[SATLUG] OT: Hard Drive Failure

Don Wright wmail at wricomp.com
Wed Feb 13 20:44:55 CST 2008

On Tue, 12 Feb 2008 22:32:35 -0600, "Matt Kinsel" <mkinsel at gmail.com>

>I have a Western Digital external hard drive (connects to our network via
>Ethernet), and it started making a whir-click sound today and has become

Don't think I've seen anyone mention removing the drive from the
external case and trying it as a secondary in the PC under Linux.

To summarize several posts:
 * Alan's cautionary tale is a good enough reason not to let Windows
anywhere near a non-empty drive - ever. 
 * Linux drive utilities should be safe. If they can't see any
partitions they won't assume anything. GParted Live CD or Puppy might be
easiest to try first.
 * Spinrite should be safe, but won't work if the hardware is bad.
 * Swapping drive electronics is one of the tricks of data recovery
companies. So is chilling the drive inside a zipper bag (to minimize
 * Copy sectors with dd before trying any destructive modifications to
the data, such as most partition recovery utilities. Work on the copy if
at all possible.
 * Plan to replace the drive even if it tests good under Linux. You'll
always have that nagging doubt about data safety.

Good luck.  --Don

Any Disaster Recovery Plan that omits a budget for pizza 
is most likely incomplete in other areas.

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