brent timothy saner on 18 Jul 2015 17:47:20 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Cloning a dying hard drive

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On 07/18/2015 08:23 PM, Walt Mankowski wrote:
> I've done this process at least once before, it was probably like 10
> years ago.  Does anyone have any thoughts on the instructions here?

Primary thought is that Arch wiki is *awesome*.

Second though: if you have the space handy, it's actually better to
first *image a drive* if it's failing, and then try cloning from the
image. You can use the I/O loopback module and kpartx to interact with
the image.

On that note, instead of dd with noerror,sync I'd instead recommend you
use GNU ddrescue (*not* dd_rescue- it's a similar name, and they aim to
do the same thing, but GNU does it fairly better- it's a bit more
intelligent when it does encounter errors.

for more info (I know I'm repeating myself, but I love the Arch wiki).

If you don't want to install ddrescue and prefer the dd operation, then
at the very least keep the HDD well cooled while attempting the
recovery. It might help, it might not (it depends on why it's failing)-
but it won't hurt (assuming you keep it dry while cooling).

> That certainly seems the simplest method, assuming the errors remain
> manageable.  Other methods that might work would be
> * rsync from the roots of the old partitions to the new ones

I would avoid mounting the disk at all, to be honest, if at all
possible. The SystemRescueCD[0], on that note, has ddrescue (along with
testdisk and photorec and i BELIEVE foremost, sotware that may help with
recovery from troublesome sectors).

Or I can get you a download link for a build of my personal project,

> * full restore from my backups

Oh, you have backups! That's really, really good. You get a cookie. I'm
not being sarcastic; too many people don't keep backups. Are they
relatively recent? What does the payoff of doing a dd/ddrescue +
filesystem/data corruption repair vs. an OS install + backup restore ( -
missing data from backup) cost relative to each other? This is something
only you can answer, as it all depends how much time you want to wait
before having a box back up again.

If the backups were relatively recent (no more than a day or two), I'd
go that route.

And one more thing- make sure you take a drill press to that old drive!


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