) partitions off the disk, the ntfs-3g spam stopped filling up the journal!

The drive/partition dropped from Dolphin, but kde partitionmanager still gets stuck in it’s “scanning” phase, so I think there may be some residuals that will be resolved by a reboot… unless this is still a symptom of the disk being busy?

For now I’m happy that the journal spam has stopped… and hope the reboot is clean.

EDIT: Thankfully the reboot was clean, kde’s partitionmanager loaded successfully (I think earlier the password prompt was hidden/missed), and an additional step (to /etc/fstab) was needed to cleanup the disks references… grub still had the disk listed to optionally boot from; resolved by $ sudo update-grub.

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