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I am running the following command on a 500GB drive:

ddrescue --force --direct /dev/sde2 /home/backups/sde2.img sde2_logfile.ddrescue

However, the time has been almost 24hrs and all it has done so far is almost 10GB:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 9.2G Jul 22 13:35 sde2.img

Did I do a wrong command that is causing this process to take longer then it should?

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    ddrescue takes DAYS for seriously damaged drives. Did you look at the smart stats on the drive before attempting to recover the data? The exact type of failure may indicate a shorter\longer recovery time. – Frank Thomas Jul 22 '14 at 18:15
  • All I noticed was Windows had a problem mounting to show files and even on Linux I would get long delays. Nothing mechanical sounding like clicking. Might just be bad firmware as I remember the drive being pretty brand new. shrug I've done drives before with actual mechanical issues and they cloned faster. – Jason Jul 22 '14 at 18:36
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It is generally recommended that you perform ddrescue operations in three phases as described here, using a log file so that the multiple passes can be merged together on the fly.

first do a fast pass using cached reads (no --direct) and not performing any serious recovery. This step should get the vast majority of your data unless the drive is very far gone.

ddrescue --no-split /dev/hda1 imagefile logfile 

then try it uncached with splitting, but abort each bad area after 3 bad attempts.

ddrescue --direct --max-retries=3 /dev/hda1 imagefile logfile 

and finally attempt to retrim any remaining error areas, once again aborting if recovery is not possible.

ddrescue --direct --retrim --max-retries=3 /dev/hda1 imagefile logfile 

Note that by following this approach, you get all the undamaged data up front, as quickly as possible. even if the other recovery options can't recover enough of the drive to make it mountable, you can still use file carving utilities like PhotoRec to recover intact files of known types off the image.

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