Recovering Files Failing EHD (1 Viewer)

jimdandyvi

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My one TB Seagate external drive has developed a problem. Often when I turn on my receiver I get a message that an unformatted USB device is connected and do I want to format the drive now. I have used the drive for eighteen months with no problems up until last week.

If I unplug the receiver and the EHD after getting the error message and then restart both devices I can view any programming and use the DVR normally until it glitches again. I have swapped the problem EHD to my other receiver and I still get same message. I have also swapped out the drive's USB cable and power supply.

Is their software I can use to copy the files or create a mirror image of the failing drive on a new drive so I can salvage the recorded shows? My computer runs Windows 7.

Thanks.
 

TheKrell

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The EHD is formatted with a variable number of ext3 (Linux) partitions. The first will be a tiny partition with nothing of interest on it (probably encryption keys?). The partitions of interest to you are the 2nd and 3rd, which will be around 500GB, and include a DishArc folder. The DishArc folder has additional folders, one/program, and it is these folders that you want to move onto a new disk. Recommend buying a new EHD and having your receiver format it first. Then what I did was boot up Linux (Fedora 15) on my Windows computer via LiveCD. When you plug in the two EHDs, Linux will auto mount them and show you the top level folders.

Now the problem, if you don't know any Linux commands, is that if you drag and drop via the Linux GUI, the file ownership will change to something other than root. What I did was use the command-line rsync command, which insures identical copies. If you move the files not as root, then you are stuck figuring out the chown command to change ownership back to root. I suppose you could use another Linux distribution that allows you to log in as root... I think Scientific Linux 5.x would do that.

Yes, other disk clone options will work as KAB pointed out, though I don't know how they would work if you changed the size of the disk. My Linux option allows you to change disk sizes up or down with no problem.
 

llokey

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Using Ubuntu Live Disk avoids the root problems if done from the command line. It doesn't take a Linux expert to follow the procedure given above.

The EHD is formatted with a variable number of ext3 (Linux) partitions. The first will be a tiny partition with nothing of interest on it (probably encryption keys?). The partitions of interest to you are the 2nd and 3rd, which will be around 500GB, and include a DishArc folder. The DishArc folder has additional folders, one/program, and it is these folders that you want to move onto a new disk. Recommend buying a new EHD and having your receiver format it first. Then what I did was boot up Linux (Fedora 15) on my Windows computer via LiveCD. When you plug in the two EHDs, Linux will auto mount them and show you the top level folders.

Now the problem, if you don't know any Linux commands, is that if you drag and drop via the Linux GUI, the file ownership will change to something other than root. What I did was use the command-line rsync command, which insures identical copies. If you move the files not as root, then you are stuck figuring out the chown command to change ownership back to root. I suppose you could use another Linux distribution that allows you to log in as root... I think Scientific Linux 5.x would do that.

Yes, other disk clone options will work as KAB pointed out, though I don't know how they would work if you changed the size of the disk. My Linux option allows you to change disk sizes up or down with no problem.
 

Bobby

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You might also move the recordings back to the receiver, add a new EHD, and then move them to the new EHD...
 

jimdandyvi

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Bobby said:
You might also move the recordings back to the receiver, add a new EHD, and then move them to the new EHD...

While I didn't include it in my post I have 211s that do not have an internal drive
My receiver information is in my signature.

Even if I had an internal drive I don't have the patience to move 500+ files one by one.

The software recommend to clone a drive is on sale for $25 so all I need is a replacement drive to move the files to. This isn't always easy in the USVI as sources for computer drives is limited and mail order electronics vendors who will ship here is also limited.

The failing drive is still under warranty so I will try and get Seagate to send me a new drive after attempting to clone the drive.
 

jimdandyvi

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Thanks for the information. Hope I never have to do that as it still sounds like an ugly process.

First you would have to clear enough space on the 722s internal 500Gb drive to move some of the files from the external 1TB drive to the internal drive.

Then you could move the first batch of files to the internal HD and then plug in a new USB drive and move these files to the EHD. After the files were on the EHD the copies on the internal drive would need to be deleted. Repeat until all 1TB of data transferred.

Finally after all the files have been moved to the new EHD the files taken off the internal HD to free up space would need to be restored.

Every time I change or remove a HD plugged into my 211s I have to power cycle the receiver to get it to recognize the new USB drive plugged in. If you have to to do this on a 722 when you switch drives it is going to add to the time the whole process takes particularly since you are going to be using two or three USB drives.

Just my opinion but I still think it might be quicker and easier to create a clone copy of the failing USB drive.
 
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TG2

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And.. I'm sorry.. but 25 dollars for software? at the very least after getting the hard drive I'd try a Linux boot CD of pretty much any flavor before paying 25 bucks for something that is relatively free.

Copy and Paste your Entire Hard Drive with Two Clicks with GParted


and even if its not as easy as they make it out (odd partitions, requiring a trip into DD on the command line) its still something to look at rather than pay 25 bucks for something that should be easily accomplished.
 

TheKrell

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Last night I used a Scientific Linux 5.5 LiveCD to clone my 1.5TB Seagate to a slightly different sized 1.5TB WD. I logged in as root and used the GUI to drag/drop. No problems, other than it appeared to be going at USB1.1 speeds. :(
 

TheKrell

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Yes it did, though I went through the procedure I outlined in post # 3:

Recommend buying a new EHD and having your receiver format it first.

So, the receiver better recognize the disk it just formatted! But the point of my GUI drag/drop as root is that it retained correct Linux root ownership and the files play just fine.
 

jimdandyvi

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The project did not work out.

First thing I did was install the new WD drive on my Dish receiver. The receiver formatted the drive and it was ready to go after the receiver rebooted.

Plan A was to install GParted and see if I could back up or create an image of the failing drive. My Toshiba has a disk utility already installed that blocked trying to install or run GParted. After several attempts to get either GParted or the Toshiba utility to solve my problem I went to Plan B.

Plan B was to use Acronis 2012 Home Version. I plugged both USB drives into my Toshiba laptop and used Acronis to Clone the NEW EHD from the old and failing Seagate. It took just seven minutes. I didn't think it had moved the files and when I plugged the new drive into my receiver this was confirmed. No programs.

I then decided to create an image of the failing hard drive. This is where the problems started. Acronis is really designed to work with Window's file systems. While it had the option to create a sector by sector image of the failing Linux drive I could not transfer it directly to my new drive formatted under Linux. I would have to find the space to store an 800GB image file ( Even after compression ) on another drive mounted under Windows and then restore this file to my new Linux drive. It was indicating this was going to take 21 hours to create the file and I assumed probably another 21 hours to write the file. To test that it would even work I decided to start with a single partition from the old drive called No_Name. When I was able to create the 50GB image file of this partition I decided to go for the whole disk. After running for awhile it failed. Reason unable to obtain a volume snapshot. Tried again same error.

Had enough of this project for yesterday so I reinstalled the failing EHD on my receiver. After rebooting the receiver and going into my DVR none of the previously recorded programming showed up. The drive was empty. Somehow Acronis managed to loose all 500 files. Given that it is really only seems to be designed to deal with Window's based file systems I would not recommend it to anyone trying to move Linux files to a new drive.

Plan C was going to be to install Linux on one of my other computers and see if I could do the move. Since I no longer have any files no need for Plan C. Based on my experience I would recommend that anyone else trying to deal with files on an EHD start by using Linux.

Thanks for all the suggestions. Not the end of the world losing the files as I had most of the same timers on my other receiver's EHD. I will talk to Seagate and do a warranty exchange on the drive and have a spare 1TB drive. I will reformat the drive under Windows and test it. I think the drive's problem is with the USB port and not the storage media.
 

TheKrell

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It's possible your Seagate finally gave up the ghost while you were trying to copy it during Plan B. But I agree on Plan C (Linux). LiveCDs rock; no need to install it.
 

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