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Re: Backing up a nearly dead HDD

On Tue, 27 Nov 2007, Randy Wyatt wrote:
Have you used smartmon tools ?  These actually give me the best results for
determining the number of errors encountered by a drive.

Closing the barn door after the cows have gotten run over by a semi, but yes, a good idea. :-)

Why not use dd?  if you are replacing a drive with a similar drive, dd is

dd tends to not work well on iffy media. I'd advocate using dd_rescue rather than dd; it handles errors better.

I usually use the freezer trick on dying drives. Basically, you put the drive in a plastic zippered storage bag (i.e., Ziploc), and put it in the freezer. Wait until it's pretty well cold, then pull it, plug it in, and try and get the data off ASAP. (I don't understand the finer thermodynamics of it, but I believe it has something to do with the cold contracting metal parts, or compensating for heat-related issues. Something.) I usually use rsync (if it's ext3) or dd_rescue (if it's NTFS/FAT, or I otherwise need a bit-by-bit copy) to get the bits off. Use at your own risk, your mileage may vary. It's worked for me (quite a few times), maybe it'll work for you.

 Good luck!


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