WD 2Tb External HDD You need to format the disk Error

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Posts: 67
Joined: 14 Sep 2012, 20:51

Re: WD 2Tb External HDD You need to format the disk Error

#21 Post by dragonfly41 »

You can see the syntax of ddrescue by running the command

man ddrescue

The syntax of ddrescue is

ddrescue <options> <infile> <outfile> <logfile>

so your suggested command is in error since there should only be ..
a path to an input file (what you are trying to clone)
a path to an output file (the destination for the copy)

Since you have two partitions to clone (/dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb5) I would start by creating two mirror partitions in your /dev/sdc device .. to reflect the structure of /dev/sdb (the device containing two partitions)

You can do this by launching knoppix and then

sudo gparted

The GParted program should launch and analyse your different devices.

In top right tool bar of GParted select /dev/sdc

There you can create and format two partitions /dev/sdc1 and /dev/sdc2 which will be the destination clones of the inputs /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb2

Then you require to run two sessions of ddrescue

ddrescue -nv /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdc1 rescue1.log
ddrescue -nv /dev/sdb5 /dev/sdc2 rescue2.log

Note that I have added "v" option which gives verbose logging.

One problem with ddrescue is that you cannot do a "dry run" to see what the effect of running the command would be without actually doing any copying. And it is all too easy to get the command wrong. e.g. your suggested command above might have overwritten /dev/sdb5 with /dev/sdb1 which is definitely NOT what you want to do!

One useful GUI for copying is luckyBackup which you might be able to install on knoppix. This allows a dry run of the cloning process before you commit.

Do follow again the link to the article on cloning partitions.


Also here is a useful thread on ddrescue.


Note that if you wish you can clone an entire device (instead of partition by partition as suggested above) and the command would exclude the partition number ..

ddrescue -nv /dev/sdb /dev/sdc rescue.log

I just hope that you understand what would happens if you get this wrong! Which is why I'm inclined to favour a dry run utility.

You will find rescue.log buried in your root after the exercise.

Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: WD 2Tb External HDD You need to format the disk Error

#22 Post by Lito »

Hi Azahirr. things are getting more and more muddled up as time goes by.
It does not matter if you know Linux or not, as long you keep focus about your task and the targets.

As far as I remember you would like to clone a hard disk (a whole hard disk). The partition numbers do not count at this stage. Your cloning the whole damaged hard disk into a healthy new whole disk.

When you issued the command

fdisk -l
the objective was to identify all the disks in your set up and the way they were arranged.

The information you posted back indicates, correct me if i am wrong, three hard disks as follows:
As long as you have not changed the setup, you would like to clone /sdb to /sdc
and that's it. Your commands should reflect that. Clone drive b to drive c

The reason that ddrescue is asking you to confirm an overwrite, by forcing it, is because the hard disk /sdc already have got data written in it. (Either data that Clonezilla transfered to the drive or might be a partition that you created earlier on and forgot about it). This same thing happens when you run ddrescue twice, and that's what i mistankenly, thought that was happening to you, when you posted the question about overwriting.
I already posted my thoughts about cleaning the healthy hard drive. But it is up to you to decide whether to cleanse and start back from the top (start afresh), or in the other hand go for an overwrite thus saving a bit of time.
I do feel that everything is already laid out for you to complete the task in hand.
You can get help for ddrescue and oher commands by typying
ddrescue -help
then pres enter
Once you get to the stage of having a successfuly cloned your hard drive, you can start the technical process of recovering your data. My aim is not to convert you to Linux or convince you of its merits. I just tried to help by giving you the sequence of commands to follow to do the cloning. Other than that i am afraid i cannot do.

Best of luck