Data recovery

Some time ago ext4 was released and available for Linux kernel. ext4 provides some additional benefits and perforce over ext3 file system. You can easily convert ext3 to ext4 file system. The next release of Fedora, 11, will default to the ext4 file system unless serious regressions are seen. In this quick tutorial you will learn about converting ext3 to ext4 file system.
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Wow, this is a large size desktop hard disk for storing movies, tv shows, music / mp3s, and photos. You can also load multiple operating systems using vmware or other software for testing purpose. This hard disk comes with 5 year warranty and can transfer at 300MB/s. From the article:

It’s been more than 18 months since Hitachi reached the terabyte mark with the Deskstar 7K1000. In that time, all the major players in the hard drive industry have spun up terabytes of their own, and in some cases, offered multiple models targeting different markets. With so many options available and more than enough time for the milestone capacity’s initial buzz to fade, it’s no wonder that the current crop of 1TB drives is more affordable than we’ve ever seen from a flagship capacity. The terabyte, it seems, is old news.

Fig.01: Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive

Fig.01: Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive

The real question is about reliability. How reliable is the hard disk? So far my Seagate 500GB hard disk working fine. I might get one to dump all my multimedia data / files 🙂

TrueCrypt version 6.0 has been released and available for download. It is free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux system. A perfect software for laptop or desktop system which allows data be to be protected even when the OS is not active, for example, if data is read directly from the hardware.

Version 6.0x offers parallelized encryption/decryption on multi-core processors (multi-processor systems). Increase in encryption/decryption speed is directly proportional to the number of cores and/or processors. Ability to create and run an encrypted hidden operating system whose existence is impossible to prove. Ability to create hidden volumes under Mac OS X and Linux.


(Fig. 01: TrueCrypt in action [image credit TrueCrypt project])

Download TrueCrypt Open Source Edition

You can easily backup large files using Linux backup software combination – tar, split and md5sum program. From the article:

I have a directory containing some files for a virtual computer. The files that hold the data for the virtual computer’s hard discs are not only big, they are also “sparse” files, which means that they use only enough disc space for the data that was actually written to the file. For example, the virtual computer may have a 30GB drive of which 2GB has been used. Even though it uses only 2GB on my hard disc, a program that reads the file may see it as a 30GB file. This type of file can be tricky to back up because, when you copy it, you can end up with a 30GB file, or it might simply fail to copy, depending on the type of file system used on the backup storage.

=> Backing up Large Files

Apple has released 230 page guide for securing and safeguarding Mac OS X system from the hackers and crackers. The Security Configuration Guides provide an overview of features in Mac OS X that can be used to enhance security, known as hardening your computer. Using this guide you can:

=> Lock down the system.
=> Protect Mac OS x from external attackers.
=> Avoid unauthorized access
=> Secure Mac by hardening your computer.
=> Mac OS X security and much more.

However, guide is heavily depend upon shell prompt (read as terminal) to perform recommended tasks. So you need to have some basic knowledge of terminal. From the Apple site:

Certain instructions in the guides are complex, and deviation could result in serious adverse effects on the computer and its security. The guides should only be used by experienced Mac OS X users, and any changes made to your settings should be thoroughly tested.

Download Mac OS X Security Configuration Guides

Download guide for Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) / Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) / Mac OS X v10.3 (Panther):

OpenSSH Logo
One of the most popular remote server management service has just released security fix version. This version avoid possible hijacking of X11-forwarded connections by refusing to listen on a port unless all address families bind successfully. You can download OpenSHH Server from official project web site or wait for your distro to release updated version.

This is an excellent backup utility for new Linux user.

Apple’s Time Machine is a great feature in their OS, and Linux has almost all of the required technology already built in to recreate it. This is a simple GUI to make it easy to use.

Time Machine, like many backup utilities, creates incremental backups of files which can be restored at a later date. It also supports limited restoration of files within applications that are specifically programmed to use Time Machine’s functionality.
FlyBack: a Time Machine backup utility for Linux
(Fig. 01: Linux FlyBack Software in Action)

Download and Installation instructions

=> FlyBack – Apple’s Time Machine for Linux (via Bernaz’s Weblog)

You can easily clone single hard disk or partition using netcat and your own network. However, software such as Clonezilla offers a partition or disk clone software similar to Ghost. It saves and restores only used blocks in hard drive.
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This software is must if you dual boot between Linux and Windows laptop / desktop computer.

I’ve already written about Explore2fs and other programs to grant read and write access to Linux ext3 partitions / files from a Windows box. There is a new program called Linux Reader which allows safe and quick access to alternative file systems. This program plays the role of a bridge between your Windows and Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems. This easy-to-use tool runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there. From the project home page:

First of all, DiskInternals Linux Reader is absolutely free. Secondly, the program provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions. This guarantees that the interference in an alterative file system will not affect the work of Linux later. Apart from this, it is necessary to note, that it gives you an opportunity to use common Windows Explorer for extracting data. A preview option for pictures is one more pleasant point, which is worth mentioning.

How to Read Ext2 / Ext3 File System From Windows Computer
(Fig 01: Linux Reader in Action under Windows XP [ image credit diskinternals.com ])

Download Linux Reader

=> Download Linux Reader [diskinternals.com]

Ontrack data recovery service has posted unusual data disaster horror stories for 2007. From the article:

An ant-infested hard drive and a failing parachute top a list of data disaster horror stories for 2007.

The list, provided by Kroll Inc.’s Ontrack Data Recovery unit, illustrates some of the strangest and wackiest things that people put electronic storage devices through on a regular basis.

Putting drives in the washing machine. Using oil to stop them from squeaking. These are just two examples of the user bloopers the company’s engineers nominated for inclusion on the list. Remarkably, Kroll data recovery specialists were able to recover the data in both instances.

=> Most unusual data disaster horror stories for 2007 [ via slashdot ]