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This is Drupal 6 cache table. Server version: 5.1.49-1ubuntu8.1 (Ubuntu)

According to Can't Repair Mysql Table

Shut down your DB and back it up. Repair operations are dangerous.

but according to

The first—and most important—thing you can do before repairing a corrupted table is to back it up.

Next, shut down the MySQL server.

I've tried what techrepublic says... but I got this message from mysqlhotcopy:

DBD::mysql::db do failed: Table './dbname/cache' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed at /usr/bin/mysqlhotcopy line 460.

and I got this message from mysqldump:

mysqldump: Couldn't execute 'show create table `cache`': Table './dbname/cache' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed (144)
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If it's just a cache table, just drop it and re-create the table. It'll get automatically re-populated as the site is used. – EEAA May 3 '11 at 14:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you stop the MySQL server then you should be able to take a backup of the database files from /var/lib/mysql/databasename which you could restore if there is a problem with the repair and you cannot take a proper backup via mysqldump

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