Urgent! Saving My External Hard Drive!

Hi everyone, I m newbie for HDD data recovery.

I having a urgent issue regarding my external hard drive.
In windows env, when i plug in my external hard drive, it loading very slow and cant open it
but when i move to linux env, hard drive can open and can saw the folder and file list in terminal…but still very slow and when i trying copy out the content it showing my some error like "input/output error"
My hard drive is FAT32 format 500GB

Now I’m watching Level1Linux youtube channel video regarding the "Data Recovery Tutorial - Getting started with DDRescue and TestDisk"
I having some question about the step. I wanted to create a image for my hard drive and using the image to rescue my hard drive data.
here is some question:

  1. which program i should use for rescue my data? DDRescue or TestDisk?
  2. if i got 500GB hard drive, after image created, i need more than 500GB to store image?
  3. after i mount the image, what i need to do to copy out the data or recover it?

Thank you for helping me. :sob:

fat32 on 500GB? mmm nice. sounds like fcken problem already. (pardon the language)

the input/output error sounds like partition table is broken.

I’d would use testdisk, and copy only files you don’t want to loose.
(if everything, then copy everything.) - It shouldn’t require more space.

Next step would be figuring out what is wrong with your drive:

  1. Mechanical Issue?
  2. Chip Issue?
  3. Software Issue? (partition etc)

If either of 2, its garbage.

if partition is your issue you should haven o issues taking off current partition and setting up ntfs or exfat

You can also try to convert the drive to ntfs, its a good take - tho ensure you have backup if data is important.

1 Like

Hi, Thank you for your answer.

For direct convert drive from FAT to NTFS, if will erase all the data inside hard drive?

in addition, how to check what is wrong for my drive?

converting partition if everything is ok with it, won’t result in loss of data. In your case first back up your data, before you attempt it.

on how to recognize type of issues - it would come to your experience as you go about your business. Its hard to state.

Let me try on it 1st.
Thank you for your information.

What you want to do is make an image of the disk with ddrescue, and then attempt to recover the data from the image. If you want to maximise your chances of recovering the data do not try to recover anything directly off the drive, make the image first and mess around with that. Otherwise you’ll just end up breaking it more until you can’t get anything off of it.

1 Like

As @Dexter_Kane said, make a bit-per-bit copy of the HDD and use that to mess around with. If the data is important to you, don’t do anything to the original ever.

I go into these posts and see the same incorrect responses every time.

Nope. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Zero. You’ve done nothing but cloud the issue.

Check the SMART status with Crystal Disk Info or smartmontools (or whatever contemporary linux util for checking drive status)
If the drive is ok. it’s probably bad anyway.
If it’s bad, it’s FOR SURE bad.

regardless, you are living on borrowed time.
Get a replacement drive ASAP and use ddrescue to clone the drive to another drive
don’t get fancy, don’t clone it to a file, don’t fuck around unless you want to lose your data
clone it to another drive immediately. you don’t even have to thank me. thank yourself for taking my advice.

IF you got enough space to do so, id DD an image and take the harddrive out asap.
The fault could be either.
-M$ are retards when it comes to fat32, and insists using ntfs on anything partitioned larger then 32gb(i believe), and some update might broken the support of larger partitions, which renders the whole problem moot(got no idea, i just dont trust M$).
-Or the drive is failing.
If you can read long enough to image it, and id do so and fast.

simply dd if=/dev/drivename of=/location/of/save/file.img.

Once imaged you can mount etc. the image file and do data recovery. But get it done, if anything to save some sleepless nights knowing you got your data imaged.
DD makes a 1 to 1 replica of the drive content on a bit level.

testdisk and such is mostly used for recovering lost data e.g. a lost partition, or accidently deleted files, or equivilent. Albeit it is a godly tool for that, but for this it is wayyyy overkill, and you’ll be puling your grey hairs weeks from now sorting through trash files to find what you need/want.

Is this one of those WD my passport drives?