Error reading harddisk

Posted on 2004-04-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hello Friends

I am Shrinivas, Please help me

I have installed linux in one machine with static ip.but one  morning suddenly that server was hack.i tryed to take backup but it giving error as a mention below

hdb: read_intr: status=0x59 { DriveReady SeekComplete DataRequest Error }
hdb: read_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=20996957, sector=2
end_request: I/O error, dev 03:43 (hdb), sector 2

it can't read data can anyboby solve this problem has my data was very important

Shrinivas B G
Question by:sb_gundu
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 10755770
This looks a bit ugly.
Can you still boot the machine? If so, can you perhaps use tar or similar to just back up the relevant "user data" to another machine?
Or perhaps this is what you are trying to do... and failing?

If the drive is toast you can do very little.
You could try to get as much as possible from it with dd (either on the raw disk (if=/dev/hdb) or on the raw partition (if=/dev/hdbX)), but you might be looking at a situation where you'll have to rely on other measures to reconstruct your data.
Worst case, you can pay exorbitantly for a "hd rescue firm" to do their best with it... with absolutely no guarantees that they'll get better results than the "dd if=..." would. If the data is gone, due to a headcrash or similaril, then the data is gone.

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

ID: 10756355
I had the same error once then it was a DMA conflict(i think), so i just changed the position of the disks on the IDE cable, after that i started up the box in "linux single" mode and ran a fsck on the disk. Dont know with of these that helped but it solved the problem at lest untill this day :).

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 10756502
... Probably moving the cable!-)... Oxide buildup/marginal contactation... Or even "solving the conflict";-).
We still need feedback as to the actual state of affairs, since the error can have many many causes... Where the worst ones will lead to complete data loss.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

ID: 10764115
Hello Gns

No i can't boot from  Linux harddisk if i so then also it boot first then it giving error the same which i mention first .I think i want to tell to that while putting linux harddisk as a slave i can see only extended partitions as ext3 but primary partiton i can see but not ext3 format it shows none.

Waiting for reply

Shrinivas B G

Expert Comment

ID: 10787356
download the slackware iso image (cd1) or any other dist and put in cd. after reboot  you should mount your harddisk with "mount /dev/hdb" (or hdax for partition x) before you enter setup in shell.maybe it's working.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 10796488
Hello Shrinivas and sorry for not getting back to you earlier... Have been very busy lately... and your problem requires some time and thought:-)

neulich is quite correct, if you cannot boot it, you'll need boot something else to try determine the state of your drive. I'd recommend knoppix ( for this, or if the download is a bit too hefty one could probably get by with a floppy-linux like toms root&boot ( or even the rescue mode of the distribution...
The main goal here is to try salvage the data in such a way that you can put it to use on another drive/install... Because it's really not looking up, with the results so far:-/.

In this work, tools like "fdisk -l" and possibly e2fsck will be your friend. One could perhaps try remapping any bad blocks (assuming it's not entirely dead), but that would probably entail reformatting it... so you still need try get it to be "mountable". Note that if you have more than one partition, and the damage is solely on the root partition, then you should perhaps be able to salvage all data onto another drive.

Anyway, do try booting from something else and tell us what you find ... If you have trouble making sense of it, please quote as much info here as you can, and we'll be sure to try help.

-- Glenn


Author Comment

ID: 10830063
Hello Glenn

Thanks For response.
If i boot from another harddisk of linux then it show 4 partition which i made in that harddisk in that 3 partition show of ext3 format of linux only one partition Unfortunately  in that partition my data is there how can i recover that partition.If i  try to boot from cd then machine hangs up by reading that partition there are lots of bad sector are there can u tell me how can i retrive this partition .please .

Shrinivas B G
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Gns earned 500 total points
ID: 10832548
Hm, could that perhaps be a linux swap partition? If so, it'll have a partition type id of 0x82 ...
On the "other linux", can you make mountpoints for the partitions and try mount them readonly? The mountpoint is just a directory (preferably empty, since the mount will hide the directory content:-)...
mkdir /crash1
mkdir /crash2
mkdir /crash3
mount -t ext2 -o ro /dev/whateverisappropriate /crash1
As you probably know, whateverisappropriate should be hdXY where X is a for primary IDE master, b for primary IDE slave, c for secondary master and Y is partition number (1-4 is "primary partitions... one will be of type "extended" and contain partitions 5-up) etc and sdXY for scsi in a similar way (a, b, c etc is in "order" of bun#, target#, lun# where closest to 0,0,0 will be sda).

If you're unable to mount the partitions/inspect the content/salvage data files, then we're looking at some not-so-fun options: trying to mend the filesystems with e2fsck (with possibility of huge (additional) data loss) or reading each partition with dd onto a file on the "other linux" drive (assuming these is space enough), and then trying to glean the data manually from this file. Not particularily fun at all (I've done this on an ISAM db one upon a time... I also sent the drive to a recovery firm... Who charged me exorbitantly and gave me the exact same data three days to late, together with a huge bill...).

Tell us what you find, or if you need some more clarifications.

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

ID: 15668991

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Accept GNS's comment as answer

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

Gopu N
EE Cleanup Volunteer

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