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 Post subject: DDrescue stalling - Need Help
PostPosted: January 10th, 2018, 23:24 

Joined: January 10th, 2018, 23:22
Posts: 1
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

I am quite new to this recovery stuff so please go easy...I'm in need of some direction in order to continue rescuing my data. Sorry for the long post, I have numbered the questions throughout to help with potential response.

Not long ago, I had a mishap with an external Seagate drive that contained essentially all my family photos and videos. The drive hit the carpeted floor from about 18" while it was spinning. Apparently that was enough to do it in. With the assumption that the heads were damaged and after pricing out data recovery services involving internal hardware repair, I decided I couldn't afford to go that route. So I went the DIY route.

After removing the drive from it's enclosure and obtaining the pertinent info off the drive label, I sourced a donor on eBay and went to work. After performing a head stack swap in a hepa clean air environment, I proceeded with using GNU ddrescue via System Rescue CD. So far I have been able to get to approximately 40% rescued according to to ddrescue. Though, I seem to be hitting a bit of a road block. After starting ddrescue, it will run for an arbitrary length of time before the 'current rate' drops to zero. I can get things going again by using Ctrl-C and disconnecting and reconnecting the source drive SATA cable, then checking with probe simple to make sure the disk label didn't change, and finally restarting the process.

Sometimes I can get through a few hours of success before this happens, sometimes only minutes. From reading around on different forums, it seems there is no command to power cycle the source drive on the software side of things. Short of sitting at my desk and power cycling this thing for the next month, I don't know what to do about this.

1. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might mitigate this issue?

Another thing is this...there is only one folder that I really have any interest in rescuing. Before attempting the rescue I mounted the drive to test it for a moment and found that I could view the folder structure and I could see the folder I need. (Photos and Videos)

2. Is there a way to only focus on this section of the disk during the operation?

After making it this far I also realized that I should have potentially been using the disk labels to do the recovery as opposed to the device label (individual partitions). Although, I think I may be okay so far? As I have been reading a partition and writing to a partition.

3. Will I need to rescue the first partition also? Or is that unnecessary?

I have seen that there is a firmware section on this site. This isn't something I have really looked into, as I attempted to source a donor drive that is as close to the original drive as possible. Paying close attention to the variables in the firmware numbers, serial numbers, site codes, heads map, etc...

4. Is it possible to flash a firmware that would allow for better compatibility between the original drive and the replacement heads?

5. Lastly, once I have recovered as much data as I think I will be able to obtain. Is it okay to view the contents of the new disk on a Windows OS? After viewing, can I continue a rescue attempt? Basically, what is the safest way to view the progress I have made with out messing up the ability to continue recovery?

Any information is much appreciated. I have made it this far and would hate to fail at this point.

Thank you.

20170621_120149.jpg [ 4.73 MiB | Viewed 222 times ]
 Post subject: Re: DDrescue stalling - Need Help
PostPosted: January 12th, 2018, 14:57 

Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
Posts: 323
Location: United States
Before I answer any of the questions, I would like to point out that the non-trimmed size seems very high, and it is not a good ratio compared to the amount rescued. I would not give this a high success rate.

1) Without an expensive hardware imager, your only hope for automatic power cycles is some sort of relay setup, along with software to control the relay, and also write a script to control ddrescue and the relay.

2) There is one (complicated) possibility here for targeting specific files using ddrescue: ... /e17d000c/

3) You should not need to recover the first partition to recover data from the second partition. Your biggest concern is that if the drive degrades and becomes unable to retrieve the partition information, you will no longer be able to clone it as you are, since you are cloning a partition instead of the whole drive.

4) NO!!! Don't even think about trying to update the firmware, you would most likely kill the drive in the condition it is in.

5) The best idea is to use some method that mounts the partition as read only. You can do this in Linux with a loop device. Letting Windows have direct access would be a last resort. You don't want it making any changes to your only rescue copy. If you had a third drive large enough and made a copy of the clone, that would be safe as long as you keep the original copy unaltered. But that would be a task with a 4TB drive.

Good luck

 Post subject: Re: DDrescue stalling - Need Help
PostPosted: January 12th, 2018, 15:27 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:49
Posts: 8373
Location: Portugal
And to add to all that was stated already if it's a SEAGATE drive you might be able to maximize the chances of recovery if you disable background processes like defect managment and relocation, etc ....

You can do that using a TTL adaptor like this -

Plug it like this -

And issue ONLY the following commands : ... =60#p10834

If you are lucky you will be able to clone the drive without it getting off-line and without the need of power cycle it ....

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