Recovering files from a failing external disk drive

Stuart Jansen sjansen at
Mon Jan 12 11:22:38 MST 2009

On Mon, 2009-01-12 at 11:00 -0700, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> My sister-in-law has a 500GB external USB enclosed SATA hard disk.  This 
> has all of her family photos.  The disk is failing (bad sectors).  Is 
> there any way to recover as many files as possible?

For future reference, before trying _anything_ with a failed disk, it is
best to make a binary copy and work with that instead. Unfortunately, dd
isn't very robust when it hits bad sectors. Instead, dd_rescue is a
better choice:

I've never had to deal with this problem personally. A friend, Joseph
Hall, had good luck with PhotoRec.

When you tell me I should give proprietary software a fair technical
evaluation because its features are so nice, what you are actually doing
is saying "Look at the shine on those manacles!" to someone who
remembers feeling like a slave. -- Eric S. Raymond

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