I have a client's machine who hard drive is making nasty, nasty noises that signal an impending failure. SeaTools confirmed it, actually crashing halfway through the Long Test, noting, "Sector Repair Failure."
Usually, when a machine won't boot, and the hard drive shows signs of failure, I spin up a copy of an live Linux distro (in this case, Mint 13 was laying around on my bench) in order to copy things over, and I'm receiving all sorts of errors on this hard drive, prompting me to skip certain folders and files. Certain folders and files that user will need, actually.
Then the weird thing happens. Mint tells me "preparing to copy" and the number of files, and size of those total files... is adding up to more than the size of the actual hard drive that's failing.
Is there anything you guys can recommend (pref. on the free side) that might be able to clone any of that over before the hard drive gives up completely? Just copying files over via distro isn't apparently a viable solution this time...