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How to recover files from linux ext4 harddrive

My WD HDD failed (5th failed WD). Unfortunately I had some small but important files on it without backup. It's not mountable, because when I try boot from Ubuntu live CD it will try to mount automatically, then gives an error, then again mount attempt/error... What I need is somehow to recover whatever data is possible from /etc folder. Any idea what options I have?

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marked as duplicate by random Feb 9 '12 at 3:22

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
How did it fail? Hardware? Partition table? Corrupted sectors? Corrupted superblock? What have you tried to look at besides mounting? –  Karlson Feb 8 '12 at 17:25
    
Hardware failure, S.M.A.R.T test is failing. I've tried some windows based software called "Linux Data Recovery Software". However, it doesn't show any files in /etc dir. –  Pablo Feb 9 '12 at 1:46
    
wtf? This is completely different case. One is deleted by rm another is failed hardware! It's been second time my question is being closed by the same person without reading it! –  Pablo Feb 9 '12 at 5:03
    
The solution to both is exactly the same if it can be done with software. –  Karlson Feb 9 '12 at 5:06
    
There is no absolute solution to this. The routines and software for recovery of healthy hard drive and damaged one are different! –  Pablo Feb 9 '12 at 5:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You might try DDRescue (http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html) to dump a image of the drive in question and mount the image.

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If your drive hardware is intact this would work. And if it's not? –  Karlson Feb 8 '12 at 17:26
    
Of course this will only work if the hardware is operable (since you kinda need the hardware to access the data). If the hardware has failed you either a) replace the hardware (like the controller card) with identical hardware from an identical device or b) Send it to a data recovery specialist and pay a large sum of money. –  Justin Pearce Feb 8 '12 at 19:18
    
Some data is readable. For example I have Windows NTFS partition and able to copy everything from that partition. What I need is some software, which will try to find files on demaged Ext4 partition(where not all sectors may be readable) and then recover those files on external storage. –  Pablo Feb 9 '12 at 1:49
    
I mean the software to scan device without mounting it... –  Pablo Feb 9 '12 at 1:51

Before you start with anything like partition recover run:

fsck -t ext4 -b 32768 <device>

If that doesn't work try TestDisk, or Scalpel

This also seems to be a duplicate of How to recover files from linux ext4 harddrive

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