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Old 10-20-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
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Help - Cant access second hard drive partition

OK so not long ago i updated my pc to the latest version of Ubuntu, but it ran so slowly that i reinstalled a previous version (9.04). I wasnt too bothered at the time as i had two hard disks in my machine, one which help programs and the os etc (an IDE), the other larger (SATA) one for all my media.

However when i booted up my computer after the reinstall, my second HD was no where to be found. So i tried

mount /dev/sda /media/HD2

and that didnt work, i even tried putting it into the fstab file and that didnt work either. So i had a look at the hard drive details via GParted, and it was telling me it was unallocated. Weird.

So next on the list was testdisk. I ran test disk once using the default option file type of 'Intel' when analysis the disk and it told me there were no partitions - same again when i did a deeper search. I tried analysing the disk again but this time i chose 'None' as the filetype, and this time it came back with a possible partition. But when i tried to view the files on the partition i simply got the following message

Cant open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged

I really would love any help for this problem. Mainly the videos and music are replaceable, BUT the biggest loss would be a lot of personal photos. Honestly any help is gratefully appreciated.
Old 10-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Distribution: Snow Leopard, Ubuntu, RedHat
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First, verify the SMART status of the disk. The first command will run an extended test (taking up to an hour.) The second will spit out the 'current health' of the drive, immediately after running the self test. If the drive's damaged, it won't be that helpful to attempt to rebuild the drive.

# smartctl -t long /dev/sda
smartctl -HcA /dev/sdb
From there, since you're only absolutely trying to recover photos, you could try using PhotoRec. There's a great tutorial on PhotoRec & Testdisk here:

And, of course, the obvious (but most painful when you experience it first hand) if/once you've recovered your data, and even if you haven't, making sure you have a solid backup solution is critical. It's never been so easy to copy entire partitions to a backup drive as it is with the tools available today. A 1TB drive runs $60; how many hours are you going to spend trying to recover the data you've lost, and think how much you earn an hour at your job. Not trying to preach; I've been in your shoes too.

Best of luck!
Old 10-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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Look strange. Did you use crypting? What filesystems you used on partitions? What show "fdisk -l"?


harddisk, partition, recover, ubuntu

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