Okay, here is the situation.

Knowing for a few months now there was an issue with my hard drive, I ignored it. Problem was from power outages, was getting the error on boot, over rode the setting in BIOS to ignore the issue. Knew should have just zeroed out the drive, but was lazy and now am screwed.

Now Ubuntu cannot read the hard drive, BIOS does, but shows it as 0mb. I have in the past did save hard drives by doing a zero fill via the manufactures software, this was way back when the software came on a floppy disk when you bought the hard drive.

The hard drive is partitioned off, 3 ext4 one being for ubuntu, another for android-x86 and the third for backup, the other is a ntfs for windows.

I really don't care about recovering the files, just want to be able to zero fill the drive to see if this would save it, either by using the dd if=/dev/sdx of=/zero or using the WD software provided on western digital's website. Yes know that a new HDD is needed, working on it, just would like to see if it can be done for knowledge reasons.

Can't quite figure out how to make a bootable USB stick, since I am not using windows and do not have access to a windows PC. Right now using Ubuntu installed on a USB stick, this link doesn't help since blkd isn't seeing the corrupted drive.

Tried a few partition programs, gparted, parted, gdisk, fdisk, testdisk, they are not seeing the drive. Installed FreeDos using netbootin and tried getting the manufacture software to work, but not really familiar with dos commands, pretty much forgot them all over the years. Netbootin also isn't letting me make a bootable USB stick, rufus is supposed to work, installing wine to see if it will let me do it.

  • You most likely have a hardware drive failure. Personally, I'd throw out the disk and get a new one....they are relatively inexpensive these days and using a failing drive is really not worth the trouble and worry. – mdpc Dec 13 '14 at 3:54
  • I already said that in paragraph 4 – bethnesbitt Dec 13 '14 at 14:27

Once a hard drive starts to fail , you will start to have problems. You can continue to use the drive for some time, by re-formatting it, etc as you suggest.

The drive may have some life in it, for example, I used a drive like this for over a year. Just make sure you have reliable back ups.

Sometimes (rarely) they fail gradually, but eventually the drive will completely fail. Total failure will occur without any additional warning (the only warning you have is the need to re-format, write all 0's, etc in the first place).

I assume from what you posted you are now at the point of total failure. Even if you somehow squeeze some life out of the drive I would not expect it to function for more then a day or two at the most.

Making a live usb is easy see http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-ubuntu or unetbootin if you are running windows http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows .

  • As I stated, I am running ubuntu on a usb stick already on the computer. Since it isn't seeing the hard drive, what I need to do is see if western digital's software will read the disk and allow me to write zeros, since it has that option. My issue is creating the WD bootable usb stick, not the ubuntu one, which isn't helping me since ubuntu "isn't seeing" the drive. – bethnesbitt Dec 13 '14 at 2:16
  • Forgot to mention, tried making a bootalbe "Western Digital" usb stick with netbootin, but it only brought me to the default screen on boot, did not install the Western Digital bootable stick, nothing happened. – bethnesbitt Dec 13 '14 at 2:17
  • You need to configure your bios to boot the usb – Panther Dec 13 '14 at 2:24
  • Again, i'm running ubuntu from the USB stick on the PC with the corrupted drive.... – bethnesbitt Dec 13 '14 at 2:25
  • I need to make the bootable WD boot usb stick. It's not an issue of getting it to boot, it's the issue of making the stick for the Western digatial software. – bethnesbitt Dec 13 '14 at 2:29

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