I just had a USB harddisk crash. Here is the relevant dmesg output:
[18539698.904000] usb 5-3: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 4
[18539732.164000] EXT3-fs error (device sdb1): ext3_new_block: Allocating block in system zone - blocks from 16252928, length 1
[18539732.164000] Aborting journal on device sdb1.
[18539732.220000] ext3_abort called.
[18539732.220000] EXT3-fs error (device sdb1): ext3_journal_start_sb: Detected aborted journal
[18539732.220000] Remounting filesystem read-only
[18539732.240000] attempt to access beyond end of device
[18539732.240000] sdb1: rw=0, want=34097335360, limit=160071597
fdisk no longer sees a valid partition on the disk. As far as I can tell, the disk's partition table has gone south and everything on the disk is unrecoverable.

I am baffled as to why this happens. Is this hardware failure or some obscure bug in the USB subsystem? I've seen this twice before, same external USB enclosure, two different disks: once with an ATA drive, twice with a SATA (the enclosure can handle both kinds).

I am running Dapper 6.10. Any ideas most appreciated.