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I've got an interesting problem...

A friend asked me to recover data from a failing external (usb) hard drive, which i've been doing using the ddrescue utility. However, every few hours the drive stops responding (this is why I'm recovering the data) and read speed drops to 0. At this point if i unplug it for 5 mins and plug it back in I can rerun the ddrescue and continue recovering. Im wondering if there is some way to automate this as the read speed is quite slow and there is a lot of data to recover.

I can power down the drive using:

udisks --unmount /dev/sdd1
udisks --detach /dev/sdd

But I have not found a way to spin up the drive again after its been "detached"

The other problem I havent figured out yet is some way to figure out when the read speed has dropped to 0 and its time to do this powercycle.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Not what you asked for, but it sounds like a heat related problem. If you haven't already done so remove the drive from the case and run it externally (better ventillation) and see if that improves your up time –  fabricator4 Oct 17 '12 at 3:03
    
tried that, and tried removing the usb enclosure all together, connecting via SATA, neither helped. –  Zenshai Oct 26 '12 at 21:28

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