a friends HDD is having some major issues and i am trying to recover data.

Windows will blue screen due to the hdd failure, even using another PC with windows installed the diskmanagement tool hangs when the drive is connected until such time it determines the drive to be blank and require formatting. The HDD is having many read/io errors and making some clicking noises during these errors.

I have tried instead to access it in ubuntu as i have in the past in such situation as ubuntu does many things windows cant.

I have allowed ubuntu to auto mount the drive but im having issues accessing a windows 7 created partition's user directory. I can navagate the directory structure without issue until i try /users/USERNAME (equivilent in windows "c:\users\USERNAME").

When i do the window manager freezes for 10-30 secconds then returns a blank directory.

Under the assumption this is a permissions issue as its a users home directory i reverted to using dd with noerror to duplicate the data to another hard drive so i can mount that in windows to try again. The issue is this drive is 750gb and the ammount of io errors slowing the process means it is running at 2.2MB/s and dropping. (its been running since 10am (now 4pm) and has completed 23 GB...).

Does anyone have some information that may be useful in this situation as it is time sensitive and the data required from the drive is assignment work for a corse due imminently.

I have checked for issues relating to NTFS permissions and mounting methods but i can RW to other directories so i assume the mounting method is not the issue.

I am unsure if this issue related to folder ownership in windows?



This is indeed an issue of ownership. The C:\users\NAME directory is equivalent to the home directory and can only be accessed through elevated permissions.

You should avoid using nautilus to access the data on this, but rather first attempt chown on the user directory to remap it to your user's ownership. Once done, it should be possible to retrieve the data.

Note that this may corrupt access to the directory from windows-side, or corrupt the Windows user itself. Given that this hard drive seems less-than-workable, however, I doubt that you plan on using it again without formatting it, so this should be possible without any problems.

If it does not solve the issue, however, please give the output of ls -l on the users\NAME directory.

(I hope this doesn't come too late for you)

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  • Thanks for your help. Unfortunately the drive continued to get worse and did not make it through dd. I will remember this one for the future and at lease the info is out there for everyone. As your the only one how has provided an answer an i can no longer test it ill give you the points. – nick Nov 2 '12 at 5:18
  • @nick Sorry to hear that. – user98085 Nov 2 '12 at 8:55

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