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Re: file accessibility and copying/archive/...

Hugh Sasse wrote:

I want to recover as much of the data I wrote to the old system onto a portable drive (which being new is big, I forget how big now but of the order of 200GB), and I want to put the files somewhere on my as yet unbuilt new machine, which will probably be running Vista dual boot with Ubuntu.
If it's a once in a (PC's) lifetime job, then the knoppix offline way is the better way. The only guarantee M$ makes regarding shadow copy for non shadow copy awareapplications is that you get the same data that would reside on the disk after a PC crash. I got burnt when ntbackup copied an in-use svn repository (the with the Berkeley db backend).

Any knoppix will do, you don't need the DVD. Just:
1) use hdparm to make sure DMA mode is enabled;
2) use fdisk to repartition your removable hardrive, creating a partition of same exact size as the old partition;
3) use dd_rescue to copy the whole partition. I suggest dd_rescue over dd because it will handle read errors graciously. Hint: specify the soft blocksize big enough to use caching (say around 4M). Setting it too high will cause floating point exceptions I've never really wanted to debug;
4) Enjoy.

Note that the 3rd step may take some time. But you will get maximum performance from linear access and no other program trying to access the drives concurrently. OTOH, this method is certainly not the best if you need to copy say 4GB of data from a 150GB partition.

Best regards,


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