When it rains it pours.
Shortly after my laptop went headless, I started getting weird behavior when accessing files on one of my three external USB hard disk drives.
It's the largest disk (300GB) - the one that holds a backup of most of our DVDs. The one whose contents is not backed up by Bacula, simply because of its size.
I found that if I repeatedly use sha1sum or md5sum to compute the digest of some files, I get a different digest on every run.
So I purchased a WD Elements 1TB External Disk, hooked it up, launched gparted, removed the NTFS partition, and reformatted it to Ext4. And then copied the contents of the bad disk to the new disk using rsync.
Most of the contents on the bad drive is multimedia, and multimedia players are designed to cope with errors in their input, so I guess I can live with the damage.
I wonder what's next to fail.