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ext4 hard drive failing. Resources?

Old 01-06-13, 08:56 PM
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ext4 hard drive failing. Resources?

Anyone know of a forum and/or tips for failing hard drives? One of my ext4 SATA drives in my home server is failing and I'd like to snag the data before it goes completely. The problem is strange though, so I'm looking for tips and/or knowledgable forums to help me keep it running while copying the data off of it.

In case your curious:
It runs ok for a bit and then consistently gives read/write errors, to the extent that the partition appears to go away. A reboot doesn't fix it, but a cold start does cause the drive to act normally again for a bit. A fsck will cause the issue as well. (Joy!)

I've got photos on it, but those are backed up in two other places, so I'm not TOO worried about this. I do also have about 300 gig of music/games that I've bought on it. That's NOT backed up since I can always rebuy it, but I'd obviously prefer to not have to do that. Getting that 300gig off if the real trick here ... or rather, keeping the disk alive long enough in one go to get the data copied off to another volume.

Advice?
bryce0lynch is offline  
Old 01-06-13, 09:21 PM
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Re: ext4 hard drive failing. Resources?

As someone who has worked on thousands of failing hard drives, I can tell you there is no silver bullet that can save you 100% of the time and each drive is a little different.

From what you are describing, it sounds like heat is making your drive failure worse.

Keep the drive as cool as possible while you are copying data. This would mean adding a fan directly to the drive. As an example, these work great

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835119063

If the drive is NOT making abnormal noises, you might be better off copying and then shutting the drive off and letting it cool (or using the freezer trick fro 10 minutes between copy shifts) - if the drive gives you any indication that it won't spin back up if you rest it, don't do this

two thoughts on copying depending on how the drive reacts

1 is unstoppable copier

http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29

the other is teracopy

http://download.cnet.com/TeraCopy/30...-10671835.html

you will have better luck using these than the windows copier. Teracopy is better for larg chunks of data, unstoppable is better to beat the last couple of files to copy death until you get them.

it's all a bit of voodoo magic
4KRG is offline  
Old 01-07-13, 11:32 AM
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Re: ext4 hard drive failing. Resources?

EDIT: Sorry, the first thing I should have done is tanked you for reply. Thanks! I do very much appreciate it. Even with two photo backups the failure of a HD is a stressful event and I appreciate the help.

Yeah, after sleeping on it I decided the intermittent nature probably indicated heat also.

I had the server off so I removed my 6 non-boot drives and froze the problem child for 10 minutes. I also ran the cables outside the case for additional air cooling, and also reconnected one of my mostly empty drives.

I was able to get the 300gb of non-backed up up data off of it with a mv (this is Linux, recall), although it spazzed out at the end during the rm portion of the mv. Ironically, the pictures directory is the one that is won't come off at all, even after more freezing. Good thing I have two other backups.

Nice to not actually loose the data, even though I could always buy it again. I may rethink my backup strategy, but I REALLY don't want to raid or dup data.

Last edited by bryce0lynch; 01-07-13 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Oops! FOrgot to thank!
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Old 01-07-13, 01:16 PM
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Re: ext4 hard drive failing. Resources?

Sorry, I wasn't thinking linux (I never do)

it's good you were able to get the data

one tool that I have had good luck with is Hard Drive Regenerator

http://www.dposoft.net/

but the use of it does conflict with a drive that has heat problems, running this software will heat up the drive a lot If you can rig something to keep the drive cool while this is running, it might help get the one pictures directory back that is now uncopyable. Since you have a backup of that, it doesn't hurt to play around.

Sometimes even a small desk fan blowing on the drive is a huge help

maybe use an online backup service as the backup's backup
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