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Re: Trying to rescue a hard disk -- weired feedback??

William Case wrote:
> Hi;
> I have a hard disk that seems broken but I am trying to save -- or at
> least save the data on it.  
> The broken hard disk is a dual boot SCSI disk that worked.
>       * BIOS says that the disk is present and accounted for i.e. right
>         name and size even after swapping in and out other harddisks.
>       * Using Fedora rescue disk, parted /dev/sda says can't read sda.
>       * Using Fedora rescue disk, fdisk /dev/sda says can't read sda.
>       * Using Fedora rescue disk, chroot /mnt/sysimage can't mount
>         sysimage.
>       * fdisk /mbr says can't fix mbr.  ( I am not sure whether this
>         message means that nothing is wrong with the mbr or that it is
>         beyond repair )
It usually means that it can not write to the mbr.

> I would like to do any of the following:
>       * get the hard disk working again, or,
>       * view the data on the disk, and/or,
>       * rescue the data on the disk.
> What should I try next?
The first thing I would do is see if the drive is spinning up. If
not, you MAY be able to fix it by holding it 2" above a hard, flat
surface and dropping it.

If the drive spins up, and then spins down again, and keeps cycling
like that, it is an electronics problem on the drive. If you have an
identical drive, and have the experience to do it, you may be able
to recover the data by switching the electronics between the drives.
But you may also end up with 2 dead drives instead of one - you can
damage the working board if you don't know what you are doing. (I
don't recommend this procedure.)

If the drive spins up, but you can not read the data, try changing
the position of the drive on the cable. Also, double check
termination. You can get all kinds of strange results is if you have
more then 2 devices providing termination or if they ate not at each
end. If you only have one cable coming off the controller, then the
controller and the last drive must provide termination. With 2 or
more cables, it depends on the controller. Usually you need to
terminate the last drive on each cable. The controller may need a
jumper set, or it may take care of its termination automatically.
You can also have cables with a terminator built into one end. This
terminator needs to be on the end away from the controller, and you
do not have termination enabled on the drives.

There are other problems you can run int, but they will not normally
prevent you from at least reading the partition table. On the other
hand, drive information may be provided by the drive electronics
without reading anything from the drive.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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