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How to preserve a HDD based Game System

beepboop

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beepboop
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In most cases you're better off using ddrescue to dump a disc instead of just dd, especially when the disk is potentially damaged. dd may run into read errors, but will just continue the dump leaving out the sectors it couldn't read. ddrescue will retry reads with different parameters if it doesn't succeed at first.

Bash:
ddrescue --direct /dev/<hdd> mydrive.img mydrive.log
It also even shows progress by default! When it fails even upon retrying and splitting sectors, it logs the failed sectors into its log file as well, which is useful for later analysis and recovery.
 
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cta

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dd may run into read errors, but will just continue the dump
If your distro has "conv=noerror" ("continue after read errors") as default, you have a shitty distro. You're right about the more indepth retries though, wrt damaged media ddrescue is in fact the better option.

Iirc it's also great for optical discs, going as far as giving you the option to retry problematic blocks at a later time, with different drives.
 

beepboop

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If your distro has "conv=noerror" ("continue after read errors") as default, you have a shitty distro.
There's more dd implementations out there than coreutils dd: if I recall correctly at least busybox dd, and possibly macOS's dd, do not set conv=noerror nor conv=sync by default. Better safe than sorry!
 
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This may go without saying, but for PS3s, PS4s, original Xboxes, and other devices with encrypted storage, if you have one of those right now but don't want to release the content until some point in the future, PLEASE do a disk-level backup now, and if grabbing the encryption key is a separate step (like it is with the PS3 EID root key), do that as well right after doing a disk-level backup. If you don't grab the key, and the hardware dies, the disk-level backup is useless. Better to have that stuff safely backed up and unreleased for now than not backed up and lost forever if the hardware fails.
 
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