How do I backup a failing disk?

cn flag

I'm trying to recover some information on a failing disk. At this point, it won't let me log in(asks for a manual fsck run which gets stuck during runtime). I'm guessing I can access some of the files using a recovery disk. How do I proceed from there on?

Paul avatar
us flag
Mount the disk to a running OS. Sometimes the only option may be a live USB with separate USB media to transfer files to. Plan on no more than one more successful boot before you are sending off to the recovery service.
Onlyartist9 avatar
cn flag
@Paul So how exactly do I transfer the files? Let's say I've booted into a live USB. How would I recover the files given that I have external storage.
hu flag
There is no sure way to backup a falty HDD. Try to mount as 'read only' and see if it is possible to copy anything. Use `ddrescue`.
guiverc avatar
cn flag
As already stated, there is no sure way to get data off a failing disk. I'd for sure not try and run it (ie. do **not** try and boot it), do all exploration from *live* media, and firstly validate the health using SMART (it uses the electronics on the drive for data, so won't impact remaining life; then I'd copy what matters most to other media; then use tools to try & get it all... but concentrate on most-critical data first. Recovery is not fast.
cn flag

You shoudl try to clone the disk using ddrescue as described here Once it's done, remove the original disk and run TestDisk, Advanced, Boot, RebuildBS, List. If you can see your files, choose Write, confirm, Quit and restart your computer.


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