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How to repair a sumsang SMART external hard drive giving an imminent failure message in ubuntu

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June 22, 2013 3:02:31 PM

Hello,
My 750 GB sumsang (model SUMSANG HN-M750XBB) SMART external hard drive is giving a DISK FAILURE IS IMMINENT message (in ubuntu 12.04). The biggest problem is it won't allow me to backup (by the ordinary copy paste method) my data both in ubuntu or in windows, I thought maybe if I could do that I can try resolve the problem by formating.
In anyone knows of a way I can fix this problem without removing my data, please I will appreciate, if that is IMPOSSIBLE, any ideas I can back up my data safely in order for me to format?

I really need help the soonest possible, thank you.
June 22, 2013 8:44:06 PM

Please be aware that I have found SMART to be fairly reliable in predicting a HDD failure (but not infailable). So, the drive may be beyond the SMART errors already and the data has been lost. Formatting the HDD will not clear the SMART errors on your drive. SMART is a part of the firmware of a drive which tracks statistics of a HDD and then reports them (aka a little database about your HDD). There are utilities that you can use to clear SMART tables to make the drive think it is ok. I don't recommend this unless you know what you are doing. Easily can make a HDD and brick, just like messing around with a BIOS flash.

There are programs that can clone drives like Acronis, Norton Ghost, etc... That may allow you to get the important data salvaged from the drive. Norton Ghost will let you know that it's copying gibberish from a bad sector, but it will copy and then continue. You may also try using a rescue OS like Puppy Linux, Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, possibly even something like Hiren's boot disk. (i've never used Hiren's myself, but i've heard good things. I'm not sure if it has a disk copy or cloning software loaded.) Another option would be to get the drive to recovery experts. It can be fairly expensive $300+ upwards towards $5k, but if you gotta have the data....

I hate to be so vague, but it all comes down to how badly the drive has failed. It could possibly be as simple as turning of SMART in your BIOS, so that the OS doesn't pickup on the flags and then allows you to use the drive. (Highly unlikely.)
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