help for a wounded disk drive...

Dimitri Yioulos dyioulos at
Fri Mar 21 14:22:15 PDT 2008

On Friday 21 March 2008 1:39 pm, William Bulley wrote:
> I damaged a Seagate 80 GB EIDE drive that was attached to a FreeBSD 5.4
> system (as ufs) some time ago, and I would like to recover the data on
> this drive - if that is possible.  All positive suggestions are welcome.
> The drive is mechanically and electrically good.  I just can't mount it
> and use it under FreeBSD.  It was a dual boot drive with a DOS partition
> on the first partition and FreeBSD 5.4 on partition two.  I did the normal
> sysinstall for FreeBSD 5.5 as I had done many times before.  Unfortunately,
> I had the older, FreeBSD 5.4 drive cabled up (and powered up) on the second
> IDE channel (using cable select) of an i386 motherboard while I did the 5.5
> install on a new, blank drive on the first IDE channel.
> I told sysinstall to add the standard FreeBSD bootloader on the new drive.
> I don't recall if I allowed for a DOS partition or just used the entire
> disk. The FreeBSD 5.4 disk on the second IDE channel also had the standard
> FreeBSD bootloader from my earlier sysinstall of 5.4 on that disk.
> When I completed the install, I figured I could just mount the second
> (older) drive manually.  When I tried to do this, things went from bad to
> worse, and the new system could never recognize the drive.  I believe the
> installation process attempted to (or succeeded in) putting (an
> unnecessary) bootloader on the older drive.  Had it not been connected, it
> would probably be okay today. I learned an important lesson at that time...
> I don't know what steps to take to recover this drive so I can mount it in
> a read-only mode.  I just want to recover the files on this drive.  It is
> very small by today's standards, so I will likely not use the drive in
> production.
> I am comfortable running any required shell commands (as root), but I don't
> want to damage the disk drive any further.  I hope I don't have to resort
> to using dd(1) on the raw device!  Thanks in advance for any pointers.
> Regards,
> web...
> --
> William Bulley                     Email: web at

If it's just a matter of grabbing data off this drive, would a live rescue CD 
such as Reci=overy Is Possible be of help to you?


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