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I have an old hard drive that I put data on, but it died when I tried to retrieve it, and it tells me I have to format it under Windows. Running on Linux now, can Safecopy help me even though I can not mount it?

This is the error I get when I try to mount it:

Error mounting: mount exited with exit code 13: ntfs_attr_pread_i: ntfs_pread failed: Input/output error
Failed to read vcn 0x0: Input/output error
Failed to mount '/dev/sdb1': Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a
SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very
important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate
it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
/dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation
for more details.

It says input output error... but I thought that was why Safecopy was made? Any info would be great.

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what is it formatted as? – strugee Jan 6 '14 at 3:19

I would first try to make a copy of the disk, or of partitions, with dd. It can be done without mounting. So I no longer worry with hardware once the content has been preserved, and I am not dependent on file system problems while I preserve it. See for example Disk Cloning.

But then I have no experience with Windows, and I have no idea concerning the usability of a NTFS image on Linux today.

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