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Old 12-22-2003, 12:36 AM   #1 (Print)
BlankMan
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dd_rescue copy time - tests results and optimum way to salvage a bad drive

I had some time after I fixed my last 120G drive failure so I thought I'd do some testing to find the best configuration to use to minimize the copy time. I ran a test with the soft block limit (-b) set to 2M and the hard block limit (-B) set to 1b (i.e. 512 bytes) so that when a bad sector is encountered, only that bad sector is padded. Using the 2M soft block limit it took ~26 hours to copy a 120G drive with between 400 and 500 bad sectors (200KB to 250KB).

Now this was on a UDMA 6 ATA/133 capable machine with DMA enabled on all drives, and the drives capable of UDMA 6 ATA/133. When dd_rescue started out it was transferring at over 30M/sec but during the course of 26 hours, this degraded to a final average transfer rate of 1.2M/sec, about the same as my previous testing without DMA enabled.

I then upped the soft block limit to 4M and basically got the same results, 26 hours to copy the same 120G drive. Once again dd_rescue started out with the transfer rate in the range of 30M/sec, but when all was said and done the average transfer rate was 1.2M/sec.

And then, just by dumb luck I stumbled on a much faster way to do this, cutting the 26 hours down to under 4 hours. Yes, under 4 hours to image copy a bad 120G drive to a new one.

Another 120G Maxtor drive blew (go figure) in my TiVo1, since I didn't have a spare 120G sitting around this time I couldn't do a disk to disk copy, but I did have a 160G drive. I didn't want to use it and waste the 40G, I wouldn't even be able to use it to 137G because my partition table is full, so I formatted it with a reiserfs file system and just mounted it.

I then used dd_rescue to read the bad 120G drive and write it to an image file on the 160G mount point. To my surprise this method maintained a average 19M/sec transfer rate throughout the dd_rescue operation, finishing the copy in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It might have been faster had it not had to slow down for 472 bad sectors.

When I saw the speed at which this was progressing, I decided to run out to Best Buy and get a replacement 120G drive because at this rate I could have this thing fixed tonight instead of taking days. After the image file was created I reversed the process and wrote it back out to the new drive, that completed in slightly over 1 hour and 30 minutes with an average transfer rate of ~22M/sec.

So to sum things up, to replace a failed disk in the fastest possible time, use dd_rescue to an image file on a mount point then use that image file to write the new replacement disk. For most people that use 120G and 160G drives in their TiVo's that means the machine you do your TiVo work on must have a 160G drive on it with adequate free space, but to me that is worth it due to the time it saves when swapping out a failed drive. I should mention that you need to have DMA enabled on the drives. What I found out with the SuSE distribution I use on my TiVo workstation, DMA is not gen'd in to the kernel that SuSE provides, you must gen your own kernel (or find one) with DMA enabled and turn it on on the drives. I usually gen my own kernels but I was in a hurry at first and didn't, and I could not enable DMA on the drives until I finally realized it was not gen'd in to the provided kernel.

Since this is the 4th 120G drive failure I've had spread out among my three T60's, I've become somewhat of an expert (self proclaimed) when it comes to salvaging failed Maxtor drives without losing the recorded programs.

For the techies interested, these are the dd_rescue commands used in testing, hdc being the bad drive:

For the 2M soft block limit:
dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v -l dd_rescue2.log /dev/hdc /dev/hdd

For the 4M soft block limit:
dd_rescue -B 1b -b 4M -A -v -l dd_rescue4.log /dev/hdc /dev/hdd


For the 120G copy to an image file:
dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v -l dd_rescue-tivo1-img.log /dev/hdc /hdd1/tivo1_rescue.img

Then to copy the image file back onto the new disk:
dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v -l dd_rescue-tivo1-disk.log /hdd1/tivo1_rescue.img /dev/hdc

The only thing I wanted to try but forgot when I started the restore of the image file to disk was to up the soft block limit to 8M because the new drive has an 8M cache. Next time. As I'm sure there will be one as long as I'm using Maxtor drives. I looked into using a Seagate 120G drive this time but it's slightly smaller then the Maxtor so I could not.

<Edited>

Had to fix one typo that's been bugging me for a while since this is getting referenced a lot.

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Last edited by BlankMan : 08-18-2004 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:16 AM   #2 (Print)
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Nice work! I'll definitely be using this as a reference should I ever need to salvage a dying drive.

I wonder if other file systems might provide an even greater speed increase compared to ReiserFS.

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Old 12-22-2003, 10:36 AM   #3 (Print)
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Good question, I don't have any experience with the other Linux journaling file systems. I've been using reiser on all my systems, both at work and at home for quite a long time. But at the rate this completed I'm fully satisfied with the speed and the elapsed time to get it fixed.

And thanks. That's why I put it out here, to help people fix their failed drives in a timely fashion.

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Old 12-22-2003, 12:34 PM   #4 (Print)
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Do you have a sort of 'potted how-to use dd_rescue to copy a TiVo disk' you could add to this thread? Your OP assumes that people know how to run dd_rescue. If you could add enough to get people started (where to get it (Knoppix?), how to start it running, what the normal options would be, why you might want to vary them) this thread would be a very useful resource for data recovery.

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Old 12-22-2003, 01:44 PM   #5 (Print)
BlankMan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert S
Do you have a sort of 'potted how-to use dd_rescue to copy a TiVo disk' you could add to this thread? Your OP assumes that people know how to run dd_rescue. If you could add enough to get people started (where to get it (Knoppix?), how to start it running, what the normal options would be, why you might want to vary them) this thread would be a very useful resource for data recovery.
I did that in my original post. I'm not going to get into the Knoppix part because I don't use it therefore could not provide adequate advice. I think I stated that in the original post, that I use SuSE's Linux distribution.

As far as the options I used, they are pretty self explanatory if one enters dd_rescue by itself or if one does a dd_rescue -h. Any remaining options that I do not use in my opinion are not needed in this operation.

I'm assuming one has Linux/UNIX knowledge when attempting this operation because without it one could land up making matters worse.

The whole purpose of this thread was to do exactly what you stated to provide a reference for people to salvage a bad disk.

But I will break down the switches I used:

dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v -l dd_rescue-tivo1-img.log /dev/hdc /hdd1/tivo1_rescue.img

-B 1b == soft block limit in this case set to 1b (1 block, 512 bytes) - the amount of data transferred when a read error occurs and padded with 0's (zeros) when necessary to fill the block to 512 bytes before writing, set to this value so that only the bad sector transferred is zeroed, not additional good sectors

-b 2M == hard block limit in this case set to 2MBytes (2,097,152 bytes) - the amount of data transferred when no I/O errors are encountered, set to the value of the smallest cache on the drives involved to hopefully optimize data transfers

-A == Always write blocks, zeroed (padded) if read error occurs

-v == verbose operation - tell me what you're doing i.e. progress report

-l dd_rescue-tivo1-img.log == log file for status messages

/dev/hdc == Source, drive in this case

/hdd1/tivo1_rescue.img == Destination, image file in this case

But I will field questions when people need help.

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Old 01-04-2004, 01:34 PM   #6 (Print)
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I am using dd_rescue right now on a 120GB drive to an image. I am only seeing 2.6MB/Sec transfer (has not changed from the start).

I did find a useful tool to make this easier and perhaps faster - dd_rhelp. It invokes dd_rescue and if a read error occurs, it starts from a different position on the drive, perhaps reading backwards. It keeps track of the holes and fills them up and continues restarting dd_rescue. This way, the bulk of the good areas are copied first.

dd_rhelp is a shell script. I did change the -B from 16k to 2M but it did not improve the transfer rate much.

I booted to Knoppix using the parameter "knoppix 2 dma" to boot to text mode and enabling DMA.

You can Ctrl/C to terminate dd_rescue if it gets stuck on a bad area (wait till dd_rescue terminates so the shell script can capture the summary). Then simply restart dd_rhelp and it will continue from a different area.

dd_rhelp also shows a histogram of the areas recovered and those yet to do.

I hope this works. The bad (Maxtor) drive still works OK in the Tivo.

dd_rhelp needs dd_rescue V1.03.

Gary
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:34 PM   #7 (Print)
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Try the following to verify your read rate:

hdparm -t /dev/hdX

X = where the drive is.

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Old 01-05-2004, 09:22 AM   #8 (Print)
gardavis
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Success:)

It took about 12 hrs to copy the 120GB failing Maxtor to an image file on a 160GB drive on my PC. dd_rhelp worked very well, restarting dd_rescue everytime it needed to get past a failing part of the drive and displaying progress.

At the end, it struggled to get the last remaining good sectors off the bad spots on the drive and there were a few really bad spots that caused the drive to "clunk" and return busy. When this happened, I had to Ctrl/C, completely power off and restart (it restarted in a different area). Eventually, I decided to go with whatever had been recovered at that time. There was about 300MB not recovered and mostly deep into the drive.

I then ran dd_rescue as mentioned above to copy from the image file to the new drive - this went fast (30MB/sec). I popped the new drive back in the Tivo and it worked just fine. The missing 300MB seems to not be an issue (at least so far).

With so many people having problems with failing drives, these tools should be considered for saving your configuration. I am not sure is dd_rhelp will copy from drive to drive or if it needs to go to an image. The Knoppix system worked fine but other Linux CD boots may work just as fine. Byteswapping is not an issue since you don't need to mount the failing drive's partitions.

dd_rhelp did need to be built using the configure/make tools mentioned in its instructions. It just builds a shell-script (dd_rhelp) tailored to your Linux distribution. The dd_rescue includes an image so does not need to be built.

Good luck,
Gary
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:26 AM   #9 (Print)
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Many thanks to BlankMan

I wanted to say thanks to BlankMan for all of his help with getting a drive of mine restored using dd_rescue. I have upgraded many TiVo's using MFS Tools, but the whole dd_rescue & a true Linux O.S. was confusing...

Anyway, if anyone needs help with dd_rescue feel free to send me a PM. I was a linux newbie, and feel I learned a lot over several weeks that could help out anyone attempting this for the first time. I plan to put together a "journal" of my experience in a new thread when I find time. There is too much stuff to relay for me to just quickly put it together, but I can pass along the most important stuff in a PM.

Regarding comments about Knoppix, it was very useful and made the process much easier. Here are a few links regarding Knoppix:

http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.ph...=review-knoppix
http://www.knoppix.net

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Old 01-23-2004, 10:55 AM   #10 (Print)
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Re: Success:)

Quote:
Originally posted by gardavis
It took about 12 hrs to copy the 120GB failing Maxtor to an image file on a 160GB drive on my PC. dd_rhelp worked very well, restarting dd_rescue everytime it needed to get past a failing part of the drive and displaying progress.
It sounds like you encountered Maxtor's infamous Click of Death. I can see why restarts would be needed in that case, as you pointed out, a power cycle was the only way to stop it and that has been my experience also. However, I never had that happen when using dd_rescue, back when one of my drives had the Click of Death I was still using dd. When I did experience the Click of Death the drive was still in the DTiVo and that was basically how I knew it went bad.

12 hours is not a bad time for a 120G drive, that's 10G an hour, granted not great but I once had a 120G drive take 48 hours using dd. That's why I looked for a better alternative and came across dd_rescue. Enabling DMA is the trick, and not always the easiest to do or even possible if the OS is not set up for it. At 2.7M/sec I would assume that DMA was not enabled but it could have been. If dd_rescue hits an extremely large number of bad sectors and falls back to 512 byte block reads and goes through the multiple re-reads of the bad sector until it finally fails, that will affect the average overall transfer rate reported by dd_rescue.

The command spirit257 suggested is one of the only ways to know for sure from a user standpoint if it really was enabled, or by looking in /proc. Checking is the only way to know for sure, using a boot option and believing that it is really in use means nothing. Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt. That's when I realized it wasn't gen'd into the kernel and no matter what I did it was never enabled.

It would be interesting to know the count of how many bad areas dd_rescue encountered, as I said that can greatly affect overall average transfer rate.

Thanks WeKnSmith, glad I could help, you did great at figuring out a lot of the Linux stuff yourself.

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Old 01-23-2004, 11:17 AM   #11 (Print)
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One important time saver

Enabling DMA is critical when it comes to backup/restore time with dd_rescue. It is easy to enable in Knoppix, by using one of their "cheat codes". Cheat codes are parameters that you specific before the O.S. loads. Make sure to specify the "dma" cheat code before launching Knoppix:

http://www.knoppix.net/docs/index.php/CheatCodes

During my restore, Blankman pointed out that you can confirm the state of DMA by issuing the hdparm command (if it is available {it is on Knoppix}) from a command prompt. Use:

hdparm /dev/hda or hdb or hdc or hdd how ever you have them connected.

The "using_dma" parameter will tell if it's on or not.

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Old 01-23-2004, 07:16 PM   #12 (Print)
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My first attempt with dd_rescue was without DMA on. Watching the progress, I realized I had not enabled DMA and then rebooted to choose DMA. I did not use hdparm to verify it, however.

I think at the time I finally shut down the rescue, all but about 300MB were recovered and I think there were about 50-60 bad spots.
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:21 PM   #13 (Print)
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Slow throughput

I have a Phillips Tivo mod 1, modified with two 120gig drives.
Drive A crapped out....again.

Using my newer PC with UDMA 133 support and booted knoppix cdrom to run the copy.

Ran dd_rescue, and I'm getting 100k/s on the screen. I am way past the errors it got and look to have only 8.2k of bad data so far.

Hdparm -t on the drives gives me 30m/s
Hdparm -T gives me 150m/s

Am I doing something wrong here? Am I not looking at the ouput properly?
I'm over 24hours into a 120g to 120g copy and it says 8200000kb transferrd.
Command used for the copy:
dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v /dev/hda /dev/hdb

Thanks Brian.
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:36 PM   #14 (Print)
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dd_rescue throughput

Oh, I forgot some facts, of course.
Knoppix was started with the dma option.
hdparm /dev/hda and hdparm /dev/hdb show dma enabed for both devices.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:31 PM   #15 (Print)
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SuSe and Gen ing the drives

Hi Blankman,

Thanks for that great news on being able to speedily copy drives, but I was a bit lost in that section you wrote on SuSE and Gen ing the drive and all of that. Is this something that would have to be done on All Tivo workstations, and, how would you know if your workstation needs it done? Lastly, I have some old Pentium 3 machines laying around, and I was thinking of dedicating one as a tivo workstation. Do you have any idea about minimum requirements or ideas that would help me out? Oh, one other thing: Where do you get dd_rescue and the associated utilities?
Thank you Very Much. Paul
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:27 PM   #16 (Print)
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Why so many dead drives? Power problems?

I've been very lucky. Never a dead drive in any of my TiVos. No UPS either--just a (good, I think) Tripp Lite surge.

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Old 04-01-2004, 09:39 AM   #17 (Print)
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I used the dd_rescue command to copy from a 160gb to a Samsung 160gb.

I am getting the error "no space left on device".

Any thoguhts please.

Fred
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Old 04-01-2004, 10:08 AM   #18 (Print)
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Did the drives detect as the correct sizes (dmesg | grep hd to check the boot log)?

The TiVo will only use the first 137Gb of the drives anyway.

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Old 04-01-2004, 10:20 AM   #19 (Print)
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When I boot with the MFS tools the size are identical. 137439 MB. When I boot with the disk that has the DD_Rescue on it (systemrescuecd-x86-0.2.12.iso) they differ one is 160042 (destination) 163929 (soruce).
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Old 04-01-2004, 10:47 AM   #20 (Print)
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That's OK, then. Unless you do a large drive upgrade (replace the TiVo's kernel etc), the TiVo will only see the first 137Gb, so the fact that the new drive is smaller is irrelevent.

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Old 04-01-2004, 02:05 PM   #21 (Print)
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But I need to use the DD_Rescue and it's os will see the comple drive and not let me copy completely.
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Old 04-01-2004, 03:12 PM   #22 (Print)
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Yes, but the TiVo won't be aware that that bit is missing as its IDE drive will tell it that it's a 137Gb drive, just like the old one. It's only zeroes up there anyway - you could stop copying at the 137Gb mark if you wanted to.

When you did the upgrade MFS Tools couldn't see that far up the drive and neither can the TiVo.

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Old 04-01-2004, 03:18 PM   #23 (Print)
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That is what I thought but when I put the drives(New ones) in it get stuck on powering up.
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Old 04-01-2004, 03:36 PM   #24 (Print)
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That doesn't relate to this issue. If you chop the end off a TiVo drive, it'll still boot just fine. (Bad Things start to happen fairly soon, of course).

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Old 04-02-2004, 10:27 PM   #25 (Print)
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Basic question: Can I run dd_rescue from a bootable cd (from knoppix.net, I guess) or do I have to install knoppix onto a different hard drive in order to run dd_rescue?
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:46 AM   #26 (Print)
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Knoppix is a fully functional Linux install on a bootable CD. It will run quite happily with no hard drive in the machine.

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Old 04-07-2004, 10:33 PM   #27 (Print)
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Two Words........... Norton Ghost.
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Old 04-08-2004, 07:30 AM   #28 (Print)
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How well does Ghost cope with drives with a lot of bad blocks?

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Old 04-09-2004, 05:18 AM   #29 (Print)
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I've thought about Ghost as well - especially since I'm a Linux newbie - for copying to a new drive. I'd like to use it to copy from a good working drive to a larger replacement drive. Ghost can expand a partition during the process to use free space if Ghosting to a larger drive but I've never tried that on a drive with multiple partitions. Anyone have any ideas (theory or working knowledge) on Ghosting a working TiVo A drive to a larger A drive?
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Old 04-09-2004, 07:54 AM   #30 (Print)
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Ghost can expand a partition

On a drive formatted for a PC, perhaps. Not on a TiVo drive, though.

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