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A friend has a failing hard drive, and hasn’t received a new hard-drive to clone to yet. He wants to copy the files to an external drive but the copy function keeps failing on some error (which has to do with the hard drive failing) I would use ddrescue, but the we don't have room to back up the entire partition. I tried to used ddrescue to copy the home folder to a back up device, but this did not work either.

Is there any program (CLI) that can copy files, but ignore disk errors? is there some way to make $cp ignore disk-read-errors?

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What command(s) have you tried so far? – Colyn1337 Aug 16 '13 at 20:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The more obvious answer is

safecopy - Copy utility ignoring errors
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You can use a harddisk cloning utility to clone the drive to an img file. Then when the new drive comes in he can write the img to the drive. Many of these cloning utilities have the capability to skip damaged sectors. I would recommend Clonezilla but there are many options. It runs off a live cd and you can copy your damaged drive to a img file on an external hardrive. use the device-image option. The clone the image to the new drive when it comes in.

Good Luck

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