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Hello all! This looks like a great community. This is my first post and I am DEFINTELY a Linux newb. I have a messed up hard drive that I am ...
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  1. #1
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    Hard Drive Data Recovery: Mounting issue in Knoppix


    Hello all! This looks like a great community. This is my first post and I am DEFINTELY a Linux newb. I have a messed up hard drive that I am desperately trying to recover data from. Here are the specs and symptoms:

    Western Digital WD800 Enhanced IDE (80 GB)
    - Hard drive spins up and stays running
    - I can't see it or mount it at all in regular Knoppix
    - If I run Knoppix Adriane, it can see the drive in file manager but it will not mount and if I run fdisk -l, it does nothing.
    - If I try to mount it in Adriane I get the following:

    error mounting /dev/sda (then I hit enter)
    Mount: /dev/sda: can't read superblock


    I assume that there is a superblock error but this is where I am stuck. I'm not sure what to do next. Any help is appreciated. (Note that I get similar results if I mount it via a USB adapter although it recognizes the hard drive with a slightly different title which I found odd)
    Last edited by tbirdtc; 08-04-2013 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    error mounting /dev/sda (then I hit enter)
    You need to first create a mount point logged in as root on Knoppix which it may do by default?: mkdir /mnt/sda1
    You need to mount a filesystem on a partition so you would use something like sda1 not sda. You may also need to enter the filesystem type. You haven't indicated what filesystem or operating system you are using where you have the data.

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    Thanks for the info. I'll give that a try. Also, I am running Knoppix from a CD.
    A little more info on the harddrive I am struggling with:
    - WD Caviar WD800
    - Driver Parameters LBA 156250000
    - Model: WD800BB-75CAA0
    - Date: December 4, 2001
    - It has Windows XP loaded on it with all known updates as of a couple weeks ago.
    - It is the original hard drive that was in equipped in my Dell desktop. (I'm assuming it is eaither FAT32 or NTFS. I can't remember and since I can't access it, I can't check!)
    - It has never been reformatted or re-partitioned so it still has the factory partition on it.
    - I have it set to Cable Select, but I have had the same problem when I set it to Master or Slave.


    I really appreciate the prompt response!
    Last edited by tbirdtc; 08-04-2013 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Added additional info about the hard drive

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    If you have xp on it then it is ntfs for a filesystem. You can verify that by booting the Knoppix CD, opening a terminal (you will have to look around the menu for that if there is not konsole/terminal icon on the Desktop) and then run the command as root: fdisk -l(Lower case Letter L in the command). This will output some information on the drive and its partitions. In the far right column, System, you should see "HPFS/NTFS" indicating it is a windows partition. The first column on the left under "Device" shows the partitions which are listed as sda1, sda2, etc with sda referring to the drive and the numbers referring to the partition.

    If you are able to mount and access the partition(s) and view them you should be able to copy data off the drive to an external medium of some sort.

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    Previously when I ran fdisk -l, it did not find the drive. I tried again with the same result,

    When I type fdisk -l I get nothing and it just gives me another terminal entry.

    Some additional info. If I run disk managment in Windows on another computer and attach the drive via USB, it shows the drive but says it is unallocated (all of it). It shows the size of the drive and if I go to properties it recognizes the name and model number. This is why I figured the MBR might be damaged. I tried the windows recovery module but it did not see the drive and would not allow me to even use the fixmbr command. It's like it's there but not there.



    One other weird thing regarding attachment of the harddrive.

    - If I try to use Windows Disk Managment to see the drive, with it attached via my USB adapter, the only way it is even partially recognized is I have the jumper completely removed.
    - If I try to get Knoppix to see it, the only way I can see it in file manager is with the jumper set to master. Even then, it is only seen as I stated in my original post (via file manager when using Knoppix Adriane) and it will not mount. I can see it in the regular Knoppix if I go to Storage Information.

    I assume that I should keep it set to Master, but if I am missing something let me know what you think. I have to imagine that since there is a way to partially see it, then it must be some kind of basic corruption but that the files are all still generally there....I hope.

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    When I type fdisk -l I get nothing and it just gives me another terminal entry.
    That is expected behavior if not logged in as root. Open the terminal on Knoppix and type: su, then hit the enter key. If the prompt changes from having a dollar sign ($) to a hash mark (#) you are logged in as root. Run fdisk again and if you get output you can then create a mount point and try to mount the partition(s) .

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    I was able to get in as root and I typed fdisk -l and it did the same thing. It sat for several seconds and then just gave me the xterm command line again. No output. Note that when I go to "System Profiler" and then go to Storage, It shows my CDROM drive, my DVD Drive and it shows the bad hard drive (and recognizes it with the correct hard drive model number and size). So at least I know there is a connection.


    Also, I tried to use Western Digital's hard drive diagnostic tool and also tried using TestDisk to analyze the disk and neither program could scan it. Any other thoughts?
    Last edited by tbirdtc; 08-04-2013 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Grammatical edits

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    I was able to get in as root and I typed fdisk -l and it did the same thing.
    If you are using a Lower Case Letter L in the command and doing it as root, I have no explanation for that behavior. You do see the hash mark (#) at the prompt when you enter fdisk, correct? Check to see if GParted is available on Knoppix by just typing: gparted in the terminal. If it is available it will open a partition editor and show partitions. If you tried TestDisk already and didn't get any positive results, things don't look good.

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    I did see the hash mark and I did use a lower case "L". Yeah, I was worried when TestDisk didn't work. It kills me that it's physically running and it can be at least partially identified in Disk Management in Windows and in the System Profiler in Knoppix and yet nothing can be done. I'll try out gparted and see if I have any luck.

    Are you familiar with Superblock errors? As this is what Knoppix says it has when I tried to mount it using Knoppix Adriane.

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    Maybe these instructions may help, or not.

    Recover Data Like a Forensics Expert Using an Ubuntu Live CD
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    Lead,Follow, or get the heck out of the way. I Have a Masters in Raising Hell
    Tech Books
    Free Linux Books
    Newbie Guide
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