Lost Data… It has happened to all of us. Just last week my computer was acting weird. I’ve been computing since 1995 and thought I had seen it all; however this was a new one on me. I thought at first it was my sound card, because there was a horrible distorted digital scream coming from my computer. I restarted and the machine would get through the Windows (XP PRO) login screen, start loading applications, and then restart.
After a couple of times I knew enough to stop trying and called my buddy Rich who is DTI’s network Manager. He dropped by and told me my hard disk was dead. I thought no problem I backed up just about every day with Ghost. So he replaced my disk and loaded the last full image of my system.
Everything was going smooth until I started testing my incremental data; you know the stuff like My Documents that I back up every night. Well I opened a spreadsheet and it was corrupt. My PST file was shot, all of my Word and Open Office documents were also crap.
I immediately called Rich and told him that I just turned into a data recovery customer. He gave the drive to Malcolm Jamieson, DTI’s head data recovery engineer. He had to completely swap the platters because the drive wasn’t able to communicate any more to the micro-code modules on the platters.
I found out that this is a very common problem with high capacity hard disks. The fact is a 250GB hard drive has the exact same size platters that a 40GB drive had, the drive manufactures are stuffing more and more info onto the platters using proprietary compression called micro-code.
Fortunately Malcolm knows what he is doing and was able to recover 100% of my lost data.
The lesson to be learned here is it’s not enough to just back up your data, you have to verify the data that is being backed up.
Over the next couple of weeks Rich and his cohort in crime John Best DTI’s Exchange and network expert are going to be implementing a bullet proof back up and restoration system. I will be documenting all of it here so everyone can benefit from my suffering and avoid hard disk recovery.