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    SubjectRe: linux ext3 partition hosed, is this hardware of software error?
    > > > Buffer I/O error on device sda3, logical block 12
    > > > Buffer I/O error on device sda3, logical block 13
    > >
    > > Right near the start of the disk.
    >
    > Ah, that is the reason why grub is gone.

    To be accurate - start of partition but the effect is the same yes.

    > > Make a copy of the partition with a recovery tool and write it somewhere
    >
    > ddrescue? partimage? Any other suggestion?

    ddrescue should do the trick - anything which will copy all the valid
    sectors and write out the lost ones as zero or similar preserving what is
    left of the file.

    >
    > > (file on another disk whatever) and keep it safe. Make a copy of that and
    > > fsck the copy. You may need to use the alternate superblock option on
    > > fsck for this.
    >
    > Thanks, good hint, didn't know about that.

    It's there for exactly this kind of situation.

    Alan


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