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View Full Version : HD Crashes Thank God for Linux!!



Lito
11-07-2006, 11:15 AM
Well yesterday morning before the 9.2 OB release, my Work Drive crashed. Checked it with chkdsk but it said it had errors then it would just quit out with an unknown error during the check!!! Windows happily complained that the disk was not formatted and wanted me to format it when I tried to access the disk. I was thinking I lost all the data on the drive but good thing I don't give up that easily. Well Linux came to my rescue and allowed me to not only mount the broken NTFS HD but it let me recover almost all the data.

Now here is a weird thing. Since I recovered all the files I could under linux I decided to try booting my BartPE recovery disc and it has a chkdsk utility in it. I decided to run it since I had really nothing more I could lose. I figured the chkdsk would just crap out like the one I ran under windows safemode, but it is still running and it actually sounds like it is working. I didn't expect the chkdsks to be different since BartPE is made from the same WinXP install disc I installed my computer with. Well it's still chugging along now and it looks like it's going to take a long while.

So anyone out there listening to this minor rant, get yourself a copy of unbuntu(6.06.1) and knoppix(5.01) linux and make yourself a bartPE disc ( http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ ). You may not need it now, but it might just save your butt one day. All the tools are free too, just costs you a couple of CD-R's and/or DVD-R's to burn the images too. :)

lilrayray77
11-07-2006, 11:35 AM
Yeah, Linux can do some pretty amazing stuff. I had a hard disk hit by an electrical storm. Windows wouldnt boot, nor would it reformat. I did some scans and the said that my hard disk was physicaly damaged. I sayed "what the heck" and tryed reformatting and and installing ubuntu on the HDD. Ubuntu ran just fine and I was up and running Ubuntu within 10 minutes. Now I still bought a new HD for windows, but I certainly now dont regret forgeting to install the surge protector...

starbase1
11-08-2006, 03:42 AM
Yep, my windows system FUBAR'ed itself a couple of months back. Suse Linux cover disk came up fine and identifed the hardware etc.

A linux recovery disk is a VERY good idea!

LW_jackn
02-20-2007, 08:53 AM
It's a cheap way to ghost drives too! :D

DD is king!

starbase1
02-20-2007, 11:02 AM
It's a cheap way to ghost drives too! :D

DD is king!

What do you mean?

mattclary
02-20-2007, 01:28 PM
get yourself a copy of unbuntu(6.06.1) and knoppix(5.01) linux

Why not 6.10 Ubuntu? And do you need both Ubuntu and Knoppix?

Phil
02-20-2007, 01:41 PM
What do you mean?

dd is a GNU tool that allows you to read or write byte-by-byte to block devices.

e.g.

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/dev/null bs=1024

will dump the contents of the device at /dev/cdrom to /dev/null in chunks of 1024 bytes. I chose a safe and useless example in case someone typed it in directly.

By doing something like this with hard disks, you can create disk images on the cheap. It won't help (I think) with copy protected disks (e.g. game CDs) because they report read errors, although I have never tried. CloneCD was good at that and saved me a lot of money during my relocation to Dresden from Glasgow (a few damaged disks in shipping, which I had backed up before hand).

Riplakish
02-20-2007, 06:23 PM
Yeah, Linux can do some pretty amazing stuff. I had a hard disk hit by an electrical storm. Windows wouldnt boot, nor would it reformat. I did some scans and the said that my hard disk was physicaly damaged. I sayed "what the heck" and tryed reformatting and and installing ubuntu on the HDD. Ubuntu ran just fine and I was up and running Ubuntu within 10 minutes. Now I still bought a new HD for windows, but I certainly now dont regret forgeting to install the surge protector...

This is voodoo.

Most Unix newfs tools don't touch all of the sectors, and writing to the drive will invoke bad block remapping. If you have enough replacement blocks, the drive will appear to be fine again, although, as Windows noted, the original block(s) was(were) bad. You can get the same effect by having the BIOS or drive manufacturer utility write zeros to the entire disk, and in many cases, having Windows rewrite the "bad" sectors.

Linux can't magically "save" drives.

LW_jackn
02-20-2007, 11:06 PM
...Linux can't magically "save" drives.

True, but it sure is a lot more helpful than Windows is sometimes...

:D