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| | |-+  A shortcut to '' / -s- dfm:/ '' ; and a way of checking a hard drive ?
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Author Topic: A shortcut to '' / -s- dfm:/ '' ; and a way of checking a hard drive ?  (Read 1971 times)
Dave-D
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« on: October 23, 2012, 12:41:27 AM »


Thank you John for coming back on with 4.11 !   

In  4.4.10  I found a simple way to access what I would describe as a 'tree' version/way of looking at all the folders on a computer (I posted about this in more detail in one of the other forums, copy ~~ ~~ below).   
This was in a window labled  ' / -s- dfm:/ '  that I came to via the  ' Apps/ '  folder icon on the desk top, and then a red folder marked simply  ' / ' .   

In short, I cannot find this in  4.11.rc2-syslinux  and it would be mega useful to me right now.   

A simple way to look at all the folders and sub-folders on a computer, in 'tree' form, and a straight forward way to find that within dsl would be a God send !!   


Also, a tool, when using dsl as a live CD in Ram, that could confirm if the hard drive was broken on not, would be very handy.   


I hope that is useful feed-back, and thanks again !    I trust you are enjoying yourself !!     Wink  Smiley       D.   


~~

I first found dsl when I needed a way to recover a friend's unbootable laptop, with lots of valued pictures on it.   I found and used the live CD, using it in RAM, and with it found the 'lost' pictures and got them onto a stick.   
Marvelous !!    And thank you John !!!   

I am trying to use it again now for the same thing with another unbootable laptop.   This was with dsl-4.4.10 .   

As you will know, the desk top in dsl-4.4.10 starts with five icons on it, top left hand corner, and the second one down is a brown folder marked ' Apps/ '.   
Double left click on that brings up a box filled with icons  ( Apps --- dfm:~/.dfmdesk/Apps/ ) .    This is the only way I have found to get to this particular view of these Apps.   
In this box, on the bottom line of the icons, is a red folder marked simply ' / ' , and it has a 'shortcut' symbol next to it.   (This folder not to be confused with the other red folder, on the second line, marked ' System/ '.)   
Double clicking on this red folder marked ' / ' opens a window labled  ' / -s- dfm:/ ' , which has what I would describe as a 'tree' in it, of all the folders and sub-folders on the computer.   
This is invaluable for what I am trying to do, and such a simple and easy way to find the 'lost' bits, pictures etc., that can then be transfered onto a stick.   

However(!), I cannot find this on dsl-4.11.rc2-syslinux....  ...those icons are not on the new desk top, and I can find no other way of finding ' / -s- dfm:/ ' .   ( As I said, in dsl-4.4.10 I have only ever found the one way:  bringing up ' Apps ' by left or right click, for example, still did not bring me to the 'red' folder ' / ', nor any other way of finding the tree view of ' / -s- dfm:/ ' . )   

So that is what I am after, that simple 'tree' 'folders' way of looking into all that is on a computer !!   
 Huh    I'd be much obliged,   TIA,   
D.   

One more thing :    If I am not able to  mount  the hard drive of the laptop that I am looking at (opperating it with a dsl live CD in RAM) is it most likely that it is because the hard drive is boken and US ....?    I can  mount  the CD itself, I can  mount  a memory stick, but apparently not the hard drive....   





~~

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Dave-D
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 09:24:00 PM »



I am still looking for the answer to my post.....   if anyone can help that would be most appreciated....   

 Undecided     Cool   
D.   






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upgnome
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 09:59:19 PM »

Unfortunately, there's a lot of ways a hard drive can be "broken." The three main ways are:

1. SMART failure. The drive firmware itself reports it is bad. This can be detected with Linux tools (none that I am aware of are included in Damn Small Linux). Unfortunately, older drives don't support SMART.
2. Bad sectors. If SMART doesn't exist or isn't enabled on the drive, these can often only be found during a full format or read/write surface scan. You could test a hard drive that you don't have data on by doing
Code:
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hdX bs=512k
but may take awhile. A fast computer/drive should be able to do about 2 GB a minute; I wouldn't even want to guess how it'd do on a 486.
3. Electrical failure / bad firmware. Since the drive won't be detectable, there's no way for Linux to detect that it is bad.

There's also the fourth way, the horrific click of death, but most people should be able to hear it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 10:05:52 PM by upgnome » Logged
ROMSmakeGoodBIOSes
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 01:44:21 AM »

1. SMART failure. The drive firmware itself reports it is bad. This can be detected with Linux tools (none that I am aware of are included in Damn Small Linux). Unfortunately, older drives don't support SMART.

You may want to check out the Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/), it has a good assortment of disk diagnostics, several of which do read SMART data, and others that can do other things. Also includes some of the manufacturer's diags too. And yes, DOS-like shells to look around at the disk contents if it is healthy enough to support that.

2. Bad sectors. If SMART doesn't exist or isn't enabled on the drive, these can often only be found during a full format or read/write surface scan. You could test a hard drive that you don't have data on by doing
Code:
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hdX bs=512k
but may take awhile. A fast computer/drive should be able to do about 2 GB a minute; I wouldn't even want to guess how it'd do on a 486.

If you are trying to identify bad sectors you probably want bs=512 without the "k" here, add a "count=2M" for each GB of drive size... but still expect it to be slow.

You could get it to run substantially faster by substituting /dev/zero (alternately prepare a small file to use repeatedly instead) for /dev/random... the constant takes minimal compute cycles, while "random" is a fairly compute intensive algorithm, bad enough on a Pentium but would be really horrendous on a 486.

After that, the time needed depends somewhat on the chipset/bios and what transfer modes are supported. On my 486DX50 (bios limits it to mode 2) it took 50.3 hours to zero a 80GB drive... that's somewhat less than 2GB/hour, nevermind per minute. Also note that DSL seems limited to 32GB and could not do the entire drive, I had to use ttylinux, see my other post. It might be worth some googling to find a distro that includes ddrescue, it has special options for dealing with damaged drives.

3. Electrical failure / bad firmware. Since the drive won't be detectable, there's no way for Linux to detect that it is bad.

Depending on the make/model of drive and what its problem is, sometimes the manufacturer's diagnostic can do some testing even when BIOS can't see it, this can be worth a try. Check their website for details or try UBCD.
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