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I'm new to Linux, I'm using Ubuntu 10.04 and am trying to use it to recover data from a failed External HDD (NTFS).
The drive failed with an accompanying smell of electric burning and subsequently was not recognised by Windows. It would recognice the enclosure, but told me that the drive had to be reformatted.
I removed the drive from the external enclosure and hooked it up to my PC with a power cable and USB to SATA connector. I can mount the drive in Ubuntu (eventually) and I've learned enough about BASH to navigate through the files on the drive.
Those that I can access I am able to copy across to my internal drive (VERY slowly, but it does do it) but a lot of the directories show up with an Input/output Error when I run the ls -l command.
Is there any way for me to be able to access these files or to recover them? Should I be trying a different technique rather than just attempting to access and copy the files?
Yes, you should be doing it differently. At the very least you should make a backup image of the drive and then recover the files from that instead. It's not safe to try to browse around a damaged disk directly, as you risk damaging it even further.
Make sure you have enough disk space on a separate drive to hold the entire disk or partition (buy a new disk if necessary; you'll be needing it anyway), then create an image file onto it with ddrescue. ddrescue will copy the disk sector by sector, and try to recover damaged areas from it for as long as you want it to. There's even a gddrescue frontend gui available for it if you want to do it that way.
Once you have the image made, you can mount it using a loopback device and recover from there.
And do try to use google and the forum search. Many, many people have gone through similar experiences before you.