Brian Vagnoni on 30 Apr 2008 05:48:39 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Saving data from a precarious drive

From: Art Alexion []
Sent: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 08:12:00 -0400
Subject: [PLUG] Saving data from a precarious drive

I have a 200 GB IDE drive that recently stopped being detected by the BIOS.
After I did a dist-upgrade and was forced to reboot, the drive reappeared.
The drive had not given me problems prior to disappearing. I still don't
trust it and am ordering a replacement.

Once the replacement arrives I want to copy the contents, mostly audio files,
to the new drive, but don't want to do it in a way that will tax the drive
and make it fail during the copy.

My first thought was rsync, but I am concerned about the effect this
(transferring ~180 GB at once) may have on the precarious drive.

Another thought was to just copy a little at a time, giving it a chance to
rest in between, but am reminded that sometimes turning things on and off
causes more wear than being left on.

What are the best practices in this situation?

First, and not to sound like Dad hear but doesn't anyone backup anymore? Backing up is a lot like voting, if you don't do it you really can't complain when the crap hits the fan. :-) Warm weather is coming folks, and that usually means hard drive failures go up on systems that are not environmentally protected. Dad like lecture aside if the drive is up and spinning you definitely don't want to turn it off. Your best bet is to get a firewire or usb drive and copy the files to there.

Sometimes it's best to do a few at a time, this way you can see where the trouble is. There are several utilities out there most will recover files starting at the end of the disk and working backward as well as from the beginning of the disk and work forward.

It sounds more like an electronics problem, or the drive could be fine and you more likely have a bad cable. If it is a drive board issue get them off as quickly as possible without powering down the drive.

Have you done any work inside your box recently that mite have disturbed a cable?

Brian Vagnoni
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