My mythtv box crashed because of a corrupted hard drive. I can see my data when connected it to another computer. I need to know how I can retrieve the database so I can load it on my new drive.

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    What operating system Mar 15, 2010 at 1:44

5 Answers 5


Use the mysqldump utility :). This option allows you to export the database instead of merely copying the files.


  • Actually, I'm not sure that mysqldump will work on a machine that's not running the mysql server; never tried it.
    – jrc03c
    Jul 8, 2010 at 18:54
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    I already tried but mysqldump doesn't work without mysql server running which is not going to happen in an external hdd. Apr 14, 2013 at 6:11

If you are using linux then the databases are stored in /var/db/ generally. If its mysql /var/db/mysql/.

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    /var/lib/mysql is also common, or peek in /etc/my.cnf
    – nos
    Jun 28, 2010 at 12:44

Go inside the MySQL db directory of the hard drive, there will be some files there for each database. Retrieve them.

Here is the tricky part. You are going to need to get the same version of mySQL from the one that was in the dead box. Once you know what version it was, install it in a new rig and copy over the files.

After that you can use php myadmin or the mysql cli interface to make a proper export.


If you can still read from the HD try to copy the db files to a another system running mysql. If the db files are not corrupted you should be able to access the Database.

The db files should reside inside a folder called [db_name]

  • I already tried this, but this didn't worked. Many of them were missing. Apr 14, 2013 at 6:11

Use a data retrieval service if the information is very valuable to you, as any attempt at DIY data retrieval can lessen the chances of a later attempt.

That said, using GetDataBack is a good bet for NTFS or FAT drives (they have two different versions. Here is a guide to help you with Linux HD's (actually the advice will work with any type of HD, but for FAT and NTFS formatted drives you can use GetDataBack).

Hope this helps!

  • He said it's MythTV, and that runs on Linux. Recommending file recovery software for FAT/NTFS filesystems is kind of pointless...
    – Alex
    Mar 15, 2010 at 6:27
  • +1ing because he did put a link for Linux HDs as well.
    – Hello71
    Jun 27, 2010 at 16:18

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