I am pretty sure the powercable to one of my harddisks fell out during copying. The result was two personal backup directories are now empty, but still extant, while the rest of the directories are extant but full on that partition.

The reason I think it fell out, is I had been having some problems with that drive loosening up, & it was mounted at one point, then started behaving funny, & when I went into the case after shutting down, I discovered the sata power connector off the female part of the hard disk.

The result was, when I rebooted, the two directories I had been copying to/from were extant but empty, which I did not delete them (for sure), & I did not move them, etc. I had just been copying from/to them. (one of the two.)

The only other real clues I have been able to generate are:

  • "dir"ing into either directory gives the strange error: "dir: cannot access .: input/output error"; (other directories on the partition do not give this error / work normally;)
  • dmesg lists this error: "buffer i/o error on device sdb1, logical block "

There is also a slight possibility of a differential diagnosis of shutting down midway thru copying, my memory is too foggy to recall. (Wouldn't that be handled in a way other than emptying the directories simply being copied to?)

How can I restore these directories -- should I go to data recovery software?


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1 Answer 1


Getting the message "buffer I/O error" typically indicates a hardware issue with your disk, but it could just be that the filesystem is asking the system to do things that don't make sense as a result of its corrupted state.

Your best bet is to run fsck on the affected filesystem, and then look in /lost+found for recovered inodes.

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