I'm running a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Puppy Linux Ubuntu based " Bionic " installed on a separate partition of my main drive.

Completely separate from that I have a 1Tb Western Digital external USB HDD plugged in. This has errors .. its a friends drive and has 150 movies or more on it. Windows and Linux both see the drive..and the files.. but they wont open.. well a couple of the videos do load, but only play for about 10 seconds, then they stutter and stop.

I ran , under windows , Crystal disk info to see if there were any bad sectors.. I have attached the screenshot. I was tempted to run either Victoria.. a Russian disk scanner and bad sector repair utility or Minitool pro or HDD Regenerator.. I did try a file recovery program, but abandoned that idea as it was going to take at least a full day to recover one movie.. so back to square one.. how to fix the drive?

Originally the drive would not read on Windows,, but it would open on Linux.. so i poked around to see what else i could do.. i found the instruction e2fsk to test the disk under linux.. It gave me the response you see in the screenshot.. that there was an error in the superblock. Hmm never heard of superblocks before.. anyways further research into the error message took me to this page.. https://linuxexpresso.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/repair-a-broken-ext4-superblock-in-ubuntu/

This describes a very simple.. compared to other explanations way to repair or replace the "Superblock" thus fixing the drive problem. However.. the instructions are not detailed enough for me to follow.. Would you please take a look and explain in newbie-speak.. how I to re install the backup of a Superblock. My file system is NTFS and the drive does not have any OS, its simply for saving data

Links to screenshots http://tinypic.com/m/kbonrq/1 http://tinypic.com/m/kbons5/1

  • Please import the screenshots using the image tool in the post editor; thank you! – Jeff Schaller May 22 at 11:26

The Linux e2fsck is only for checking and fixing errors in filesystem types ext2, ext3 and ext4. It can do nothing at all for NTFS. The Bad magic number in super-block error message basically means "I cannot find anything at all that would indicate this is an ext2/3/4 type filesystem. If you are sure this is in fact one of those filesystem types, then you should probably try one of other superblocks as an alternate starting point."

But since you know this is a NTFS filesystem, e2fsck cannot fix it.

Your CrystalDiskInfo results indicate the disk is in bad shape: 2829 disk blocks have already been replaced by a spare location because the original block no longer works, and there seems to be 65533 more disk blocks waiting for reallocation.

See here for more information about the "Current Pending Sector Count" value, and here about the "Reallocated Sectors Count" value. Basically, this is the last gasp of a dying disk.

The 2829 reallocated sectors are already bad enough that the "enough reallocated sectors to declare this disk as failed" limit has already been crossed, and the Current Pending Sector Count value indicates that the number of reallocated sectors is likely to increase by 65533 as soon as those failed blocks are either overwritten by the computer, or the disk itself manages to successfully read them even once.

If 2829 reallocated sectors is enough for the manufacturer to declare the disk as bad, then it is likely that 65533 more would completely overwhelm the reallocation mechanism, and the NTFS filesystem itself would have to begin tracking and avoiding the failing sectors, using its "bad clusters" mechanism. But the fact that there are already 2829 successfully reallocated sectors and 65533 more already identified as in need of reallocation indicates the failure within the disk is probably spreading, possibly quite fast.

Maybe one of the read/write heads has hit the disk surface, chipped away a bit of the magnetic material, and the resulting tiny chips are now bouncing around in the airflow inside the hard disk and occasionally getting jammed in between the read/write heads and the spinning disk, causing further damage and more loose chips. Maybe it's something else.

The bottom line is: this disk is not likely to be fixable. Some of the data in it might yet be recoverable, but any recovered data should be stored to a different disk. Any attempts to use the failed disk may make the disk worse as a side effect, so you should not power up the disk unless you're actually trying to recover data from it.

You should now make a honest evaluation for yourself: how much, measured in time, effort and money, are the contents of the disk worth to you? If there is something really valuable on the disk, you should consider contacting data recovery professionals instead of trying to do the recovery yourself.

Since you already know trying to access the filesystem in normal way is not going to work, you'll need something like PhotoRec: it will read the disk from the beginning to the end, attempt to recognize anything that looks like a valid video file, and copy that to a new disk. Yes, it is going to take a long time, but you should be able to let it run on its own.

I also note that CrystalDiskInfo reports your system disk is also in a "Caution" state. I'd recommend that you get two new disks, then clone your system disk to the new disk and replace it before it gets as bad as your current problem disk now is. Then use the other new disk for recovering data from the failed disk. Depending on what exactly CrystalDiskInfo says about your old system disk, you might still be able to use it for non-critical purposes, but you should not consider it reliable any more.

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