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Windows has been crashing systematically on my old netbook, so I booted debian from a liveUSB. The reason I don't want to install it outright is that I didn't backup my files, so my plan was to do the backup with live debian. Yet, for some reason, Debian's "File viewer" doesn't "see" my HD files (I have enabled the "create and delete files" permission). That is, my disk is listed as a mounted device and I can see all its directories ("Downloads", "My Documents" and so on) but they all seem to be empty.

So I try from the terminal, where "dir" on /Downloads effectively returns the list of all the files I remember I had there. So on my first attempt I try to copy one single file to /home, that is,

user@debian:/media/user/36AEF3F8AEF3AE8D/Users/xxxx/Downloads$ sudo cp filename.jpg /home

(/media/user/36AEF3F8AEF3AE8D is the mount point for the /dev/sda2 filesystem) and I get

cp: error reading 'filename.jpg': Input/output error
cp: failed to extend '/home/filename.jpg': Input/output error

I'm not too proficient on linux and any help will be welcome.

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It seems that your HD is really dying, that's why you have this "Input/output error" when cp is trying to read the file.

You could run 'dmesg' and if you see lines with 'I/O errors', that would confirm the problem with your HD.

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