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Hello and thank you in advance for all your help.
Here is the problem:
OS: Debian squeeze 32bit
Hardware: MB: Asus P5k-vm + 7GB ram, Proc: P4 2,8g, Vid: ATI Radeon HD 4800, HDD: Seagate Baracuda 1tb sata; DVD: samsung... sata.
The problem is this: I have a 2nd HDD SeaGate Baracuda 500gb sata and it is failing. It has bad blocks and I used it as bckup HDD for awhile, and kept it in safe place until today. Trying to copy anything from it, receives an error such as: "Error splicing file: Input/output error"
I do see all the folders and files, but cannot copy them.
The question is: Is there a software for my OS, that I could try in order to resurrect my files.
While keeping backup files on a second spindle/file system (e.g. a separate HDD such as you are using) is not an adequate solution, it can be part of a backup strategy. For example, doing an automated nightly backup to a separate hard disk (e.g. using rsync) can give you a recent online backup that is easily available.
However, this only gives you one backup copy. If either your live or backup disk goes bad, you are down to just a one copy of your data. A better solution is to use RAID for both. This reduces the risk that you'll lose all of your data due to hardware failure or user error.
However, what if your computer is destroyed (think fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc.) or stolen? You need additional copies offsite. Otherwise your files are simply too easily lost. A Blu-ray writer can put 25G or 50G on a single disk which is adequate for many people's backup needs. With writers available for around $100, it's a cheap solution.
I'm not enamored with cloud-based backups. Most currently don't offer a lot of space unless you start paying and you may run into your ISP's bandwidth limits if you back up a lot of data.
Thank you for your advice, garydale. I will keep that in mind and you are absolutely right BR solution does sound secure and cheap money wise. At least it is cheaper then getting solid state drive for now. I will try this ddrescue tool, the one H_TeXMeX_H suggested, or at least ill try to find a tool to create an image of the failing HDD. I also heard that in case of such failings, some were freezing their HDD`s in the freezer for up to 2 hours and then it would give them aprox. 30 min to try to copy needed info. Does anyone know about it?
As a hardware head, I would suggest power off, add the disk and then do the backup. Some electronic errors come after a period of time and you would minimise these. If the thing has been giving trouble for a while, ignore this.
The short answer is you are probably up the creek on this. Anything you get is a bonus.
The freezer trick has worked for some people for certain problems only -- those that involve a heating issue where heat has caused a clearance or interference problem. So it may or may not work for you. business kid's advice tends tends towards a similar solution -- start cool and get all you can before it heats up. I'd follow up on the ddrescue suggestion. A byte for byte copy might get around whatever's preventing at least a partial copy. If you can see the folders, some of it must be readable.