Recover files from failing drive

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Doranwen
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Recover files from failing drive

Postby Doranwen » Fri May 19, 2017 11:08 am

My main OS drive suddenly decided to die and threw up tons of errors. I keep backups but mine got a few months old in this case because I've had so much going on this spring. :( So there's quite a few files I want to retrieve if possible. I booted off a live dvd and attempted to copy some of the new files over to the backup drives that way. I was able to copy some, but some of the folders I really wanted, I couldn't, and one whole drive (that I was worried about as well) it doesn't seem to let me copy any files from, even if I open it as an Administrator. It just keeps telling me for those "Permission denied" (though I can see every file on there just fine by browsing!). If I try copying via command-line in the terminal, it just says it's skipping those folders, even with sudo used. Both drives were internal ones, so pulling them out of the tower is not going to be the easiest thing (though I will of course do it when I have something to replace them with).

Any ideas what I can do to recover these files? I've already ordered a replacement drive, but it'll take some days for that to arrive. The current backup drives have room for the specific folders I want but can't handle a full clone of the failing drives--they don't have that much free space.

And is the one drive that I can't seem to access an issue? It wasn't showing me any errors specifically before the whole computer crashed this last time, and it's used for data storage only. How can I tell if that one's failing for sure? I haven't ordered a replacement for it yet because I'm really low on $$ right now and don't want to do it if it's not actually necessary... but if it is, I should.

If it's relevant, that computer had been running Mint 13 but it was slated to be upgraded to 18 as soon as I had a free day to work on it (which was going to be in like three weeks!). So here goes all my weekends and other important projects. :( So the new hdd will be installed with Mint 18 on it and then I'll be moving profile folders over as soon as I can manage that... I have at least done upgrades before so I'm roughly familiar with that process. The live DVD I'm running currently on that system is Mint 17.3 - it was the first one I could find to work with. I do have a spare Mint 13 install to use if I need to burn another DVD or something like that (that one's staying as 13 for Reasons), which is what I'm typing this post on.
Last edited by Doranwen on Fri May 19, 2017 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pierre
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby Pierre » Fri May 19, 2017 11:16 am

that Mint 17x disk will be fine to use,
so boot that & leave you ext usb drive connected,
& copy over as much stuff as you can:
- use the Administrator / Root option if there is any permission issues,

also - - if you can get an 'net connection working, with that Live Disk
- install Gnome Commander from the Package Manager AKA synaptic
that will be somewhat easier to copy files with, as it's a Two Pane program,
which is based upon the old Norton Commander from the days of DOS systems.

- - it won't be permanent & will be lost if you re-boot / shut-down the machine.
and will have to be re-installed, should you wish to use it again.

also: whilst still in the Live Environment - - use the Disks program:
- Accessories - Disks
to check the state of the HDD & it's general condition.

use the hamburger icon in the Top Right corner - Smart Data
Image
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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austin.texas
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby austin.texas » Fri May 19, 2017 11:18 am

It would help to see which drives and partitions you have.
With the backup drive connected, please post the result of

Code: Select all

sudo lsblk -o model,name,size,fstype,label,mountpoint

And tell us which is which...
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Doranwen
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby Doranwen » Fri May 19, 2017 11:44 am

This is what I get when I run that:

Code: Select all

MODEL            NAME     SIZE FSTYPE   LABEL                       MOUNTPOINT
ST2000DM001-1CH1 sda      1.8T                                     
                 └─sda1   1.8T ext4     External                    /media/mint/External
ST2000DM001-1CH1 sdb      1.8T                                     
                 ├─sdb1   476M                                     
                 ├─sdb2     1K                                     
                 ├─sdb5  15.3G swap                                 [SWAP]
                 ├─sdb6  19.1G                                     
                 └─sdb7   1.8T ext4                                 /media/mint/210f9d6f-be2a-44be-ac82-a75e6d8951b6
WDC WD8000AARS-0 sdc    745.2G                                     
                 └─sdc1 745.2G ntfs     TV Shows                   
EZRZ-00WN9B0     sdd      2.7T                                     
                 └─sdd1   2.7T ext4     BigExternal2                /media/mint/BigExternal2
EZRZ-00WN9B0     sde      2.7T                                     
                 └─sde1   2.7T ext4     External2                   /media/mint/External2
HDWD130          sdf      2.7T                                     
                 └─sdf1   2.7T ntfs     Backup2                     /media/mint/Backup2
FANTOM DRIVE     sdg      1.8T                                     
                 └─sdg1   1.8T ntfs     BigExternal                 /media/mint/BigExternal
WDC WD10EARS-00Y sdh    931.5G                                     
                 └─sdh1 931.5G ext4     DVDs                       
001-1CH164       sdi      1.8T                                     
                 └─sdi1   1.8T ntfs     Backup                      /media/mint/Backup
DRW-24B1ST   c   sr0      1.6G iso9660  Linux Mint 17.3 MATE 64-bit /cdrom
DVDRAM GE20LU10  sr1     1024M                                     
                 loop0    1.5G squashfs                             /rofs


The dying OS drive is sdb, obviously, with the home folder being on sdb7 specifically. The other one that's being problematic for backing up files from is the External one. (At one point it was an external drive; I kept the label when I moved it into the tower, hence the confusion of an internal drive being named External, lol.) The Backup drive matches the External, whereas the Backup2 drive is where sdb has been backed up to. My other drives are data storage of various types and I'm not concerned about them right now; they've shown absolutely no signs of having any issues, and the 3TB ones are relatively new, thankfully. (The backup drives are ntfs because I sometimes access them from Windows computers and those don't have native ext3/4 support yet as far as I know.)

And I have tried to copy those files over from folders while opening those folders as Administrator - it still says "Permission denied". That's what puzzles me.
Last edited by Doranwen on Fri May 19, 2017 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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austin.texas
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby austin.texas » Fri May 19, 2017 11:53 am

My guess is that you are trying to copy from sdb7 mounted at /media/mint/210f9d6f-be2a-44be-ac82-a75e6d8951b6 to sda1 mounted at /media/mint/External
If you have a folder you want to copy ("Music" for example) on sdb7, use the command:

Code: Select all

sudo cp -a /media/mint/210f9d6f-be2a-44be-ac82-a75e6d8951b6/Music /media/mint/External/
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Doranwen
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby Doranwen » Fri May 19, 2017 11:58 am

Ah, the -a did the trick. But sadly I get a bunch of Input/Output erors and "failed to extend" and "error reading". Does that mean they're uncopy-able? :(

(I tried the same command for one of the folders on the External drive and that DID work, yay. So I'm not so worried there.) Have to run to work but I'll check back when I get home.

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austin.texas
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby austin.texas » Fri May 19, 2017 12:14 pm

There are a couple of things you can try to hopefully make the process work better.
First, check the SATA connections for that drive. Replacing a SATA cable was the solution for me on one occasion.
Running the live Mint, open Gparted and right-click on the sdb7 partition > Check
That will check and repair the filesystem when possible.
Next, I would use Gparted to reduce the size of sda1 by 30GB or so, so that I could install Mint to that hard drive. Create a ~20GB partition for root and a swap partition.
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Doranwen
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby Doranwen » Fri May 19, 2017 2:11 pm

Pulling that tower out for access is a huge task and better saved for last unless it's a good guarantee that that's the issues. It's buried under a table against the wall with a desk up in front of the table (necessitating moving both!) and is so big that it's hard for me to lift (I've got a small build and not a lot of arm strength or shoulder breadth). I can do it, but barely. I know I'll have to do it when I get a replacement drive, but I've got about a week to wait there. So for now I'm hoping to try things that won't involve pulling it out.

I'll try using Gparted to repair--I'd tried fsck already (it gave me all sorts of alarming info about inode errors). But first I've got to crawl under and see if I can manage to replace the mouse that's plugged in. The current one suddenly quit working entirely so now I have only keyboard access to the live system. :? I've been suspecting that mouse of having issues for a while, though, so it's about time I tried to find another. I might buy one this afternoon to replace it.

So you're pretty sure there's nothing wrong with the External drive? That one I couldn't copy files from unless I used -a in the command, even when I opened it as administrator with the file manager, and there were a good deal of files on there I did not want to lose, so I was going to try to make sure I backed all those up first. I'd hate to install the OS onto External, copy stuff onto it, and then discover that drive crashed, with all my recovered data on it.

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austin.texas
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby austin.texas » Fri May 19, 2017 2:38 pm

The External was not the one you were copying from - it is the one you are copying to. Right?
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Doranwen
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Re: Recover files from failing drive

Postby Doranwen » Fri May 19, 2017 4:17 pm

No, the External was the second drive I was concerned about, because it wouldn't copy from at all without the -a parameter. But when I added that it seemed to work - having the mouse issue has made it hard for me to browse and check, though. I just got home and have to eat and go get some groceries before I can check that.

The drive I was copying to was Backup2 - that's the one that the main OS drive was backed up to. External is backed up to Backup.

Edit: Unplugging that mouse and plugging in a different one seemed to fix it--though perhaps the same would've worked, as I had to unplug and replug the keyboard since suddenly that quit working once the mouse was working, lol. But replugging the same keyboard fixed it. No idea why it freaked out that way.

Anyway, I checked the backup of the folder on External and it did work, so I ran a command to backup one big folder in my collection and it seems to be doing that just fine. I'm hopeful that drive is OK, but I'd rather not turn that one into a Mint install - I'd like it to remain data storage only. Estimated delivery for the new hdd is Tuesday the 23rd so I will hopefully be able to swap out drives then. I also ordered a docking station (a low-cost but highly-rated item so hopefully it'll work well) so I'll have an option besides external enclosures for plugging drives in to test. Perhaps I can use that to help try to retrieve data from the damaged main drive?

I presume that once I do have said drive, the procedure is:
1) pull out old drive and put new one in same place
2) boot off Mint 18.1 disc and install to new drive (with partitioning - I'll have to look into what's the best way to partition these days, but I know I want /home on its own partition)
3) take backup drive and copy over anything I know was perfectly fine and up-to-date
4) drop old drive into docking station and attempt to retrieve the few files/folders that I really want that won't copy off

Anything wrong with my assumptions, or is there something I should be thinking of that I haven't? And are there any other things to try in the meantime before I get the new drive?


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