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Thread: Trying to save my family photos...

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  1. #1

    Trying to save my family photos...

    Note, if your advice saves my photos, I will gladly make a donation to your favorite fund! Here's my problem...

    I had a home server running Mandrake 10 as the OS for many years. Recently it wasn't running and it wouldn't boot. It was configured with two HDDs and both seem to be troubled (possible sabatage?). The primary drive only held the OS and the secondary drive was for file storage. The server was always on and was used to stream music to my stereo, photos to my tv, host my web site, and my email server...so it was exposed (to some degree) to the Internet. The OS is on a Western Digital Caviar 22500 (2.6 GB) and the file storage drive is a Western Digital Caviar WD400 (40GB).

    FILE SERVER DRIVE (secondary drive):
    Has my family photos, music. Music has been re-ripped...but we miss our photos!!!!
    I put the HDD in an external drive and plugged it into my laptop running Ubuntu. This drive takes a little longer for the red light on the external case to turn blue (don't know if that means anything).
    Nothing mounts, but an extra entry appears in the /proc/diskstats file. An excerpt from the /proc/diskstats file is shown below:

    8 16 sdb 19 6 200 552 0 0 0 0 0 552 552

    I don't know what all the numbers mean but I believe there should be a follow on line with sdb1 (as you will see further down in my OS drive troubleshooting). I believe this drive had just one partition that was vfat since I used it for file storage and sharing between my wife's Windoze laptop, my x-Windoze laptop (now Ubuntu), and the server itself (Mandrake 10). I could look at the fstab file from the server to determine the partitions, but the OS partition on the OS drive is bad too.

    Running fsck and e2fschk produced the following:

    > root@gateway1-laptop:~# fsck /dev/sdb
    > fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > e2fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > fsck.ext2: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while trying
    > to open /dev/sdb
    > Could this be a zero-length partition?

    > root@gateway1-laptop:~# e2fsck -b 8193 /dev/sdb
    > e2fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > e2fsck: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while trying to
    > open /dev/sdb
    > Could this be a zero-length partition?

    Neither of these were of any help! Is there something else someone can suggest? If I have to I will spend top dollar to send this out to a professional service but I figured I could try a few simple tests first.

    OS DRIVE:
    I believe Mandrake 10 used a journaling or reiser file system but don't remember. In the external case connected to my linux laptop, it mounted one partition and gave an error it couldn't mount another. The partition that mounted was my /home so I could retrieve that data. I looked in /proc and viewed the file /proc/diskstats, below is an excerpt from the file:

    root@gateway1-laptop:less /proc/diskstats
    ...
    8 16 sdb 193 1145 2823 4192 21 10 248 344 0 2116 4536
    8 17 sdb1 41 420 979 1140 0 0 0 0 0 840 1140
    8 18 sdb2 11 0 46 640 0 0 0 0 0 628 640
    8 21 sdb5 38 404 442 728 0 0 0 0 0 500 728
    8 22 sdb6 86 285 932 1300 21 10 248 344 0 1264 1644

    I don't know what all the numbers are but it does jog my memory that the HDD was partitioned something like:
    Partition - Small boot partition (vfat)
    Partition - /
    Partition - swap
    Partition - home

    I ran fschk on sdb2 (assuming it is the root partition):

    > root@gateway1-laptop:~# fsck /dev/sdb2
    > fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > e2fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > fsck.ext2: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in
    > short read while trying to open /dev/sdb2
    > Could this be a zero-length partition?

    This didn't help me much so I tried running e2fsck:

    > root@gateway1-laptop:~# e2fsck -b 8193 /dev/sdb2
    > e2fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
    > e2fsck: Invalid argument while trying to open /dev/sdb2
    >
    > The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2
    > filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2
    > filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the
    > superblock is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an
    > alternate superblock:
    > e2fsck -b 8193 <device>

    Again this doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Is there something else I can try?

    All help greatly appreciated,
    imazman

  2. #2
    You say that you are able to see your old harddisk when you use fdisk -l or other commands, If it is so then have you tried to mount your hard disk? use the following command and try

    mkdir /win1

    mount /dev/sdb1 /win1 vfat users,owner,ro,umask=000 0 0

  3. #3
    No, fdisk -l does not work, and I can't use dd to read anything either.

  4. #4
    Hope you would have logged in as a root user, only root used have permission to use some commands, try following command hop you will get some useful information there..

    sudo dumpe2fs /dev/your-harddisk -h

  5. #5
    If you have resolved the issue, please mention i am curious to know abt it.

  6. #6
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    735
    I had a hard drive crash and I wasnt sure that it was working or not, so I purchased a hard drive caddy and plugged the drive into that. It seemed to do the trick, as I was able to pull stuff off the drive onto another pc. Turned out that my main drive was screwed.

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