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Need flexible sector copy software for failing HDD

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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March 4, 2013 1:31:02 AM

Good day,

A friend brought in his dying external hard drive, a 1.5TB Seagate GoFlex, has both USB 3.0 and internal SATA connections (USB module detaches). Online reviews say its garbage, but I didn't buy it so don't scald me.

The drive is recognizable in Windows, however most files are not readable and access is very, very slow. The filesystem is exFAT.

SeaTools reports the drive as bad within seconds on all tests, and gives a test code for warranty claim, however data needs to be recovered first before the drive is replaced. SeaTools failure reasons are vague, however the DOS version does say that the reason is bad sectors. Bad sector repair in SeaTools fails within seconds.

I tried running HDD Regenerator on the drive, it gets to 443MB mark, and moves forward very slow, however does not report bad sectors! No bad sectors were reported after running for two hours.

I then tried to clone the drive to two spare 1.5TB drives I have. I tried Norton Ghost, but it seems it does not support drives so big (always says destination drive is too small, however other utilities do not complain).

Then I tried EaseUS Disk Copy boot CD/USB. It gets to the 443MB mark, and past 443MB mark it reports every sector as bad. With it set to ignore read errors, it moves at the rate of 20KB per minute (10 bad sectors per minute). It ran for 14 hours and reported over 9000 read errors. I calculate that it will take over 100 years to clone the drive at that rate. Need another solution. Considering the fact that EaseUS tool got stuck on the same spot that HDD Regenerator did not report as bad sectors, my conclusion is that HDD Regenerator is not working correctly.

At this point I have tried both HDD Regenerator and cloning in three ways, over USB, over SATA in AHCI mode, over SATA in IDE mode. Results seem to be the same.

As much as I'd like to throw in the towel and have a lab do the recovery, it is not financially feasible for my friend.

I need a tool that would let me copy a sector range that I manually set, that way I could avoid areas with continuous bad sectors and still get *some* data back.
I believe one way to do something like that is by using DD in Linux, and setting the number of bytes to skip and the number of bytes to copy, however DD is not verbose enough and not a very friendly too, I won't know if and when it gets stuck.

Is there a better and more user friendly tool than DD for sector copying?

Help is appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

More about : flexible sector copy software failing hdd

a c 331 G Storage
March 4, 2013 3:07:39 AM

Instead of DD, try ddrescue.

Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption.

http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

Install Ubuntu Rescue Remix to a Flash Drive:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-ubuntu-rescue-remi...

Clone a failing Windows hard disk with ddrescue on Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://keystoneisit.blogspot.com/2011/08/clone-failing-...
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March 4, 2013 7:56:27 AM

fzabkar said:
Instead of DD, try ddrescue.

Ddrescue can perform multipass cloning. It clones the easy sectors on the first pass, and attempts the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse, thereby disabling lookahead caching. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption.

http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html

Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/

Install Ubuntu Rescue Remix to a Flash Drive:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-ubuntu-rescue-remi...

Clone a failing Windows hard disk with ddrescue on Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
http://keystoneisit.blogspot.com/2011/08/clone-failing-...


Thanks for the tip, seems it's exactly what I was looking for.

It's working well so far, I'm at 10GB mark, with about 15% data loss (very severe). The resume feature is working nicely too.

I tried doing it over SATA for faster transfer rates, however the damaged drive seems to crash the SATA driver (both AHCI and IDE modes), Linux won't boot all the way to the shell.
USB 3.0 works very well though. By switching from USB 2.0 I started with on my laptop to desktop with USB 3.0 I went from 3.5MB/s to 10.5MB/s peak transfer speed. At current rate I am looking to finish first pass in about 2 days, which is much more feasible than tools I tried before.

Will ddrescue automatically do additional passes for unrecovered blocks once it completes the first pass?

I will be posting progress here.
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October 14, 2013 8:08:28 AM

Hi...I'm reasonably technically proficient, but I'm not a total geek. I'm looking for cloning software, to run in Windows XP, that can cope with bad sectors on the original disk.

People keep recommending 'ddrescue' but it seems it's not normal windows software. Is that correct? Can I not run it in windows? Where can I download it from? I need a normal HTLM download page .... please!
Thanks

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October 15, 2013 1:14:06 AM

JoJoUK said:
Hi...I'm reasonably technically proficient, but I'm not a total geek. I'm looking for cloning software, to run in Windows XP, that can cope with bad sectors on the original disk.

People keep recommending 'ddrescue' but it seems it's not normal windows software. Is that correct? Can I not run it in windows? Where can I download it from? I need a normal HTLM download page .... please!
Thanks



ddrescue is a Linux utility. ddrescue does not use Windows (but does recover data from drivers used by or containing Windows). The best way to use ddrescue is to obtain a live-CD image, such as Ubuntu Rescue Remix. In a nutshell, you download an .iso CD image, burn it on a CD and boot your PC from that CD. The live-CD (such as Ubuntu Rescue Remix) should have all the device drivers you need, be it IDE, SATA, or USB drives you will be working with.

Links to downloads and guides are above (posted by fzabkar).
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