How do I duplicate or clone a dying SATA drive?

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Tags:
Backup
Clone database
IDE
IDE hard drives
SATA
SATA Drives
SCSI
SCSI Drives
If a sata drive is dying what is the best method to duplicate or clone it without risking the data? Is this the same for ide or scsi drives? If not please list the best methods for these as well across any platform.
ASKED: August 10, 2010  2:16 PM
UPDATED: August 10, 2010  3:52 PM

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Regardless of the type of drive, SATA, IDE etc.. I have always used the Unix tool “dd” for duplicating data. This is awesome when it comes to taking data from a source drive to another drive or even backup image file.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind though when using dd.
First of all if you do have bad data on the drive then it may just stall whilst running. You can use the “conv=noerror,sync” option that will ignore errors but you could end up with 2 bad drives at the end. The result depends on how broke your drive is before you start.
Secondly, if you are trying to replicate a drive to a new drive then the new drive does need to be as big or bigger.

<b>Here are a couple of examples, edit as necessary: </b>

<b>Drive to Drive</b>
dd bs=512 if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync

<b>Drive to File</b>
dd bs=512 if=/dev/sda of=/some_dir/foo.img conv=noerror,sync

If dd does not work then there is another option in the form of a tool called ddrecue:
<a href=”http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html”>ddrecue</a>

This tool attempts to recover data when errors are detected and then creates the repaired data on the destination drive / file. Whilst I have never had the need to use this tool, dd has lways been good enough for me, I have heard some excellent reviews about it……..best of all its free!!

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