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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.


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