Dual external hard drive recovery
July 24, 2008 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I have a Fantom Drive 500GB 7200RPM USB 2.0 External Hard Drive - MDU500. The connection for the power cable came loose from the board and nothing I tried could get it to power up. I removed the drives and connected them to a Linux box running Ubuntu 8.04. It saw the two drives as one and even knew the drive name I'd given it. However I cannot get it to mount. The error message in Linux suggests trying SoftRAID or dmraid. Dmraid didn't work. (At least I couldn't get it to.) The message also suggested trying to access the drives in Windows. Windows XP will also see the drive as one unit but wants to format the drive. Can someone provide me some advice or direction in how I might get this drive to a state where I can move my data onto another drive?

If you suggest LiveCD or dmraid or something similar please provide step-by-step instructions. I have solid background in Unix so I'll understand what you tell me to do but my knowledge of Linux/Ubuntu is limited. Thanks!
posted by s1gn1fy to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you taken a look at where the connector broke loose from the board? That sort of thing can usually be fixed with either a soldering iron or with some alligator clips, at least long enough to get the data off the drives.
posted by strangecargo at 2:05 PM on July 24, 2008

I'd try to fix the connector. If you do, back up your data immediately. It's a pain in the ass to try recovering raid0, especially if you don't know what kind of controller the enclosure is using.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:12 PM on July 24, 2008

The error message in Linux suggests trying SoftRAID or dmraid. Dmraid didn't work. (At least I couldn't get it to.) The message also suggested trying to access the drives in Windows.

Could you paste what error message you got? dmraid can work with a bit of coaxing (speaking from experience)
posted by cyanide at 9:15 PM on July 24, 2008

Thanks for the responses so far. First, the problem with the connector is that it's not making full contact with the board somewhere but the soldering points are intact. At first I could get it to connect by twisting the USB connector in it's jack and/or tilting the connector housing but it wasn't consistent and wouldn't stay alive long enough to move any data. So while it may be something that could be resolved by soldering it may also be the connector housing. I may return the drives to the enclosure if I can't resolve this through software but for now trying to mount the drive in Linux or Windows appears to be my best option.

Here is the error message. I understand what it says in part but I will not be insulted if you want to break it down into the most basic explanation. In fact, that may help.

Error message:

Cannot mount volume
Unable to mount the volume 'ECHO2'

nfts_attr_pread: ntfs_pread failed: input/output error Failed to read $MFTMirr: input/output error Failed to mount '/dev/sda5': input/output error NTFS is either inconsistent or you have hardware faults or you have a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows then reboot into Windows TWICE. The usage of the /f parameter is very important! If you have SoftRAID/FakeRAID then you must first activate it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/directory, (e.g. /dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see 'dmraid' documentation for the details.

Note: ECHO2 is the name of the volume consisting of the two 250GB drives I'm attempting to mount. The chkdsk didn't work and I couldn't activate the volume in dmraid. That's as far as I have gotten.

Thanks for your continued help.
posted by s1gn1fy at 8:17 AM on July 25, 2008

Try asking in the ntfs-3g forums.
posted by PueExMachina at 6:37 PM on July 27, 2008

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