help for a wounded disk drive...

Ezat - Ezatech ezat at
Fri Mar 21 14:48:04 PDT 2008

Hey William,

Was in a similar situation about a month ago.. I knew the drive was on 
its way out but once it went, i could not retrieve the data nor use it 
under freebsd even under a new system. My drive had physical issues.

I got the drive, stuck it in a 3.5inch usb enclosure and plugged it into 
a ms windows box.  Then I used a free proggy called ffsdrv which i found 
on sourceforge.

Snipit -->

It enables you to read BSD(FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) FFS partitions on 
Windows 2000/XP/2003.

Managed to get all data off this way.


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
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