Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Save data from failing hard disk on Linux – Rescuing data from failing disk with bad blocks

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

save-data-from-failing-hard-drive-data-recovery-badblocks-linux_1.jpg
Sooner or later your Linux Desktop or Linux server hard drive will start breaking up, whether you have a hardware or software RAID 1, 6 or 10 you can  and good hard disk health monitoring software you can react on time but sometimes as admins we have to take care of old servers which either have RAID 0 or missing RAID configuration and or disk firmware is unable to recognize failing blocks on time and remap them. Thus it is quite useful to have techniques to save data from failing hard disk drives with physical badblocks.

With ddrescue tool there is still hope for your Linux data though disk is full of unrecoverable I/O errors.

apt-cache show ddrescue
 

apt-cache show ddrescue|grep -i description -A 12

Description: copy data from one file or block device to another
 dd_rescue is a tool to help you to save data from crashed
 partition. Like dd, dd_rescue does copy data from one file or
 block device to another. But dd_rescue does not abort on errors
 on the input file (unless you specify a maximum error number).
 It uses two block sizes, a large (soft) block size and a small
 (hard) block size. In case of errors, the size falls back to the
 small one and is promoted again after a while without errors.
 If the copying process is interrupted by the user it is possible
 to continue at any position later. It also does not truncate
 the output file (unless asked to). It allows you to start from
 the end of a file and move backwards as well. dd_rescue does
 not provide character conversions.

 

To use ddrescue for saving data first thing is to shutdown the Linux host boot the system with a Rescue LiveCD like SystemRescueCD – (Linux system rescue disk), Knoppix (Most famous bootable LiveCD / LiveDVD), Ubuntu Rescue Remix or BackTrack LiveCD – (A security centered "hackers" distro which can be used also for forensics and data recovery), then mount the failing disk (I assume disk is still mountable :). Note that it is very important to mount the disk as read only, because any write operation on hard drive increases chance that it completely becomes unusable before saving your data!

To make backup of your whole hard disk data to secondary mounted disk into /mnt/second_disk

# mkdir /mnt/second_disk/rescue
# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/second_disk/rescue
# dd_rescue -d -r 10 /dev/sda1 /mnt/second_disk/rescue/backup.img

# mount -o loop /mnt/second_disk/rescue/backup.img

In above example change /dev/sda2 to whatever your hard drive device is named.

Whether you have already an identical secondary drive attached to the Linux host and you would like to copy whole failing Linux partition (/dev/sda) to the identical drive (/dev/sdb) issue:

ddrescue -d -f -r3 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /media/PNY_usb/rescue.logfile

If you got just a few unreadable files and you would like to recover only them then run ddrescue just on the damaged files:

ddrescue -d –R -r 100 /damaged/disk/some_dir/damaged_file /mnt/secondary_disk/some_dir/recoveredfile

-d instructs to use direct I/O
-R retrims the error area on each retry
-r 100 sets the retry limit to 100 (tries to read data 100 times before resign)

Of course this is not always working as on some HDDs recovery is impossible due to hard physical damages, if above command can't recover a file in 10 attempts it is very likely that it never succeeds …

A small note to make here is that there is another tool dd_rescue (make sure you don't confuse them) – which is also for recovery but GNU ddrescue performs better with recovery.
How ddrescue works is it keeps track of the bad sectors, and go back and try to do a slow read of that data in order to read them.
By the way BSD users would happy to know there is ddrescue port already, so data recovery on BSDs *NIX filesystems if you're a Windows user you can use ddrescue to recover data too via Cygwin.
Of course final data recovery is also very much into God's hands so before launching ddrescue, don't forget to say a prayer 🙂

How to fully recover deleted files on ext3 Debian Linux partition – undelete files from ext3 filesystems with ext3grep

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In order to recover fully data by mistake or on purpose deleted on Debian GNU/Linux there is a tool called ext3grep which is able to completely recover data by innodes.

Recovering the deleted files data is very easy and can be done via some livecd after installing the ext3grep tool.

In my case I used the Back Track Linux distribution to recover my data. Recovery is still in process and it appears all or at least most of my data is about to be recovered.

For the recovery procedure all necessary is an external partition in ext3 or ext3 where the recovered data from the ext3 device can be stored.

My partition was about 20GB and since I had no external hard dive to store the data to I used the sshfs to mount remotely a hard drive via the networking using the sshfs program to make the ssh mount for more see my previous post Howto mount remote server ssh filesystem using sshfs

The Backtrack livecd linux security distribution is missing the ext3grep tool thus I had to first install the tool after booting the livecd on the notebook to succeed in that it was necessary to install the e2fslibs-dev package through the command:

debian:~# apt-get install e2fslibs-dev

Further on I've downloaded the latest version of the ext3grep and untarred the archive and compiled it with the commands:

debian:~# ./configure && make && make install
Then I used the simple commands:

debian:~# cd /mnt/res
debian:~# ext3grep --restore-all /dev/sda8

to launch the recovery.
Where in the above commands /mnt/res is the mountpoint location where I wanted to have all my data recovered and the /dev/sda8 is the device from which I wanted to recover my data.

It takes a bit long until the recovery is completed and with 20 gigabytes of data about 5, 6 hours might be necessary for the data to be recovered but the main point is it recovers.

Recover/Restore unbootable GRUB boot loader on Debian Testing GNU/Linux using Linux LiveCD (Debian Install CD1)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I’ve recently broke my grub untentianally while whiping out one of my disk partitions who was prepared to run a hackintosh.
Thus yesterday while switching on my notebook I was unpleasently surprised with an error Grub Error 17 and the boot process was hanging before it would even get to grub’s OS select menu.

That was nasty and gave me a big headache, since I wasn’t even sure if my partitions are still present.
What made things even worse that I haven’t created any backups preliminary to prepare for an emergency!
Thus restoring my system was absolutely compulsory at any cost.
In recovering the my grub boot manager I have used as a basis of my recovery an article called How to install Grub from a live Ubuntu cd
Though the article is quite comprehensive, it’s written a bit foolish, probably because it targets Ubuntu novice users 🙂
Another interesting article that gave me a hand during solving my issues was HOWTO: install grub with a chroot
Anyways, My first unsuccessful attempt was following a mix of the aforementioned articles and desperately trying to chroot to my mounted unbootable partition in order to be able to rewrite the grub loader in my MBR.
The error that slap me in my face during chroot was:

chroot: cannot execute /bin/sh : exec format error

Ghh Terrible … After reasoning on the shitty error I came to the conclusion that probably the livecd I’m trying to chroot to my debian linux partition is probably using a different incompatible version of glibc , if that kind of logic is true I concluded that it’s most likely that the glibc on my Linux system is newer (I came to that assumption because I was booting from livecds (Elive, Live CentOS as well Sabayon Linux, which were burnt about two years ago).

To proof my guesses I decided to try using Debian testing Squeeze/Sid install cd . That is the time to mention that I’m running Debian testing/unstable under the code name (Squeeze / Sid).
I downloaded the Debian testing amd64 last built image from here burnt it to a cd on another pc.
And booted it to my notebook, I wasn’t completely sure if the Install CD would have all the necessary recovery tools that I would need to rebuilt my grub but eventually it happened that the debian install cd1 has everything necessary for emergency situations like this one.

After I booted from the newly burned Debian install cd I followed the following recovery route to be able to recovery my system back to normal.It took me a while until I come with the steps described here, but I won’t get into details for brevity

1. Make new dir where you intend to mount your Linux partition and mount /proc, /dev, /dev/pts filesystems and the partition itself

noah:~# mkdir /mnt/root
noah:~# mount -t ext3 /dev/sda8 /mnt/root
noah:~# mount -o bind /dev /mnt/root/dev
noah:~# mount devpts /dev/pts -t devpts

Change /dev/sda8 in the above example commands with your partition name and number.
2. chroot to the mounted partition in order to be able to use your filesystem, exactly like you normally use it when you’re using your Linux partition

noah:~# chroot /mnt/root /bin/bash

Hopefully now you should be in locked in your filesystem and use your Linux non-bootable system as usual.

Being able to access your /boot/grub directory I suggest you first check that everything inside:

/boot/grub/menu.lst is well defined and there are no problems with the paths to the Linux partitions.

Next issue the following commands which will hopefully recover your broken grub boot loader.

noah:~# grub
noah:~# find /boot/grub/stage1

The second command find /boot/grub/stage1 should provide you with your partitions range e.g. it should return something like:

root (hd0,7)

Nevertheless in my case instead of the expected root (hd0,7) , I was returned

/boot/grub/stage1 not found

Useless to say this is uncool 🙂

As a normal reaction I tried experimenting in order to fix the mess. Logically enough I tried to reinstall grub using the

noah:~# grub-install --root-directory=/boot /dev/sda
noah:~# update-grub

To check if that would fix my grub issues I restarted my notebook. Well now grub menu appeared with some error generated by splashy
Trying to boot any of the setup Linux kernels was failing with some kind of error where the root file system was trying to be loaded from /root directory instead of the normal / because of that neither /proc /dev and /sys filesystems was unable to be mounted and the boot process was interrupting in some kind of rescue mode similar to busybox, though it was a was less flexible than a normal busybox shell.

To solve that shitty issue I once again booted with the Debian Testing (Sid / Squeeze ) Install CD1 and used the commands displayed above to mount my linux partition.

Next I reinstalled the following packages:

noah:~# apt-get update
noah:~# apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-amd64 uswsusp hibernate grub grub-common initramfs-tools

Here the grub reinstall actually required me to install the new grub generation 2 (version 2)
It was also necessary to remove the splashy

noah:~# apt-get remove splashy
As well as to grep through all my /etc/ and look for a /dev/sda6 and substitute it with my changed partition name /dev/sda8

One major thing where I substituted /dev/sda6 to my actual linux partition now with a name /dev/sda8 was in:

initramfs-tools/conf.d/resumeThe kernel reinstall and consequently (update) does offered me to substitute my normal /dev/sda* content in my /etc/fstab to some UUIDS like UUID=ba6058da-37f8-4065-854b-e3d0a874fb4e

Including this UUIDs and restarting now rendered my system completely unbootable … So I booted once again from the debian install cd .. arrgh 🙂 and removed the UUID new included lines in /etc/fstab and left the good old declarations.
After rebooting the system now my system booted once again! Hooray! All my data and everything is completely intact now Thanks God! 🙂

6 days in sickness

Friday, August 10th, 2007

My physical health was quite not good during the last 6 / 7 days. Today it was a quiet day.I haven’t prayed seriously for few days but I can’t. Since my life looks like going nowhere.There is almost nothing in this town which keeps me still. I went to the Old Dobrich inMino’s coffee. But after a little argue and being a little rude to a girl I leavedthis awful mess. This guys are not a good company/match for me. It seems I don’t have friendsexcept Lily. Well I hope at least I haven’t builded all the time for nothing.Thanks Goodness that at least at work there isn’t a lot of work so I’m in a period of recovery.The world is going mad. I’m starting to scare my self. Seems like, life is created to be livednot to think about it’s purpose.END—–