Marty O'Brien on 30 Apr 2008 07:07:34 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Saving data from a precarious drive

I'm not an expert in this area, but it seems to me that something as "stress free" as possible would include copying the entire partition. The reason I say this is that the read heads would only need to move in a straight line across the platters, not back and forth like when copying files. It will also be the fastest (because there is no seek time between files). You can do this with your basic partition tools (parted), and if you have a GUI gparted is a great tool. I would just copy the partition to another drive (if you can plug it in hot, that would be best, but obviously, most systems don't support this). One possible downside is that if the drive fails before the entire partition is copied, it may be unusable, leaving you with nothing. I'm not sure how true this statement is, especially between different file systems.

If you go this route and use gparted, you might want to forgo the optimization tests because they may be taxing on the drive. Your risk, your call, though.

Just my thoughts...

--Marty O'Brien

On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 8:12 AM, Art Alexion <> wrote:
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?

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