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General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17th October, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Uh Oh!

My dad came to me this morning with a computer problem. His server didn't boot this morning. I would start the boot process and then blue screen before it would get past windows loading screen.

We took the drive out and checked it in my computer. I noticed something was wrong when my computer slowed my computer down. My computer was super sluggish when we tried to get into the drive too. When we get to the properties the recovery partition showed up fine but the primary partition on the drive showed unformatted.

Is the drive gone? What other things can I do to see if the info on the drive is salvageable?
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Old 18th October, 2009, 12:40 PM
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I'd suggest running the disk manufacturers test utilities from a bootable floppy or CD (ie Drive Fitness Test for IBM/Hitachi drives) - this takes the Windows install out of the picture.

Its possible that its a corrupt mbr and you may be able to fix this from the recovery console run from the install CD, I've occasionally got lucky with partition management tools where the file system type was corrupted but if you have really important data to recover then more costly solutions offered by specialist software and data recovery companies would be the way to go.
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Old 18th October, 2009, 06:20 PM
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We're going to have to take it to someone because it the drive that is failing. Maybe my dad will learn his lesson this time. This is the second time he's had his HDD crash on him and he still didn't have everything backed up. Hopefully he starts backing things up now.
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Old 18th October, 2009, 07:54 PM
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This seems to be something EVERYONE has to learn the hard way..
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Old 21st October, 2009, 08:43 PM
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If the info is important enough to spend hundreds at a HDD recovery specialist company I imagine that timely backing up of the drive will never again be a problem.
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Old 22nd October, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Yeah, I hope that he realizes it this time. I tell him but he doesn't always listen.
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Old 22nd October, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Have you/your dad considered RAID 1 ? - my prefered small business solution would be routine incremental backups (eg nightime) to a second drive but even there a finite amount of data (todays) is always at risk.
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Old 22nd October, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Even RAID doesn't protect you against situations where the OS goes nuts or an application writes bogus data to the drive.

Ideally, you need both RAID (to protect against hardware failures, and no RAID 0 doesn't count) and a backup policy (to protect against bogus data).
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Old 23rd October, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Hi Gizmo,

You had me worried there until I checked back - I thought I'd managed to recommend RAID 0 as a HDD backup solution !

By incremental backup I meant a program that adds everything thats changed to the archive - Vista business and above do this and IMO its one of the few things they got right - its really great to be able to recover older versions of the files on a machine.
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Old 23rd October, 2009, 04:04 PM
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Sorry JimF, I didn't mean to scare you, LOL. The only reason I mentioned it is because a lot of people mistakenly think that RAID 0 is still RAID.

The only problem with incremental backups is that to get to a particular state of the file system, you have to restore ALL of the backups since the last full backup. Incrementals are fine if all you need to do is restore a particular version of a particular file, but not so good if you need to restore the entire file SYSTEM. For hard drive-based backups, the downsides of incrementals aren't too bad, but for tape systems, they become very obvious very quickly.
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Old 23rd October, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Ah - tape backups,

Brings back memories of a Netware 3.11 server and a DOS-based backup program that *could* recover single files provided the users could remember what they'd called them ! I remember an entertaining afternoon explaining to one user who'd deleted a file exactly why I couldn't 'just restore everything'.

I agree about the limitations of incrementals - but I think they're the best all round as they don't rely on the user doing too much - I've seen rotation policies fail simply because the SA forgot and overwrote the same tape !

Regards,

Jim.
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Old 23rd October, 2009, 06:13 PM
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Netware!

Did you play Snipes?
Snipes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 23rd October, 2009, 07:15 PM
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I bought a second, much larger drive and back up everything to it weekly. When not backing up or doing a restore I leave it disconnected... I find you don't get any safer than disconnected...":O}
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Old 24th October, 2009, 01:31 PM
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No snipes I'm afraid - I'd inherited a creaking 386 based server and it wasn't about to be replaced so the only game at the time was trying to keep my customers from filling it up (MS Mail was a truly ingenious way of filling up disk space when documents were distributed thoughout the office).

I'd almost forgotten the 'joys' of mag tape until Gizmos post - one of the most expensive ways of losing data ever invented - especially the old style open spools.
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Old 24th October, 2009, 07:02 PM
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I tried and tried and never got one (Tape drives) to actually restore my harddrive... I must have misunderstood something fundamental ...
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Old 8th November, 2009, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
Even RAID doesn't protect you against situations where the OS goes nuts or an application writes bogus data to the drive.

Ideally, you need both RAID (to protect against hardware failures, and no RAID 0 doesn't count) and a backup policy (to protect against bogus data).
dunno ive seen alot of sucess with raid 0+1 with saving data and keeping speed.
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Old 21st November, 2009, 01:11 AM
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speaking of backing up data, what do you guys back up on a home pc and what do/should you back up on a server?
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Old 21st November, 2009, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonesaw View Post
speaking of backing up data, what do you guys back up on a home pc and what do/should you back up on a server?
I use Acronis ( available in free Demo form) and back up to a second drive of equal or larger size... I can recommend Acronis, works very well. (At the bottom of the page I've linked to)

Also comes in a form for servers. Works in all flavors of Windoze (Win 7) and Linux desktops.
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Old 22nd November, 2009, 12:57 AM
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I use the built in windows backup software to save the documents folder, including saves in it, and for my steam account i have the entire steamapps burned onto sevral DVD's
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