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Old Apr 26, 2012, 9:12 PM   #11
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Okay, so I bought a card reader, yet photorec still isn't recognizing the card.

It looks like it's time for me to pursue ddrescue. So this involves using a Linux boot-up disc? I downloaded ddrescue via the link you gave me to that old post, yet I wasn't sure what to do with the .lz file, so it's sitting on my desktop for now.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 10:17 PM   #12
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Not good (card not being recognized).

OK... What kind of computer do you have (brand/model if a name brand, or more about specifications if it's a custom build)?

What Operating system is on it (XP, Vista, etc.) and how much disk space is free?

Have you got a DVD Burner? If not, do you have a CD Burner?

Yes... we'll want to download a Linux distro that you can burn to disc and boot into. Mepis is one that has ddrescue and photorec preinstalled. But, the latest releases require a DVD (won't fit on a CD). Now... you may not need to use the latest release and can get by with an older version. But, the type of hardware you have plays a role in what would work best.

You could also boot it from a USB Flash Drive (or if you have another SDHC card, you could use it for that purpose), as long as your PC is capable of booting from a USB attached drive. But, you couldn't use the same reader as you'll be using to copy the card (since you couldn't remove it while using Mepis from it). So, a CD or DVD would be best.

I'd probably just download Mepis 11 as long as the PC isn't really old. Get it here:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/mepis/rele...11.0.12_32.iso

If you only have a CD burner and no DVD burner, download this older version (Mepis 8.5) instead, as it will fit on a CD:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/mepis/rele...03-rel1_32.iso

Then, download and install this free tool (isorecorder) that can burn the .iso you downloaded to disc so that it's bootable:

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Then, all you need to do is go to your downloads folder (under My Computer), and when you "right click" on the Mepis .iso file you downloaded, you'll see a new menu choice to "Copy Image to CD/DVD" that will burn the .iso file to CD/DVD so that you can boot into it (use a CD for the Mepis 8.5 .iso, or use a DVD for the Mepis 11 .iso).


Depending on the type of computer you have, you may have a function key you can press that will give you boot choices so you can select the CD/DVD. With some PCs, it's ESC, with others it's F12, and it may be something entirely different. You can also go into your computer's BIOS setup and change the "boot order" so that it boots from your CD/DVD drive first, then looks at the hard drive. That way, if you have a bootable disc in your CD/DVD drive, it boots from it, or if not, it boots from your hard drive.

Then, once you boot into Mepis (and use demo as the username and demo as the password), and the desktop finishes loading, plug in your card reader with the problem card in it.

After that, open Konsole (a terminal program). If you click on the Start Menu icon (bottom left hand corner), you'll find a choice for Konsole (Terminal Program) under the System menu options.

Once it opens a terminal window, type this, entering root as the password when prompted for one:

su
fdisk -l
mount

Then, copy and paste the results those command return into a forum post here. You'll see Firefox in the menus (under the Internet options) that you can use to log in here while we're working on the issue.

After you copy and paste the results of those commands into a forum post here, I can tell you what to type next. I'm getting ready to "hit the rack" now. But, I'll be online again tomorrow.

I'll also send you my phone number via PM. That way, you can call me if you want to talk you through most of it via phone instead (although using the forums may be easier since you can copy and paste results of commands and I can give you commands that you can copy and paste into a terminal).

It's easier than it sounds. Basically, I just need to know how your drives are labeled (which will vary by computer) before we go any further; and the fisk -l command will tell me what drives are being seen (including your problem card) and how they're referenced so I'll know how to tell you to proceed with the appropriate commands to mount a drive to save a copy of it to, and how to construct the ddrescue command needed to copy your card to a disk image file that we can use with photorec.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 11:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
OK... What kind of computer do you have (brand/model if a name brand, or more about specifications if it's a custom build)?
Dell Inspiron 17R laptop (only about 3 weeks old, actually)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
What Operating system is on it (XP, Vista, etc.) and how much disk space is free?
Windows 7 64-bit with 784 GB free

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Have you got a DVD Burner? If not, do you have a CD Burner?
Yes, it has a DVD burner.

I'm gonna let Mepis 11 download overnight tonight, but if it speeds up and I get it on my PC before I go to bed, I'll try to burn and give it a go so I can have some sort of results ready before I go to work tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your help Jim! The process you outlined doesn't sound too overwhelming, so I look forward to giving it a go.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 3:55 PM   #14
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Whenever you have it downloaded and want to recover the images, post here or give me a call (I sent you a PM with my phone number in it last night) and I'll walk you through it.

If you need network connectivity via wireless from that 17R to copy and paste info from this thread, I can give you a quick lesson on how to approach that part, too. I have multiple Dell laptops and netbooks and know how to get them working with Mepis 11 wireless drivers from a Live DVD, which can be confusing to a newer Linux user (a specific approach is needed from a live session versus hard drive install for wireless setup). But, a wired connection would save that hassle. ;-)

In any event, let me know when you've got the .iso file downloaded and burned to a DVD (use isorecorder as mentioned above), and I can walk you through the steps needed
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 1:00 AM   #15
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I got the DVD burned and tried to boot up into Mepis this morning before going to work. My first discovery was exactly what you mentioned in your post with regards to connecting to the internet. Being inexperienced with Linux, I definitely struggled in figuring out how to make it happen and ultimately had to give up on it so I could get to work on time.

Regardless, I will try some initial work with Konsole tonight to see what I can find so far and post those results tonight (more like early morning).
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 1:37 AM   #16
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I booted into Mepis, followed your instructions, then copied/pasted out of the Konsole into their brand of a word processor. Then I saved the file to a folder I could reach when I got back into Windows. A tad impractical, I know, but I figured I could at least work around me not being connected to the internet that way.

Here's what I got:

[email protected]:~$ su
Password:
[[email protected] demo]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x07f2837e

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 13 104391 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 14 2563 20480000 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 2563 121602 956175064 7 HPFS/NTFS
[[email protected] demo]# mount
tmpfs on /linux/lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
/dev/sr0 on /cdrom type iso9660 (ro,relatime)
/dev/loop0 on /linux type squashfs (ro,relatime)
/ramdisk on /ramdisk type tmpfs (rw,relatime,size=3028228k,nr_inodes=219311,mode=7 55)
/ramdisk on /home type tmpfs (rw,relatime,size=3028228k,nr_inodes=219311,mode=7 55)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 10:11 AM   #17
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Was your problem card plugged in when you ran those commands?

Unplug it, plug it in again, then repeat this part and paste the results into this thread. Note that if you get a popup window asking what to do when the card is inserted (open in dolphin file manager, copy photos, etc.), ignore it (don't select any choices). Enter root as the password when prompted (the su command tells it to login as a Super User with root permissions and the root password is root when running from a Mepis 11 live dvd).

su
fdisk -l



If the only entries that start with /dev only start with /dev/sda (versus something else after the /dev/sd parts like /dev/sdb or /dev/sbc, or something else entirely (as sometimes you'll see odd labels with readers), then unplug it, put it into a Micro SD/SDHC to SDHC Adapter, plug it into your 17R's SDHC card slot (it will be SDHC compatible with a machine that new), then repeat those commands again in a Konsole (Terminal) window and paste the results:

su
fdisk -l


Note that fdisk -l tells us about any drives and partitions the system is seeing (even if their file systems are not being seen or mountable).

/dev/sda is the first drive, /dev/sdb is the second drive, /dev/sdc is the third drive, etc. Note how your 1TB drive showed up as /dev/sda when you ran it earlier. Then, the partitions on it were listed (/dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3, etc.). Sometimes with removable media, the label can be odd (especially with some built in readers). But, we'll need to find out how it's being referenced, and that entry will start with /dev/, with something other than sda as the second part (we're looking for entries starting with something other than /dev/sda in the output from fdisk -l).

No other drives showed up (your card was not seen if it was plugged in) in the results you posted. So, we need to get to a point where it's recognized (even if no partitions are seen on it), to make a disk image copy of it. Unplug it, plug it in again, repeat those commands. We're trying to get to a point where it's seen by the system so we know how to reference it. Sometimes a failing drive will only be recognized intermittently.

Again, if it's still not being seen via a USB attached reader, try the SDHC slot in your 17R and see what you get (it should be SDHC compatible), repeating the procedure (unplug the card, plug it in again, run the commands) until you see an entry for it. Then, paste the results into this thread.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 10:31 AM   #18
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IOW, we're looking for something like this entry for your SDHC card (only for something other than /dev/sda):


Quote:
Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x07f2837e
Note that once you use the su command and enter root as the password, you don't need to enter it again within the same terminal window, until you close it.

So, once you do this and enter root as the password, you won't need to repeat the su part again until you close the window for that terminal session.

su
fdisk -l

IOW, you can just enter this part as long as you haven't closed the same terminal window:

fdisk -l

Note that you can also just use your up arrow and repeat a previous command (look for fdisk -l again when you use the up arrow and press enter when it's on the command line).

But, we need to know how your card is being referenced to proceed. So, try the command multiple times until you get an entry for the card (something starting with /dev/, with something other than sda after it; as /dev/sda is your 1TB hard drive and we need an entry for the card to copy it).

Sometimes a failing card will only be seen intermittently. So, try unplugging it, plugging it in again, and repeating the command multiple times -- if no entry, unplug it, plug it in again and repeat the fdisk -l commands multiple times, until you get a result showing how the card is being referenced in your system (something other than /dev/sda shown in the output from the command).
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 2:56 PM   #19
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I tried plugging my card in repeatedly and still kept getting what I pasted into my previous post.

I tried plugging the card reader into different USB ports in the PC to see if that would help. It didn't.

I took it out of my card reader and put it into an adapter so I could insert it into the card reader built into the 17R. I also tried that repeatedly. Still no luck.



Just for the sake of experimentation (and to make sure the card readers are even recognized), I took a different undamaged micro SDHC card that I have and plugged it in to see what results I got.

Bear in mind, this was NOT the problematic card, but I just wanted to share what it shows me if I have a card that works plugged into the external card reader:

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x07f2837e

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 13 104391 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 14 2563 20480000 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 2563 121602 956175064 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdg: 3965 MB, 3965190144 bytes
49 heads, 48 sectors/track, 3292 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2352 * 512 = 1204224 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdg1 4 3293 3868160 b W95 FAT32
[[email protected] demo]#


So I at least know that an undamaged card works in the external card reader. I took that same card and put it into an adapter to put into the 17R reader slot and got this:

[[email protected] demo]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x07f2837e

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 13 104391 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 14 2563 20480000 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 2563 121602 956175064 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdc: 3965 MB, 3965190144 bytes
49 heads, 48 sectors/track, 3292 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2352 * 512 = 1204224 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 4 3293 3868160 b W95 FAT32
[[email protected] demo]#

I don't know if this ultimately helps with anything, as I could never get Mepis to pull back anything while my damaged card was in there.

Is this card completely toast?
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 4:09 PM   #20
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What you're seeing with a good card is what I'd expect to see, with fdisk -l reporting /dev/sdc with the internal reader, showing up as the third drive in the system (sda is the first drive, sdb is the second drive, sdc is the third drive, etc.).

Ditto for what you see using an external USB attached reader, as it's not uncommon to see different labels for different slots. IOW, /dev/sdg would be a normal label assigned and how I'd reference a card using that reader from what it returns with a known good card in it).

But, if you can't get the card to show up at all using fdisk -l with it plugged in, then yes, it's possible that it is "toast" as you put it.

That's very rare (usually, you still see something returned from a failing card unless the controller isn't working at all, even if the partition table is bad and the file systems are not readable). But, that can happen. It could be something as simple as a crack in the etching on the card's circuit board. Or, perhaps a cold solder joint.

Readers can make a difference, too. For example, I've seen failing cards that were not recognized in any of my other readers, but they would still work intermittently in my wife's laptop reader for some reason (probably because of minor voltage differences).

If you want to mail it to me, I'll see what I can do with it without opening it up. No charge as I don't mind doing it if the images are important to you (as it's no big deal and I've got laptops, netbooks, etc. sitting around unused I could try it with, without impacting my normal work).

Sometimes a card will work better warm (and leaving it in an internal reader in a hot laptop overnight will sometimes allow cards like that to work long enough to copy them), and sometimes you see the opposite (cooling one down some that components contract can sometimes allow one to work long enough to get data from it).

If I can't get any data from it, you'll probably need to send it to a data recovery service with specialized equipment, so they can remove the nand flash from the card's circuit board and try to read it using a different controller device designed for that purpose. But, those types of services are very expensive.

I'll send you a mailing address via PM if you want me to check to see if I can find a way to read it without you needing to go to that trouble.

No promises (as I might not have any luck with it). But, if you want to send me the card, I'll see what I can do with it, as one of the readers I have may work better with it (I've seen that before with some failing cards that were not recognized in other readers):
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