135 GB ext3 on broken drive -- other possibilities than "e2fsck -y"?

Milan Holzäpfel lists at mjh.name
Sat Jan 8 20:11:05 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1

On Sat, 08 Jan 2005 18:31:58 +0100
Christian <evilninja at gmx.net> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> it's a bit strange that the ext3 gurus didn't comment on this issue yet
> (hint, hint:)), 

I guess they already knew about the outcome of this somehow :-D  (I'll
describe it below...)

> but as nobody else seems to suffer from said "fsck loops",
> you'll have to try on your own. really, just for the sake of correctnes:
> pull out the disk in another machine, then fsck again.

Hmm another IDE drive we just bought as secondary one got broken a few
days before (so the big tars, which contained a backup, were not there). 
After I had mentioned this, the ISP's support guy agreed to switch our
hardware, so this basically is another machine.  

The surprising thing however is the following:  I did another dd from
the broken drive, to a (hopefully) 100% functioning one.  This time it
aborted twice because of read errors (logs told read error, DMA
disabled, IDE bus reset etc.)  Last time I tried it didn't abort. But I
simply continued one sector or two later;  after the dd had reched the
end of the block device, I continued again at the two abort's places.
The first went just fine, the second left about 4 * 64 KB of unknown
stuff, so I zeroed these 256 KB. 

Then I ran "fsck.ext3 -y /dev/<device-with-copy>" again, and the big
surprise was that I only got a log of 3000 characters or so, and the
second fsck.ext3 -y just said everything was OK.  And even better, df
told that there were about 14G of data on the fs.  The second thing I
checked were the big tars ;) and even their md5 checksums went fine.  

I don't know how this is possible, maybe I did some more than stupid
mistake back at the beginning of December, but I for one am just happy
that I got at least 90% of the data back, no matter what exactly fixed

Maybe it's because both the broken drive and the one I copied to were on
the secondary IDE bus, the broken one being the slave, so that any
action on them won't interfere with the regular services using the disk
on the primary bus.  This might somehow have affected the first copy,
but at least it went fine now...

Therefore many thanks for making me check again :) 

(the rest of your advice is hopefully not needed now ;) ) 

> just my 2¢,

for me two very valuable ¢ this time *g*

> Christian.

thanks again,
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