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Old 11-17-2004, 10:09 PM   #1
lmedwards
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Question Salvage Crashed Hard Drive?


I've have a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160GB ATA/133 hard drive that crashed. I was using it as a file server on my Redhat Linux system. I suddenly got read errors so I checked the disk with the Maxtor "powermax" utility and it says the drive has failed. I should be able to get a replacement... but I really need to try to salvage the files on the disk.

The disk was formatted as a ext3 filesystem. I get some sort of "short read" error when I fsck /dev/hdg1 and it says it's an unrepairable error. A display of my partitions with fdisk -l looks normal.

I know just enough about Linux to get by. Does anyone know if I can access the files on the disk and save as many as possible?

Thanks,
Layne
 
Old 11-18-2004, 01:55 AM   #2
J.W.
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You don't mention if the drive is currently mounted or not, but as long as it's possible to mount the drive, you should be able to access your files, at least for a short while assuming the drive doesn't completely die. In other words, if you can mount it, you'd want to mentally rank your important files, and start copying the most important first.

Assuming that the directory /mnt/hd exists, you would manually mount this partition (as root)
Code:
mount /dev/hdg1 /mnt/hd
If it works, the contents of the crashed drive should appear under /mnt/hd, and from there you should be able to copy them to a safe place. (If /mnt/hd does not already exist, you can create it by running "mkdir /mnt/hd" (no quotes)

Good luck with it, crashed drives are an iffy propositiion at best. If the data is really valuable, there are professional data recovery services available, but they can charge several hundred dollars per hour for their work, and it may not be worth the money. -- J.W.
 
Old 11-18-2004, 09:09 AM   #3
lmedwards
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Unfortunately it won't mount using traditional methods. Reading the info on mount says there are many options to use such as selecting another superblock, etc. I guess I'll play around with it.

Thanks
 
Old 11-18-2004, 09:29 AM   #4
andguent
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If the BIOS still detects the presence of the drive, one utility that has saved my butt before is spinrite from grc.com. Their newest version claims to read any file system format (specifically mentions Linux and Novell).

I'm not associated with them, just a customer. Unfortunately, it is pay-for software. I am seriously considering buying it soon because older versions only read FAT which I don't use anymore.

It does require Windows to create your boot media, but it can install itself from Windows to floppy, CD ISO, or flash drive.

Good luck with your files.
 
Old 11-18-2004, 10:59 AM   #5
lmedwards
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Thanks. I'll give it a try.
 
Old 11-24-2004, 11:09 AM   #6
andguent
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Most companies do a lot of market speak and put out crap. grc.com seems to be one of the more genuine companies. I actually believe half the stuff on their website, and I can be an obnioxious prick to sales guys because I'm too much of a stickler and I'm hard to convince.

Let us know how it goes.
 
Old 11-24-2004, 01:36 PM   #7
frogman
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If nothing else works, try cooling the drive down - either place it in the freezer (protected against condensation) or (depending on where you live) leave it outside overnight. The drive should work OK for a short period of time (less than 15 mins).

Disclaimer: This worked with my old fat & fat32 drives, but I haven't tried it with anything bigger than an 8GB. Since the 40GB Maxtor's I've used kick out insane amounts of heat, your mileage will vary.
 
Old 11-24-2004, 01:48 PM   #8
lmedwards
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I was able to retrieve all my data that I wanted using a program called Stellar Phoenix Linux. It worked great. I'm RMAing my Maxtor drive.

Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate the help.

Layne
 
Old 11-24-2004, 04:03 PM   #9
J.W.
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lmedwards - congrats on solving the problem, and thanks for posting back with the update. Better luck with the replacement drive -- J.W.
 
  


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