When good RAIDs Go Bad, A Technicians Worst Nightmare

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The next machine with a bad hard drive was my server. This server has been running as a server in our home for about 8 years. HAH! Now that is not to say that we haven’t done upgrades, because we have. We have always kept the “data” area of the drive … [Read more...]

What File System Components are affected by FDISK

As I have mentioned before we have all either by design or by accident fdisked an NTFS file system. In doing so all of the files become inaccessible and the assumption for many years was that they could not be recovered. Many of the more recent … [Read more...]

When My Main Gaming Machine Has Serious Hard Drive Crash

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Ok so here is what I have, 3 broken machines, all with bad hard drives. I am not talking about a little logical damage to the drive where recovery is a possibility with software. Oh no these are full blow physical recoveries. In machine one I have a … [Read more...]

Recovering from Accidental FDISK using Free Software

Like many of us I have accidentally used 'fdisk' to partition a drive that I had never intended to. Whether it be adding a new drive, repartitioning and formatting a USB device, or just trying to reload the operating system there has been more than … [Read more...]

Recovering a Spanned RAID Set Without RAID Software

  Recently it was my displeasure to work on a three drive spanned set for NT 4.0.  The set was soft configured so when the boot drive went down, with all of the configuration data for the RAID on it, the RAID would not mount.  In addition to that, … [Read more...]

iPod Digital Music MP3 Player Data Recovery

By now everyone has some sort of MP3 digital music player such as an iPod. We have actually gotten quite a few in here for data recovery. An iPod or any other portable MP3 player for that matter uses solid state storage to store songs and video. … [Read more...]

Use Bad Block Frequency to Determine a RAID 5 Stale Drive

We have been discussing the love affair I have with stale drives in a RAID five array and how best to determine if in fact one exists. I explained how the NTFS file system data is normally laid out and the fact that the old and new data, as well as … [Read more...]

Determining a Stale Hard Drive in Most RAIDs

  In my last installment I covered two of the three reasons why we do a parity check.  First we want to make sure that we do not have a stale hard drive in the array.  Although I did not cover how one determines if in fact a stale hard drive exists, … [Read more...]

DART XP Data Recovery Software Now Only $49

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A few weeks back I got a call from a woman who had lost the partition on her hard drive; she had all of the photos of her kids on that drive and was slightly hysterical about it. I had her download DART XP and run it on the drive; it found the … [Read more...]

Analyzing RAID parity

Last time I discussed how to find the RAID data offset for a SNAP OS 4.x RAID handler. To put it briefly it was just a simple matter of finding Cylinder Group zero on the first drive in the array and back tracking 48 sectors. Once the RAID data … [Read more...]

Finding SNAP OS 4.x RAID Data Offset

If you are in this business long enough you will see everything, or will you?  Two weeks ago I received a SNAP RAID OS 4.x for recovery.  I have done a lot of these and I am pretty familiar with the data offsets, how the drives are setup, and where … [Read more...]

Slave A Laptop Hard Drive To USB

This article and video will show you how to use a USB enclosure to slave a laptop hard drive. Many times laptop - notebook hard disk drives come in here that we are able to recover with data recovery software. This video will help you use a USB … [Read more...]

Samsung Spinpoint Being Mass Produced

Last week Samsung announced that it will be mass producing their high capacity laptop hard drives. Their Spinpoint series has either high capacity or high speed, whichever is more important to the individual consumer. Some day soon they will have … [Read more...]

Recovering Data From A Laptop

Last month I purchased a Dell Inspiron 1720 with all the RAM and processing power that I could get. I also picked a 320GB hard drive to store my data files. Being involved with data recovery in one way or another for the last nine years has certainly … [Read more...]

Spyware, Viruses, Malware (Part 2)

Spyware, Viruses, and Malware - What you may not know. (Part 2 - How they work and how to locate them.) Welcome back to my series of articles that pertain to Spyware, Malware, and Viruses and what you may not know about them. In my first article, I … [Read more...]

Check Your RAID Consistency Before A Rebuild

Over the years one of the most consistent problems with RAID recovery is the rebuild. I would estimate that nearly 40 percent of the RAIDs that we cannot recover are due exclusively to the fact that a technician executed a rebuild before verifying … [Read more...]

RAID Configuration and Parity Check

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The function set for the inaugural offering of RAID Diagnostic Toolkit is very basic. This post will explain how to choose a set of 'streams' to build a 'RAID set'. Initially the software does not have any options for stripe size, raid type, meta … [Read more...]

What You May Not Know About Spyware and Malware

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Spyware and Malware protection and removal and what you MAY not know! I have had the luxury of being in some sort of IT Industry in one way or another for the last 17 years of my life. I have worked in fields from standard PSTN Telecom, to basic … [Read more...]

Starting Exchange Server with a blank Information Store

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Starting Exchange Server with a blank Information Store There are some situations where starting Microsoft Exchange with a blank database may be necessary. In my line of work, I run across a large amount of businesses that have had their Exchange … [Read more...]

MFT Data Recovery

Over the years I have recovered many hard drives configured with NTFS. One of the leading reasons that data recovery is performed on these hard drives is an anamoly developed in the Master File Table. This area of the drive is the single most … [Read more...]