2 TB external HD does not mount any more. How to save it's data?

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Tue Dec 16 15:07:03 UTC 2014

On Tue, 2014-12-16 at 15:42 +0100, Bas G. Roufs wrote:
> A few years ago, I formatted a 2 TB Western Digital external hard disk formatted into ext4.  
> Ever since then, I have been using it to backup my data. However, ever since a few months, the 
> device is becoming less functional. Now, I do not any more manage to mount it.  On the other 
> hand, the device still does show up via lsusb and GParted. The latter packages mentions 'input-
> output errors' and only sees an 'unallocated' space. 
> It is crystal clear to me that the device needs to be reformatted in order to get it functional 
> again. However, I first need to recover the data. How best to do so?

Actually, it needs to be discarded - with luck you will be able to get
your data off it first. Next time this happens, start recovering the
data as soon as the disk shows the first signs, however small, of
impending failure.

You'll probably have to use something that can read the device directly
- I suggest you take an image copy using something like dd (which can
optionally ignore error) then work on the copy.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

GPG fingerprint: EC67 61E2 C2F6 EB55 884B E129 072B 0AF0 72AA 9882
Old fingerprint: B862 FB15 FE96 4961 BC62 1A40 6239 1208 9865 5F9A

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