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hard drive recover operation



Greetings,

Last week I lost a hdd (bad blocks, I/O error no. 1117, I think)...It was my main hdd, with a FC5 installation on it
(the one I had trouble with libpam.so.0 today was a
fresh install on a little partition I made on the old 15gb hard drive that was sitting here rusting, with an XP install on it, which I am now using since I haven''t yet resolved the libpam issue on that install, although I have recieved instructions from the list on how to proceed.)
And today, my new 200gb hdd arrived from the ebay seller.
So, I am going to try and recover the old 80gb hdd with FC5 onto the new one with a knoppix cd using ddrescue. I''ve really, really got to recover some important financial data on there, and now, because I have an immigration appointment for my wife''s green card (she''s from Brasil) in two weeks, and I MUST have this data with me. (Last back up was
almost 3 months ago now, and I need the full updated info.)
This page: http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/how-do-i-save-recover-data-from-crashed-disks-with-dd-and-ddrescue-command.html Says I should do fsck on the new drive after copying the old drive to the new one, but my understanding is that running fsck on an ext3 file system is a bad idea....I''m pretty sure someone, somewhere, on ce told me that. I haven''t actually run fsck
in several years.
Any advice?
Also, I am unsure whether it is better to simply copy the old hdd to the new one, and then try to boot it, or, if I should do a fresh install on the new drive, but leave a 80gb partition to copy the old hdd onto that partition,
then boot the fresh install and attemp to access my data from there.
Because, otherwise, I don''t know how I''m going to save the data. I can''t copy any of it to cd while running from
a knoppix cd, because there is only one cd/dvd drive.
Any suggestions?

As always, any and all assistance appreciated....

tony

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