I'm still learning ubuntu. I'm attempting to pull some data from a HDD in Ubuntu 14.xx. Currently it says I have 8,011 hours left to pull ~150GB via USB. To speed this up, is there any way to set a timeout option with the copy function to allow it to skip corrupted files after a set length of time, forcing it to continue? Is there a better way of doing this?
If you have a failing disk your priority is taking a raw disk image and getting that somewhere safe.
Before we get there, this is where I suggest that USB isn't a great idea. It's slow and not nearly raw enough for data-recovery programs to accurately gauge the issue. That's not to say that USB won't work (it might) but a real SATA connection will do you the world of good, as well as being faster.
ddrescue (from the
gddrescue package) seems to be the best option to make the clone though that's probably subjective and subject to change in time.
From there, you have tools like testdisk, and photorec to untangle broken files and rescue anything that fell through the cracks (eg broken file headers) back to a live filesystem.
Note that data-recovery tools like
ddrescue specifically skips over broken bits the first time around. It'll get as good a copy as it possibly can the first time around and iteratively go back for broken data. That sort of answers your "timeout" question in itself.