"I'm hoping to see something that indicates that files are being copied soon..." You won't exactly, even if it is, but I think you need to type CTRL+C to interupt it and get it to stop. We'll take a different approach. "How does the program indicate that it's copying files?" Actually it doesn't. It's not set up to copy files, it copies the first x number of bytes and writes them to the corresponding location on the target drive. Then it does it again, with the next x number of bytes. If those bytes are a file, or part of one, eventually you have files copied. If those bytes are a bunch of zeros, then it copies and writes zeros. (which is why one should be very careful about using /dev/zero with dd or any of its derivitives) If they're goobledygook, then that's what gets read from the source and written to the target. And if those bytes are stuff like partition boundaries and boot records, it copies them as well, which is what lets it "Xerox" drives regardless of operating system or file format. To it, the entire drive is a file, although, if desired, you can set it to only read part of that file--any part you can provide a starting address and length for. find a man page for dd_rescue and learn how to set it to copy only 512 bytes at a time, with a fallback to 1 byte. Assuming both drives have the same LBA number, also learn how to make the program work in reverse,i.e., start at the end of the drives and work towards the front. Then wrap paper towel around the bad drive after it's cooled, and stick it in the freezer overnight. The paper towel will let you pick it up the next day without losing skin and will keep humidity from condensing on it. You'll need to slip the towel off of it before applying electricity, because at that point you don't want insulation. You might even turn the drive upside down to place the flat top on something that can be a heatsink, like block of metal or marble. Then you try to run dd_rescue in reverse, but only if the LBA numbers match, or things won't be in the right place, and you run it taking very small nips at the source. If it doesn't get it the first time it goes back and tries again. Doing so in smaller samples increases the chance of getting a good read. Having had to have done this once, I can assure you it will take forever, 24 to 48 hours at that low speed. But having done it once successfully, I can recommend it if the stuff on there needs saving badly enough. The nice thing about working backwards is that it'll probably get a bunch of sectors copied before it has to slow down and retry a lot. You should probably find a way to help keep the temperature of the source drive down throughout the procedure, like a fan blowing straight on it, maybe put a bowl of ice behind the fan for it to pull cool air from and change out the bowl when it melts (and do not let it spill near all of that exposed electronic and electrical gear) If the backwards copy gets a lot of the drive copied, we might be able to cheat to get the rest, but that's down the road and complicated.