Question Universal method to check HDDs and how to retrieve data from cloned HDD

Niva_v_kopirce

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Dec 18, 2019
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I needed to recover some data from failing HDD, and I chose bad approach at first, maybe damaging HDD even more, but I managed to run ddrescue after all (used ddrescue -d -n -R /dev/sdc /dev/sdb mapfile) and now I am cloning that HDD to another one. I used -n to get all non damaged data I can and then I want to try -r to get something from damaged data. However I am not sure I understand how this works, and I am not sure whether it can corrupt cloned data on new HDD, or does it add those damaged data to new HDD? Then I wonder how will I get the data from cloned disk. I want to create copy (maybe image?) of the new cloned disk (or its data) and try to get as much data as possible. There are lots of guidlines on how to clone or copy, but can't fin anything on how to retrieve data back. Just mentioning that I am using SystemRescue copied to RAM on laptop.

For the first part of subject: I have some other HDDs at home salvaged from laptops or not working external HDDs, is there any possible universal way to check them or fix them eventually? I don't need any data from them also I don't mind if they get damaged in the process, I can salvage parts from them eventually.
For instance few of them cannot be opened in Windows, however I am able to disable automount so they won't be mounted automatically, but I don't know how to proceed, what to use to check them if they usually stuck any software loading HDDs, possibly try to fix them? Some of them may be possibly damaged physically and I know I shouldn't use chkdsk probably?

Thank you for any advice.
 

Niva_v_kopirce

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Dec 18, 2019
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Exactly, it's 100% copy....When starting ddrescue, the failing hard drive was inaccessible, so I am worried that if there were any issues with partitions or somehow corrupted file system it will be "transferred" onto new hard drive.

Well they are not all failing, but some are old, and I would like to "clean" them, do something like factory reset and check them.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Exactly, it's 100% copy....When starting ddrescue, the failing hard drive was inaccessible, so I am worried that if there were any issues with partitions or somehow corrupted file system it will be "transferred" onto new hard drive.

Well they are not all failing, but some are old, and I would like to "clean" them, do something like factory reset and check them.
ddrescue makes multiple attempts to gather the entire contents of a sector or block.
If it works, great.
If it fails to fully gather some section of data...there really isn't much you can do. That data was already gone.

It won't physically berak the new drive, just that the data may not be fully readable.

For the physical drives?
Possibly commandline function diskpart, and the clean command. Wipe everything on it and start with a blank slate.
Again, if it works, great. Otherwise, fridge magnet donors.
 

Niva_v_kopirce

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Dec 18, 2019
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Thanks, so if I understand correctly, when diskpart is unable to work with that disk, it's most likely physically damaged? Some disks, freeze any software and also diskpart when trying to mount after making partition and attaching letter.
 

USAFRet

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Thanks, so if I understand correctly, when diskpart is unable to work with that disk, it's most likely physically damaged? Some disks, freeze any software and also diskpart when trying to mount after making partition and attaching letter.
Yeah, pretty much.

HDDs are physical devices with multiple moving parts in very tight clearances.
They fail.
 

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