Imaging a failing hard drive in pieces, because the drive only works for short periods of time

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Keefe8@gmail.com, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Guest

    My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and copy
    files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image it
    instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.

    Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    windows computer over ethernet).

    Thanks in advance!
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. Al Moran Guest

    On 23 Oct 2005 10:46:29 -0700, wrote:

    >My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    >an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    >connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    >periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and copy
    >files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image it
    >instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    >pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    >canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    >programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    >but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.
    >
    >Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    >linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    >windows computer over ethernet).
    >
    >Thanks in advance!


    Try wrapping it in a plastic bag and putting it in a freezer for a
    couple of hours, then see how long it will allow you to copy before it
    craps out.
     
    Al Moran, Oct 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. Trax Guest

    Al Moran <> wrote:

    |>On 23 Oct 2005 10:46:29 -0700, wrote:
    |>
    |>>My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    |>>an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    |>>connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    |>>periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and copy
    |>>files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image it
    |>>instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    |>>pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    |>>canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    |>>programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    |>>but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.
    |>>
    |>>Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    |>>linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    |>>windows computer over ethernet).


    |>Try wrapping it in a plastic bag and putting it in a freezer for a
    |>couple of hours, then see how long it will allow you to copy before it
    |>craps out.

    That would be my suggestion as well http://tinyurl.com/8mf7d



    --
    http://www.crazyhamzters.com/flash/cunningstunt.html
     
    Trax, Oct 23, 2005
    #3
  4. 7 Guest

    wrote:

    > My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    > an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    > connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    > periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and copy
    > files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image it
    > instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    > pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    > canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    > programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    > but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.
    >
    > Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    > linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    > windows computer over ethernet).
    >
    > Thanks in advance!



    The dd command in knoppix will copy out one sector out at a time.
    You can boot up knoppix, and inside konqueror web browser type man:dd
    to get instructions or just google. You can also compress on the fly
    by piping it into gzip. Again google for all the variants of the
    commands.
     
    7, Oct 23, 2005
    #4
  5. Guest

    I have tried putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, but it didn't
    improve. I have heard that the freezer trick will ruin the drive and
    should only be used as a last resort. I suppose I am at that point, but
    I hesitate to do something that could ruin it when there is still hope
    of imaging it piece by piece as it is. I'll look some more into making
    a program myself, and continue to check here in case someone knows of
    one already. Thanks for the response!
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #5
  6. dadiOH Guest

    wrote:
    > My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    > an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    > connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    > periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and
    > copy files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image
    > it instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    > pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    > canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    > programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    > but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.
    >
    > Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    > linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    > windows computer over ethernet).


    Karen's Replicator might be useful to you. While not strictly an
    "imager" in the sector by sector sense, it *will* copy everything on a
    drive to wherever.

    The reason I think it might work for you is that the copy job parameters
    can be set in various ways; for example, "copy only if changed". If it
    was busy copying and the source drive bombed, the next time you ran the
    job it wouldn't copy the files already existing on the destination.
    True, it would compare the size and/or date to the source but that is a
    lot faster than copying.

    The destination drive can later be copied to a new drive (once formatted
    and with boot files) and that new drive will be exactly as the old, bad
    one was.

    http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp



    --
    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Guest

    That sounds like a good idea. The only possible negative to copying the
    files instead of the sectors, is file copying (especially when copying
    many small files, or from a badly fragmented partition like mine) is
    slower and requires alot of head seeking which may be hard on the
    drive. But I will seriously consider Replicator. Thanks!
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #7
  8. Guest

    I missed your post at first. But that sounds very good. Can dd copy
    sector ranges, so when the drive quits, I can restart the copying from
    where it left off? Or will it only do all or nothing? I'll go check it
    out now. Oh, I almost forgot, I tried once to use a hard drive in my
    usb enclosure in knoppix, but I couldn't find it in konqueror. Maybe
    knoppix didn't automatically notice the drive and mount it? But I don't
    know how to mount it manually. I don't know what a usb drive would be
    called, like /dev/ something. I'll go google for using usb drives in
    linux...
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #8
  9. 7 Guest

    wrote:

    > I missed your post at first. But that sounds very good. Can dd copy
    > sector ranges, so when the drive quits, I can restart the copying from
    > where it left off? Or will it only do all or nothing?


    Yes the sector range can be given.

    > I'll go check it
    > out now. Oh, I almost forgot, I tried once to use a hard drive in my
    > usb enclosure in knoppix, but I couldn't find it in konqueror. Maybe
    > knoppix didn't automatically notice the drive and mount it? But I don't
    > know how to mount it manually. I don't know what a usb drive would be
    > called, like /dev/ something. I'll go google for using usb drives in
    > linux...


    /dev/sda1 is usual for usb disks.

    But it should be on your desktop after booting - sometimes a delay
    as it does it auto detect.
    If no luck, try also DSL or Mepis - those I have working without any hassle.
    http://www.livecdlist.com
     
    7, Oct 23, 2005
    #9
  10. Trax Guest

    wrote:

    |>I have tried putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, but it didn't
    |>improve. I have heard that the freezer trick will ruin the drive and
    |>should only be used as a last resort. I suppose I am at that point, but
    |>I hesitate to do something that could ruin it when there is still hope
    |>of imaging it piece by piece as it is. I'll look some more into making
    |>a program myself, and continue to check here in case someone knows of
    |>one already. Thanks for the response!

    I've always seen this as a nondestructive approach, yet one of last
    resort .

    The reason for the plastic bag is to keep condensation from the drive,
    and the cold just reduces tolerances of the drive.


    --
    http://media.putfile.com/HotChick
     
    Trax, Oct 23, 2005
    #10
  11. GHalleck Guest

    Re: Imaging a failing hard drive in pieces, because the drive onlyworks for short periods of time

    wrote:

    > I have tried putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, but it didn't
    > improve. I have heard that the freezer trick will ruin the drive and
    > should only be used as a last resort. I suppose I am at that point, but
    > I hesitate to do something that could ruin it when there is still hope
    > of imaging it piece by piece as it is. I'll look some more into making
    > a program myself, and continue to check here in case someone knows of
    > one already. Thanks for the response!
    >


    If everything important has been backed up, viz., data files,
    text files, pictures, etc., then why waste time. Time to replace
    the HD and do a fresh install. Really too late to make an image,
    even piece-by-piece...really expect the HD to hold together for
    n-number of restarts?
     
    GHalleck, Oct 23, 2005
    #11
  12. dadiOH Guest

    Trax wrote:
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> I have tried putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, but it
    >>> didn't improve. I have heard that the freezer trick will ruin the
    >>> drive and should only be used as a last resort. I suppose I am at
    >>> that point, but I hesitate to do something that could ruin it when
    >>> there is still hope of imaging it piece by piece as it is. I'll
    >>> look some more into making a program myself, and continue to check
    >>> here in case someone knows of one already. Thanks for the response!

    >
    > I've always seen this as a nondestructive approach, yet one of last
    > resort .
    >
    > The reason for the plastic bag is to keep condensation from the drive,
    > and the cold just reduces tolerances of the drive.


    Trouble is, as soon as you open the bag to hook up the drive all the
    condensation in the world settles on the drive.


    --
    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Oct 23, 2005
    #12
  13. Guest

    True, I have already copied off my most important files, but it will
    still take alot of time to rebuild if I can't image it. I have alot of
    programs installed and configured. I really regret not having imaged it
    periodically before this happened, of course. I'll be better about
    backups from now on. And no, I'm not sure if it will survive long
    enough, but I'm willing to at least try.
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #13
  14. Guest

    But the cold may make the bearings more sticky. I might try it if all
    else fails though.
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #14
  15. Guest

    Yes, that concerns me too.
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #15
  16. Guest

    I didn't think of scsi emulation. I haven't got the chance to try
    knoppix yet, but as soon as i do, I'll try that.
     
    , Oct 23, 2005
    #16
  17. Trax Guest

    "dadiOH" <> wrote:

    |>Trax wrote:
    |>> wrote:
    |>>
    |>>>> I have tried putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, but it
    |>>>> didn't improve. I have heard that the freezer trick will ruin the
    |>>>> drive and should only be used as a last resort. I suppose I am at
    |>>>> that point, but I hesitate to do something that could ruin it when
    |>>>> there is still hope of imaging it piece by piece as it is. I'll
    |>>>> look some more into making a program myself, and continue to check
    |>>>> here in case someone knows of one already. Thanks for the response!

    |>> I've always seen this as a nondestructive approach, yet one of last
    |>> resort .
    |>>
    |>> The reason for the plastic bag is to keep condensation from the drive,
    |>> and the cold just reduces tolerances of the drive.

    |>Trouble is, as soon as you open the bag to hook up the drive all the
    |>condensation in the world settles on the drive.

    <G> Bags not for the freezer. The drive would be enclosed in the
    plastic with the cable protruding and all openings seal'd.

    Pull it out, plug it in, and words to your deity doesn't hurt.



    --
    http://media.putfile.com/HotChick
     
    Trax, Oct 23, 2005
    #17
  18. GHalleck Guest

    Re: Imaging a failing hard drive in pieces, because the drive onlyworks for short periods of time

    wrote:

    > Yes, that concerns me too.
    >


    Old-time photographer's trick. The condensation is on the
    outside, where it belongs, and not on the inside. It was
    primarily a technique to prevent condensation on the inside
    of lenses, range-finder prisms, etc. Take a soft, absorbent
    cloth and dry off the condensation and everything will be
    fine.

    BTW, good luck on your imaging attempt.
     
    GHalleck, Oct 23, 2005
    #18
  19. The Shed Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My laptop's hard drive's bearings are failing and I would like to make
    > an image of it before I replace it. I have taken the drive out and
    > connected it to another computer through a usb enclosure. For short
    > periods of time (a few minutes at a time) I can read the drive and
    > copy
    > files (although slowly, at only 1MB/s). I'd like to try to image it
    > instead, but I don't know of any imaging programs that can do it in
    > pieces, and can handle the drive quitting periodically, without
    > canceling and dumping the image and making me start over. I am a
    > programmer and am considering making a program to image it in pieces,
    > but I know it will take me alot of time to make it.
    >
    > Does anyone know of a drive imager that can do what I need? I can use
    > linux if necessary (a Knoppix live-cd, sending the data to another
    > windows computer over ethernet).
    >
    > Thanks in advance!
    >


    Do not mess about--you know what you need from the drive? yes?---an
    image is everything--OS blank space etall.
    Grab data as you can see it--not the os stuff--your saved files.
    I am suprised as a programer you have not backed it up,and there is no
    need to make a prog to do this,comercialy available and freeware.
    When you can acess the drive ,copy evrything that you need--even if it
    is slow--just do it.Messing with it could mean you have one less chance.
    Freezing the drive is an option as mentioned by other posters,not a few
    minutes tho,24HRS,leave the lead connected also---out of
    freezer/boot/grab files---time is of the essence--minutes count here,so
    ensure you have a system ready for imediate copying-----not trying to
    teach you to suck eggs but you need to hook the drive up in minutes
    after removal from freezer,not as a friend did,froze overnight,put in
    pocket,went to work,then tried some 2hrs later.
     
    The Shed, Oct 24, 2005
    #19
  20. Guest

    Data isn't the issue. I had a month old backup, and when the drive
    started really failing, the very first thing I did was backup all my
    data again. It is the OS and programs that I don't want to reinstall
    and reconfigure, although I can since I have all the CDs and most of
    the downloaded installers. So I hope to image the system partition (I
    had 2 partitions, the other with data) to avoid all the time and effort
    of rebuilding. Since I had resized the system partition down to minimal
    free space, the image won't be much bigger than the contained files. As
    for already available drive image software, AFAIK they can only image
    the drive as a whole and if the drive won't last more than a few
    minutes at a time, they won't be able to complete the image in one the
    session. But I am hopeful about knoppix's dd. I'll also try the freezer
    trick (and sealing the drive with the cable in a bag, and leaving it
    for 24hr).

    I have had to work on other projects today so haven't got a chance to
    try all the ideas you all have given me. But I really appreciate all
    the quick help! This was my first time asking for help on usenet.
    Google groups is very easy to use.
     
    , Oct 24, 2005
    #20
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