[Herts] Recovering a faulty drive

Steve Clark steve at bagofspoons.net
Sun Jul 4 10:20:21 UTC 2010

On 3 July 2010 23:05, Mike - XP Computers <mike at xpcomputers.co.uk> wrote:

> Presumably you are assuming it is hardware failure? (rather than straight
> data corruption / file system damage?).

The clicking noises the drive is making make me think it's hardware. The
drive is about 5 years old, so not too surprising.

> Can you see anything when you try to read the file system with a boot cd?
> Can a disk manager see the drive at all? What about the BIOS? Depending on
> what can and can’t see the drive, will depend where to focus the effort.
I need to do some more tests. When I tried the boot CD (took ages to start
up) I tried mounting partitions. Could get one of them, but it was
struggling to even show a file list. I'm going to get hold of another drive
and try to copy stuff with something like ddrescue.

> I’d personally want to try the drive as a slave in another working computer
> system, rather than working from a boot CD (if possible), but sometimes a
> boot CD is the best way.

As I didn't have another drive to hand I thought I'd try a boot CD. I'm
probably going to buy a new 500GB SATA drive. Having managed with 250GB for
ages I don't anticipate needing more for a while.

Overall it's not a disaster. We don't have much in the way of critical files
and all the old stuff is backed up on a USB drive. I also found I had a
backup of my documents from 2 weeks ago on Ubuntu One. I had been using that
regularly, but it had stopped working on Kubuntu recently. What I may have
lost are some recent holiday pictures, but the best ones are on the Picasa
site, so I can get them back.

There are obviously lessons to be learnt about doing proper backups. I
should put old stuff on DVDs or a USB drive and store it somewhere else in
case of disasters at home. I may look at storing more stuff on-line. Ubuntu
One and Dropbox both offer 2GB for free, but then the price goes up sharply
for extra space. Google's storage is cheaper, but I don't think there are
tools to sync things. Google/Picasa may be worth using for photos, but the
slow upload speed makes it a bit time consuming.

> Hope this gives you some pointers

Thanks guys. I'll let you know how I get on.

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