My laptop HDD was unhappy. SMART was complaining about 2 uncorrectable sector errors and they were in the middle of swap so resuming from suspend sometimes didn't work. I formatted round the problem to begin with, as I didn't really want to lose my laptop for the week I knew it would probably take. However the fear that it was an indication of impending doom made me finally ring Toshiba last week.

After lots of fun (trying to explain that smartctl was reporting a Read Failure from the drives own testing, that I was running Linux and asking if they had a diagnostic disk (it's a Toshiba drive, but people like Maxtor and Western Digital have boot iso images you can download to confirm a drive is faulty before RMAing it), being told that I'd have to reinstall Windows, pointing out that the machine had no removable drives and the Windows recovery disk was a DVD and I had no USB DVD drive, asking them to send me a USB DVD drive if they wanted me to reinstall Windows) they finally agreed to take the laptop back on the condition that if there was no fault I'd have to pay the default investigation fee of £35.25. This was better than having to spend time trying to figure out how to get Windows back on the thing, so I accepted.

Next day I get a phone call asking if they can replace the drive. Well, yes, that's what I expected you to do. Seems they have to check anyway.

I'm not quite sure what they did with it for the next 3 working days. Testing it perhaps. Anyway, I got it back yesterday with a new HDD (and they hadn't even bothered to install anything on it, which I wasn't complaining about).

When I first got the laptop I installed it in a slightly sick manner. This time I thought I'd be more traditional and try the recently released Etch Beta 3 Debian installer. It's based on a 2.6.16 kernel which has the appropriate sky2 driver for the ethernet, so installation was hassle free (modulo apt-cacher playing up and not being happy about serving up files that I think had expired the cache). I'd wanted to try the graphical install to see what it's like, but I believe that's only available on CD images so I couldn't.

On the apt-cacher thing, anyone seen a similar issue? I track unstable on my desktop which tends to mean it has the packages already when they migrate to testing. However I think it's hitting a problem when it's expired a package from the cache and then needs it again. I don't actually have any firm evidence for that yet; need to do some further investigation and file a bug report I suppose.