[vcf-midatlantic] OT: Hard Drive Data recovery using DDRescue

Jeffrey Brace jeffrey at vcfed.org
Wed Jul 15 01:35:58 EDT 2020

So I knew that DD Rescue on Linux was good at data recovery, but it has
been a long time since I have used it so I'm just a beginner. Ian has used
it a lot and knows lots of tricks to maximizing data recovery from
hard drives. I have a hard drive that was with my desktop since 2011, so it
has seen a lot of use. It is in the process of failing.

Ian used the command like this: ddrescue -v -v -d /dev/sde3 salvage.img

He can explain a little better about what it is doing with these switches,
but this way you can stop the process and pick up where you left off and it
will continue. It uses the log file to keep track of things.

So I ran the process which took about 36 hours or so. In the end I
recovered 99.99% of my data with 40MB lost. Pretty amazing! It recovered
almost all of the 1.4 Terabytes of data with about 40MB of sectors with
errors.  Pretty amazing!

To recover a little about another 3MB of data, I had to unplug and
restart the drive because it seemed to lock up. Then I ran another command
to work from the end of the disk going backwards and to try 5 times to
recover as much data as possible that had errors in the sectors. This was
the command used: ddrescue -v -v -d -r5 -R /dev/sde3 salvage.img

On the windows 10 side I used OSFMount to mount the image and then copy to
another hard drive.

Thanks to Ian for helping me with the commands and to Jonthan Sturges for
lending the cable to connect to my computer. I would have lost it all
without your help. It's truly amazing!

Other commands used were:
mkdir /mnt/test
mount -o loop,ro salvage.img /mnt/test

Maybe Ian can fill in more details about the process.

Jeff Brace
Vice President & Board Member, VCF East Showrunner
Vintage Computer Federation
jeffrey at vcfed.org

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