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Reminder: Back up your data!!

Old 02-02-04, 11:57 AM
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Reminder: Back up your data!!

ugh!
after 5 years in user support.. you would think i would have learned to keep my crap backed up..

but since I moved out of the user support role and became a system engineer.. I havent backed up any of my files..

well I come in this morning to be greeted by a BSOD and after rebooting, of course I get an ntoskrnl error.. and wont boot..
so I try to run a win2k repair.. it cant locate the windows install..
so I run chkdsk and it tells me that one or more volume is unrepairable.
so I figure Ill try a winxp upgrade.. and winxp finds the drive as an unrecognizable partition..
so I pop another drive in and load xp, hoping that Ill be able to slave out the other drive and pull some files..
no.. no such luck.. when i try to access the other drive from within xp, it says its not formatted and asks if I want to format..
if i try from dos, it says its unrecognizable.
but of course disk manager says its healthy.. just 100% free space

ARGH!!
and the bad thing is.. I have one of our small file servers right here next to my desk, hooked to my cybex.. and yet I still didnt keep my stuff backed up..

UGH!
all that lost data.. now Im digging through all emails hoping i can pull some of my spreadsheets and project plans from old emails.
dammit dammit dammit.

Im going to try freezing this dead harddrive and see if I can get lucky.. but Im basically screwed..

oh.. and to make matters worse.. I also have a laptop.. but havent done a good job of keeping my work files replicated onto it since I switched to this new position.. and of course today would be one of the few days that I wouldnt bother bringing it in..

so instead.. I get to load up citrix on my linux machine and run through our terminal server like all of our thin client users.. ugh, talk about a pain in the ass!
Old 02-02-04, 12:00 PM
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Back up your Loki while you're at it, too.
Old 02-02-04, 03:51 PM
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twicky - did you try ontrack easy recovery?


I have seen it get files that windows could never see.
Old 02-02-04, 04:02 PM
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what do battlemechs have to do with this?


Originally posted by Groucho
Back up your Loki while you're at it, too.

it might end up being expensive, but there are data recovery people that can get the data back unless it's some really bad physical problem with the drive.
I just recently got done burning all my files to cd. I even burned the program files not just data. Took a lot of cds but I figured it'd be good to have something to completely restore from. I should test it to be sure, but if it works as intended I wouldn't hve to reinstall any programs, just copy everything back and make sure the registry imports correctly
Old 02-02-04, 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt

it might end up being expensive, but there are data recovery people that can get the data back unless it's some really bad physical problem with the drive.
I just recently got done burning all my files to cd. I even burned the program files not just data. Took a lot of cds but I figured it'd be good to have something to completely restore from. I should test it to be sure, but if it works as intended I wouldn't hve to reinstall any programs, just copy everything back and make sure the registry imports correctly
yea.. Ive dealt with a group in atlanta that does data recovery.. but it was very expensive.. not really worth it for my data..
it looks like alot of what Ive lost so far, has been all the notes Ive been putting together on solaris, since I took over this position.. Im sure the senior unix guy will be happy to repeat everything he has told me in the past couple months
for the most part, the main spreadsheets and project plans I had created, have been emailed out.. so I could pull alot of that stuff from my sent mail..
and of course, like always.. I lost a TON of personal pictures of the family, because Im bad about downloading them to this computer and never backing them up
Old 02-02-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by 4KRG
twicky - did you try ontrack easy recovery?


I have seen it get files that windows could never see.
I have not
although I might have to track down a copy and give it a shot (after I pull that drive out of the freezer )

btw.. has anyone else been told to put a dead harddrive in the freezer to try and recover the info?
Ive never done it before.. but several people have told me it works..
dont really have much to lose now anyways
Old 02-02-04, 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff
btw.. has anyone else been told to put a dead harddrive in the freezer to try and recover the info?
Ive never done it before.. but several people have told me it works..
dont really have much to lose now anyways
I had to do that a few months ago. It's worked for me a couple of times, but it's for drives that don't start up correctly, not for corruption.

People boil their DVDs that can't be read correctly. Give that a try.
Old 02-02-04, 04:40 PM
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Do you Ghost your drives periodically?
I have all my PC's setup with at least two partitions, 1 for OS and one for Data. Every month I ghost the data drive onto a different PC on the network.

This has gotten me out of many many jams.
I even recently burned a few images onto DVD-r
Old 02-02-04, 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by breaux124
Do you Ghost your drives periodically?
I have all my PC's setup with at least two partitions, 1 for OS and one for Data. Every month I ghost the data drive onto a different PC on the network.

This has gotten me out of many many jams.
I even recently burned a few images onto DVD-r
That's what I do. I just did it today on my OS partition before installing a new app.
Old 02-02-04, 04:58 PM
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I had my primary HD fail a few months ago. I lost a lot of projects I was working on. I salvaged a little more than half by spending an entire day going through 400 unlabled CD-Rs.
Old 02-02-04, 06:41 PM
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I'd be concerned with condensation when doing that

Originally posted by twikoff
I have not
although I might have to track down a copy and give it a shot (after I pull that drive out of the freezer )

btw.. has anyone else been told to put a dead harddrive in the freezer to try and recover the info?
Ive never done it before.. but several people have told me it works..
dont really have much to lose now anyways
Old 02-02-04, 06:51 PM
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the freezer trick will help certain problems, not corruption

Ontrack will help corruption, post here if you have problems finding your copy
Old 02-02-04, 07:44 PM
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i've been able to use a linux live-cd to recover data. not sure why linux would mount a partition and see it as NTFS if windows couldn't, but i've seen it happen.

edit: by "recover" i mean copy data to another hard disc or system. it didn't automagically fix everything
Old 02-02-04, 08:18 PM
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We had a WD 200GB drive go bad. It was packed full of stuff that would be a royal PITA to replace and ironically, it happened while we were upgrading from a JBOD configuration to a RAID 5 configuration.

Anyway, it wasn't spinning up at all and we tried swapping the PCB with one from a working drive (after we had copied all the data off of that one). That got it so that it would try to spin up a few times at boot time, but ultimately it would fail. So, as a last resort, we tried the freezer trick and we were all pretty surprised when it actually spun up, mounted, and worked long enough for us to get our data off of it.
Old 02-02-04, 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by belboz
We had a WD 200GB drive go bad. It was packed full of stuff that would be a royal PITA to replace and ironically, it happened while we were upgrading from a JBOD configuration to a RAID 5 configuration.

Anyway, it wasn't spinning up at all and we tried swapping the PCB with one from a working drive (after we had copied all the data off of that one). That got it so that it would try to spin up a few times at boot time, but ultimately it would fail. So, as a last resort, we tried the freezer trick and we were all pretty surprised when it actually spun up, mounted, and worked long enough for us to get our data off of it.
I think it was a 250GB WD drive that I successfully froze recently. Wouldn't calibrate correctly when starting up after about 2 days of use and I wanted to wipe it before returning it.
Old 02-02-04, 11:32 PM
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I think I'll try the freezer trick. My bad drive makes clicking noises every 3/4 of a second.
Old 02-03-04, 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by Luddy
I think I'll try the freezer trick. My bad drive makes clicking noises every 3/4 of a second.
WD?

I really need to be better about backing up my files. The sad thing is that as time goes on with no problems you start slacking again.

or at least I do
Old 02-03-04, 01:47 AM
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Western Digital? No its a 3 year old - 40GB Maxtor. I was considering buying an external a week before it happened. Most of the data was old stuff I never looked at anyway. I did lose about half my digital photos over the past few years.
Old 02-03-04, 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by 4KRG
the freezer trick will help certain problems, not corruption

Ontrack will help corruption, post here if you have problems finding your copy
I went ahead and just grabbed the trial version from their website for now.. if it works, Im sure I wont have any problem *cough*finding*cough* a full version.

when i left work yesterday.. it was 40 minutes done scanning and said it had 36 hours remaining .. its only a 15gig drive.. but so far it had found 148 directories and 500+ files.. so hopefully they are recoverable.. Ill see when I get back into work today.. Of course, I didnt read the limitations of the trial version.. It better not be crippled to only let me see what i could recover, but not actually restore
Old 02-03-04, 08:32 AM
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well.. like i said.. i let ontrack running lastnight when i left.. and it seemed to be moving.. just really slow.. and was finding files and directories..

i came in today, and the system was at the boot screen telling me a harddrive had been removed.. so i booted up, and the drive still shows in windows.. same errors and all..
so Im running ontrack again..

of course.. this time I wasnt in as big of a hurry to start it.. and noticed the disclaimer that the trial would only let me see what was available to recover.. and to actually recover the files, I need the full version.. Ill probably wait to see how the scan goes, to see if it really looks like the files might be recoverable first..
Old 02-03-04, 09:37 AM
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What are the odds of a separate drive going bad? I keep my OS/programs on one drive and all my music/graphic work on an seperate(phsically, not a partition) drive. Should I be backing up that second drive, or are the chances slim to none since the OS isn't on that drive to corrupt anything?
Old 02-03-04, 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by Michael Corvin
What are the odds of a separate drive going bad? I keep my OS/programs on one drive and all my music/graphic work on an seperate(phsically, not a partition) drive. Should I be backing up that second drive, or are the chances slim to none since the OS isn't on that drive to corrupt anything?
the problem is pretty much equal for a seperate drive going bad

OS problems should never cause you to lose any data.. Generally data loss will only be from hardware problems with the drive itself.. so it doesnt have much to do with where your os and applications are installed..

Last edited by twikoff; 02-03-04 at 11:41 AM.
Old 02-03-04, 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by Michael Corvin
What are the odds of a separate drive going bad? I keep my OS/programs on one drive and all my music/graphic work on an seperate(phsically, not a partition) drive. Should I be backing up that second drive, or are the chances slim to none since the OS isn't on that drive to corrupt anything?
The odds of one drive going bad are the same for every drive of the same make.

I think what you mean is what are the odds of two drives going bad at the same exact time. The odds of two drives having a naturally occuring failure at the same exact time is lower than the odds of one drive having a failure all on its own.

HOWEVER, if a power spike or virus or something of that nature happens, both drives (and/or your data) can be taken out in the blink of an eye


Your OS being on one drive and your data being on an another is completely irrelevant to the failure issue, either drive could go at any minute.

backup the data drive at a min. Backup both if you don't want to re-intsall all your programs after a failure.
Old 02-03-04, 04:18 PM
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Meh, you should know better.

I do regular Ghost clone of my boot HD. Actually, to 2 HDs. 1 is right after I do a clean install of OS w/ all the necessary patches, updates and drivers for just the OS. Then on a 2nd HD, I clone the boot HD after I install all the regular programs I run.

Data is stored on 1 of 2 2ndary HDs. And crucial data is backup to CDRW or DVD+RW as often as the Ghost clone. If HD dies, I can the system up and running again in less than 5 minutes on a fresh HD. RMA time after that.
Old 02-04-04, 08:32 AM
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well..
the ontrack trial copy finished and although everything doesnt appear to be in its right place.. it did seem to find most everything from the drive..
of course, since it was a trial, it didnt allow me to restore anything

so I went out lastnight and got the full version.. running that now..

wish me luck

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