I'm offering my advice on the basis that I'm not a hard drive guru, so
As regards reputable disk manufacturers, I believe Seagate have the
longest warrantly in the market at the moment. Seagate used to be
the gold standard, but some of the larger (>1TB) 7200.11 drives have had
firmware bugs which caused data corruption as of late last year.
Conversely, Western Digital used to have a reputation for cheap and
cheerful drives, but I've been hearing very good reports on their quality
As regards recovery of your original drive(s), it depends on whether your
issues are a result of
(a) bad/marginal sectors; or
(b) actual electronic logic board problems or mechanical drive problems.
If you have logic board problems or mechanical problems (crashed heads,
dodgy servo motors, scratchy noises from the drive platters), then hammer
a few nails into it and toss the drive into WEEE recycling :-)
If it is (a), you could try dd_rescue
(http://www.garloff.de/kurt/linux/ddrescue/) / ddrescue
or dd_rhelp (http://www.kalysto.org/utilities/dd_rhelp/index.en.html)
Spinrite (proprietry, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpinRite) claims
to be able to refresh the magnetic flux on a drive through a process of
repeatedly reading the same sector, coming at it from other different
sectors on the disk (and thus at slightly different velocities) - and
using some form of heuristics to recover data that passes the ECC. it
also claims to help the drive identify dodgy sectors by drawing attention
to them early, allowing the driver to swap them with those in its
Can see how it *might work*, but have no idea if it works in reality, or
if this is really just marketing speak.
Scott Moulton has a good site with detailed information on how actual
drive recovery is performed by professional consultants -
On Mon, 25 May 2009, Brian
> this is on an exclusively-Linux system....
>> my old/original hard disc seems to have gone kaput in that
> when I boot-up there are loads of errors. this is not any
> big deal, since (1) my "live" system+data is on the 2nd
> disc; and (2) I have a full backup of the dead disc.
>> (what I don't have is a suitably recent backup of my live
> 2nd drive! ;-\ )
>> anyways, before I remove the dead drive (to be, I presume,
> replaced with another) is there anything I could try to
> backup it up one more time (strictly as a precaution)?
>> alternatively, after I remove but before I smash it into
> tiny bits (for security), is there anything I could try?
>> it's a 40GB ATA unit (c.7 years old). the errors I'm
> getting are not too informative:
>> kernel: end_request: I/O error, dev hda, sector 4
> kernel: Buffer I/O error on device hda, logical block 2
>> for more-or-less any sector / logical block values.
>> looking back over the logs, there seem to be hints from
> SMART that both(!) drives are failing. this isn't too
> surprising, since both are old (the 2nd live unit is now
> c.4 years old).
>> also, any recommend/reputable on-line suppliers of ATA
> hard discs (who will ship to France)?
> “How many surrealists does it take to | Brian Foster
> change a lightbulb? Three. One calms | somewhere in south of France
> the warthog, and two fill the bathtub | Stop E$$o (ExxonMobil)!
> with brightly-coloured machine tools.” | http://www.stopesso.com> --
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