Using LEDE device for data recovery from HDD


I have rather unusual question. Is it possible to use device with LEDE installed as a recovery tool from failing HDD? I have BT HomeHub 5 with one USB port, USB switch HDD enclosure and external HDD. I would like to use dd to dump the failing HDD content in HDD enclosure before it gives up absolutely to the external HDD. Is it possible? What packages do I need to download? Are there any risks (low power from USB to power both HDD via USB hub/overheating or reseting of the modem?)

I suppose I get adviced against this but still :slight_smile: Thank you for your advice.

I recently did something similar on a PC Engines APU board to offload the time-intensive recovery from my desktop.
In theory there's nothing speaking against it but usb power draw could be a indeed a potential problem.

In doubt I'd advise to use a powered USB hub between the HomeHub and your enclosure to rule out potential power problems.

The problem will be to obtain suitable tools. Personally I used ddrescue ( in a Debian chroot but on the HomeHub you'll likely need a cross compiled one. Afaik, the ddrescue program is not packaged for LEDE or OpenWrt.

Technically speaking, yes, it works - but most embedded routers (like the one you mentioned) simply aren't able to keep the USB I/O throughput up high enough to make that a satisfactory option (the APU2 jow is referring to is an x86 system, so it has lots of power to spare), even without taking the potentially borderline power supply or not quite perfect SOC USB drivers into account.

Using a normal x86 system and just about any linux live CD is probably a better option here, even more so if you can rule out the cheap USB2SATA bridges in most external HDD cases and connect your drive directly via SATA. Yes, it's louder and needs more power, but you usually need to do it once - and both the I/O throughput will be much higher and the connection more reliable (and you have access to just about any software via the normal distro repositories).


Maybe LEDE in a NAS would be better suited as a NAS can cater for the power need of the HDD.?

That said, I think a LEDE-NAS would be very interesting! Add a data recovery functionality to that?
What kind of CPU would it need to to data recovery at a reasonable speed? ARM quadcore?

LEDE is able to be run on the Western Digital My Book Live. It's working gloriously well out of the box already. I even managed to do what I couldn't with the default installation: Encrypt my data partition (even though LEDE doesn't seem to support the AES acceleration in the SoC).

Actually, LEDE on WD MBL is one of the main reasons I'm hoping for a LEDE release soon. I'm working on a custom build including the functionality of the original MBL, currently I'm looking into building a custom "NAS" web interface, but that's still a ways to go.

However, I can't shake the feeling that the OP is looking for a one-time solution he would be able to repeat and doesn't really care about performance.


Very interested on the WD MBL... I will try to install it tonight...
EDIT: I installed on 2Tb and 6Tb, works beautifully.

I had more than 150 Floppy Disk that I found in my workplace when cleaning some boxes, Since many have label with work-related content and I just too busy to check 150 floppy disks I used a USB Floppy Drive reader connected to a OpenWRT / LEDE Router and with some scripts I was able to make a fast data ripper to a Samba share on another server.

If you have two USB or a Hub you could save them to a USB Flash Stick / Pendrive

The script it does a full copy using dd to a img file, then mount it (usually format is fat), copy contents to a folder and make some text files with content list and other information. then it is able to write random data, zeroes, and reformat it.

Image take about 50-60 seconds. writing takes about 3 minutes random, 3 more with, zeroes, and a few seconds reformatting... so since I do not need the Floppy Drives (there are just too old!) I disabled the random, zeroes, and format steps.

To get some kind of identification I added a timestamp and I put them in order on a box just in case I need to read the physical label (usually not important)

I linked the script to a button on the Router and in my spare time I was able to rip all disk very easily!

Take this just as an example, but many similar things like this could be done too.

Just to be clear here: metai was me, on a now disabled username here. In the meantime, I gave up on the plan of a custom build and custom GUI -- simply because I feel it's not necessary, and with my current work schedule I wouldn't be able to maintain a distribution. I figure that most people who are knowledgeable enough to install LEDE on a long time EOL device as the My Book Live would be familiar enough with the command line to set up the services they need.

Just curious: By mistake or on purpose?

Disabled on purpose, upon my request. After I worked through some personal stuff, it was easier to open a new account than to bother someone to reactivate the old one.