EDIT: After a request, I made a full-blown tutorial on how to do this step-by-step. Hope this helps someone. Tutorial here.
I CAN ACCESS MY FILES!! :smileyvery-happy:
What seemed to be the problem is that a block did corrupt, but it would cause a short-read error. This can be fixed by restoring from a backup block.
This is “my” solution, may not work for everyone. But it would seem that datablocks would corrupt when power is abruptly cut to the drive. SSH must be enabled for this to work.
Log onto the drive, root and welc0me are the default username/password combo.
Make sure your paritions are intact. # parted -l will tell you this.
Type # mke2fs -n /dev/sda4. This will get you the filesystem, but more importantly at the end give you the superblock backup locations by block location.
Pick one, then enter this command.
e2fsck -b blocknumber /dev/sda4
It will look for bad blocks and ask for your confirmation to continue/ignore then write over any corrupted ones. Yes to ignore, yes to rewrite.
It will do up to five passes of diagnostics, prompting if it finds anything out of the ordinary such as file countes and errant inodes. I answered yes to everything.
When it is complete it will either report “Killed” or a summary. Type # reboot and let the drive rebuild its library. 30-ish minutes later (depending on how much data you had on it) you should have access to your files.
I stand with kingdb and am iffy about such a little thing causing this to go whacked so badly, so I am scrambling to back this up and hope that the replacement drive will not have this problem. I don’t know if this is a fix-fix, but it will allow you to access your things to get it off at least. That’s all I wanted, and hope the new drive isn’t so prone to mess up.
I hope this helps anyone out there, took me two days of coffee, hair-pulling and soda to figure this out in addition to a crash-course of Linux and making a slap-together of procedures from any other guide here on the boards. Thanks to everyone for the references.