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I've got an old computer running Ubuntu Server 10.04, which acts as router, file server and web server. A couple of weeks ago I inserted a PCIe video card, since the motherboard did not have any video outputs. Since then, I now occasionally get IO and bus errors. When this happens, most binaries such as sudo, vim, or cat, typically results in the error message I/O error. Listing most directories works, but ls / gives Bus error. Everything starts to work again if I perform a hard reset of the computer.

The disk, which is less than a half year old, is not a part of any RAID system. The server is not heavy loaded and has a Core 2 Duo CPU and 4 GB RAM.

I suspect that this may be a hardware issue. However, is there any way to know which hardware to suspect? The hard drive, the motherboard, or something else?

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It's the hardware. It doesn't matter what it is, just replace the whole thing; the cost of the time spent diagnosing it will exceed that of the cost of replacing it.

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+1. In this kind of situations the reason can be anything from power supply to motherboard to RAM to HD .... life is too short for debugging misbehaving and clearly EOL'd hardware. – Janne Pikkarainen Jul 22 '11 at 5:53

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