Linux boot distro with HDD tools - suggestions?

Hope somebody can give me a hint. I have a HDD (no boot, just data) with S.M.A.R.T error. Can’t boot to Win10 when that HDD is connected, get stuck at BIOS.

I thought maybe a Linux Live CD/Thumbdrive can go a bit further. Any suggestion of a good distro with some HDD tools on it?

I’ve always found knoppix to be the best emergency distro. Certainly things like parted (and also gtparted if you prefer a gui) have been a part of the versions I have used. Your mileage may vary.

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I second knoppix but will also throw in the gparted live cd.

If you’re getting stuck booting when just plugging it in, you might get further using an external drive dock/bay. Sometimes powering up a few times will work (leave a decent pause between).

If you get as far as recovery, ddrescue can be good. Or use something like here (not free software, but the boot cd is freely downloadable):

Thanks, I used knoppix before, with try that again. Hope I can get it back alive. I had some bad HDD luck, I only buy NAS drives now.

I do know knoppix, it was the very first linux distro I installed back in 2003-ish

However for a utility:

Go on, be extravagant, lash out some money. PartedMagick was free for years but eventually the maintainer had to charge. Hmm… $11 now. I buy it with monotonous regularity (think I paid $9 a couple of years ago) well worth the money.

Download as an ISO Write a live CD/USB Choice of loading 32 / 64 bit / from disk / in memory.

looks like this:

Short update. 2020 start well!

When I connect the old HDD to Windows 10 the HDD clicks like mad, stop-n-go spins, that goes on for about a Minute, then it runs smooth. Then from BIOS I was able to boot again - and rescuing the data right now.