How to copy data off an old IDE disk
cdevers at pobox.com
Sun Mar 30 14:58:02 BST 2008
On Sun, 30 Mar 2008, Andy Wardley wrote:
> I bought an IDE enclosure but failed to persuade either my Mac or Ubuntu
> box to mount the disk.
> I'm assuming that a Mac should have no trouble mounting a FAT32 disk, but it
> complained: "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" and the
> syslog sayeth: disk2: I/O error.
That's how the Mac responds to a failing drive.
You can scrounge for data several ways, including `ddrescue` and some
useful `rsync` flags. I've attempted this (many times) in the past with
something along the lines of:
while true; do
rsync --ignore-errors --partial --recursive /Volumes/BadDrive ~/foo/
And just let that loop for a while (hours, days, etc), the idea being
that it should be making incremental progress on each run, the ignore
errors flag should force it to go as long as possible before konking
out, and the partial flag should prevent you from losing progress when
it does konk out and start over again.
If it's too far gone for the system to mount, you might get somewhere
with ddrescue (http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html), or
you can buy a copy of Disk Warrior (primarily for filesystem repoairs,
with some recovery options) or Data Rescue II (just for repairs, but
more tenacious than DW).
The folklore approach of sticking the drive in a freezer for a few hours
does actually seem to stabilize flaky drives enough to get more of the
data off, at least sometimes. I've shrink-wrapped the drive to do this,
but if you don't have access to that, a ziplock bag or other airtight
equivalent ought to work as well. I've sometimes found that after
freezing a drive overnight, I can get maybe 30 minutes of stability to
get what I can before it locks up again; sometimes a couple rounds of
freeze & recover can get a bigger chunk of the data.
Let me know if you need more ideas or details...
has had to recover lots of data from lots of dead drives
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