salvaging a dying hard disk

Doug dmcgarrett at
Wed Jul 27 16:04:56 UTC 2011

On 07/27/2011 11:26 AM, Curt wrote:
> On 07/27/2011 09:55 AM, nathan nolast wrote:
>> is the drive an internal drive or an external drive? have you tried 
>> any of the "put your hard drive in the freezer" tricks?
> It is an internal drive. However I do have a USB/SATA adapter I could 
> try. not sure if that would make a difference or not.
> Haven't tried the freezer trick yet.
>> have you tried to mount the drive from terminal? from my 
>> understanding there is a force mount option "-o force"
> I hadn't but now I have...
> Since the disk that shows is /dev/sda I guess it's reasonable to 
> assume the other one is /dev/sdb. I made a dir "sickdisk" and tried 
> "sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/sdb /media/sickdisk" (without -o force) but 
> the terminal responded "special device /dev/sdb does not exist" .... 
> and with the -o force option, it returned:
> ">" only.
> I've unmounted /dev/sda but find that both drives feel like they are 
> spinning.
> Maybe there's some other problem?
>> On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 10:48 AM, CJ <ctres at 
>> <mailto:ctres at>> wrote:
>>     I'm attempting to save some data - not necessarily all - from a
>>     disk that is failing or possibly I'm afraid already dead and gone.
>>     I've attached it along with a good drive to one machine and
>>     booted into an Ubuntu live disk. The good disk shows up (sudo
>>     fdisk -l) but the other does not appear.
>>     Am I sol at this point or is there a way to force the drive to
>>     appear?
>>     -- 
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>> Thank you for your time
>> ~Nathan
>> nathan1465 at <mailto:nathan1465 at>
There are some utilities that run on Windows.  I don't remember their 
names.  One of my office mates (when I was still working--
that's about 10 years ago--found one that he swore that "If the disk 
turns, it will read it."  And it did. Don't know if you
have Windows, or if the program will read anything but NTFS, but that's 
where I would look first.  --doug

Blessed are the peacemakers...for they shall be shot at from both sides. --A. M. Greeley

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