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I have a Western Digital external hard drive that is failing. The problem is intermittent and I am trying to rescue the data from it. If I cycle power repeatedly, I occasionally get about 10 minutes of operation out of it before it dies again. I have managed to rescue about 100GB of data from it so far, but it is working for shorter periods of time and it is taking more and more recycles to get it to work.
When I plug it in and it doesn't get "seen", dmesg gives me:
[ 240.523492] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Add. Sense: Logical block address out of range
[ 240.523498] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 00
[ 240.523509] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
I suspected the power supply. So, I broke open the whole thing and inside is a WD Caviar WD500AAVS SATA hard drive with a USB controller board. I took the hard drive and plugged it into an open SATA port, but the motherboard never sees it. I reattached the controller to the drive and use it as a USB drive again as I had more luck that way.
The odd thing is that Windows will see it fairly consistently as a USB drive. However, I used a LUKS encrypted EXT3 file system and I can't seem to get Windows to mount it. I can unlock the drive, but then Windows cannot recognize the file system even with the open source ext2 driver.
I did figure out how to get an encrypted ext3 partition to mount in Windows. This is good, because Windows seems to be able to keep the hard drive up for an hour or so at a time before it dies again. I managed to get about 75GB copied off this morning. Only another 200GB or so left to go.