Need help recovering from hard disk failure

John Hubbard ender8282 at
Thu Oct 9 22:32:12 UTC 2008

John Hubbard wrote:
> My machine (running 8.04.1) has 3 hard drives.  Two drives are formated 
> with LVM and are mounted as /srv.  The other drive has /boot, /home, 
> swap, and /.  One of the LVM drives failed.  (I get a S.M.A.R.T BAD 
> during BIOS check.)  When ubuntu boots (either recovery mode, or 
> standard boot) eventually kicks me to busy box.  tty1 gives me some 
> error messages:
> Unless someone has suggestions I was going to boot to a live cd, try to 
> copy as much as I can to a USB hd, and then reinstall.  I already have a 
> replacement hard drive to put in.
> If I used gparted to set up the replacement drive can I put its uuid 
> into /etc/fstab and 'fix' everything?  If so how do I identify its uuid? 
OK so I was completely wrong with what the problem was. The drive that 
fails the S.M.A.R.T test didn't have any problems. I booted to live and 
was able to copy the entire drive to its replacement with ddrescue. 
There were no errors. Both my /home and / partitions had problems. I 
couldn't copy them to my usb drive. I had to fsck both of them. After 
running fsck on both partitions I was able to mount them. (Just to be 
safe I mounted read only). When I rebooted the system came up more or 
less as expected. There was some lost information in my home directory 
but I was able to recover everything from backup.

Thanks for the information about ddrescue. I always enjoy finding out 
about low level tools that can utterly and completely destroy my system ;).

Also any idea why freezing a hard drive would help you recover the data 
off of it. There are relationships between temperature and conductivity. 
Is that the cause?


To be or not to be, that is the question
                2b || !2b
(0b10)*(0b1100010) || !(0b10)*(0b1100010)
        0b11000100 || !0b11000100
        0b11000100 || 0b00111011
        255, that is the answer.

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