Art Alexion on 3 May 2008 09:51:09 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Saving data from a precarious drive

On Wednesday 30 April 2008 10:07:33 brent saner wrote:
> Mark Baker wrote:
> | I wouldn't worry about taxing the drive. I would get the data off as
> | soon as possible.   I have had very good results with dd_rescue.  In my
> | opinion it is one of the best tools out there.  When you have a server
> | go down due to a drive failure & in a moment of panic realize that the
> | backups havent been running on that server.... dd_rescue will save
> | your butt every time.
> |
> |
> |
> | Mark
> might want to use the revamped and recoded/newer version:
> (yes, they're different projects. no, the underscore is not the only
> difference.)
> ddcfldd is also a great alternative, although centered more towards
> forensics than it is recovery.

I want to thank those who helped with suggestions and report back the results.

The "problem drive" continues running after 3 days.  I'd like to say without a 
hiccup, but I have avoided accessing it.  More on this below.

I bought a new drive from and an eSATA enclosure.  They came today.  
I used the newer ddrescue that Brent recommended for the transfer.  Using the 
verbose switch, I was really impressed with the eSATA transfer rate 
(avg.rate: 26852kB/s for about 160 GB of data).  Not the advertised 3 GB/s, 
but much faster than any USB transfer I have done.

dd_rescue reported no errors, so it looks like I have a good backup.  I am 
going to continue to use the problem drive and monitor its health before 
replacing it.  The problem manifest itself out of nowhere, and several 
reboots didn't seem to solve it, but a required reboot after a Gutsy->Hardy 
kernel update found the drive again. Meanwhile, I'll keep the new drive as a 

Thanks again to all who helped.

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