Gordon Dexter on 23 Sep 2009 11:39:08 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] ddrescue/dd_rescue question

Art Alexion wrote:
Neither the man nor how-to pages on the web seem to answer this.

I want to try to rescue some files from a 300 GB NTFS partition. I have an empty 160 GB drive to use as the target. There are only 108 GB used on the NTFS partition. Do ddrescue and dd_rescue copy free space, meaning I need a 300 GB target, or will the 160 GB target be enough for the <108 GB of data?

I really only want to copy the user files. ddrescue/dd_rescue seem only to work on whole partitions. Is there a better solution that works as well on distinct source files? rsync, even with --ignore-errors freezes bash on this drive.

AFAIK dd_rescue, just like regular dd, copies every single bit on the hard disk, including the ones that are not in use by files.  You might be able to use dd_rescue to copy to a smaller hard disk if it supports writing a compressed image (e.g. gzip, bzip2) or stddout, but otherwise you'll have to have a bigger target.

I don't know of any programs designed to rescue specific files from a bad disk.  There are plenty of programs that will rescue files from corrupt filesystems (and perhaps you'll need one of those as well) but it's probably best to just save the whole contents of the disk and extract files later.

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