Showing posts from May, 2013

Using ddrescue to Replace Failing Hard Drive with External Drive in Kubuntu

I had the main system drive on my 5 year old Kubuntu machine start having read errors in the syslog reported by logcheck. I had the system up and running straight for those 5 years and it was likely nearing the drives lifetime. I didn't want to have to rebuild the system from scratch, since it had served me well -just wanted to get a little more reliable disk drive in place (with a minimal amount of hassle).

The drive I was replacing was a  250GB 7200 rpm SATA drive. I had an extra 500GB 7200 rpm Western Digital Black drive that had been a warranty repair. It had been gently used in a machine that needed more space. It was a perfect donor for the Kubuntu machine. It was currently mounted in a Rosewill USB external hard drive enclosure (

Here's an example of the errors in the syslog:
ata5: EH in SWNCQ mode,QC:qc_active 0x1000 sactive 0x1000ata5: SWNCQ:qc_active 0x1000 defer_bits 0x0 last_issue_tag 0xcata5: ATA_REG 0x41 ERR_REG 0x84ata5…