Friday, September 21, 2007

RAID configured External Hard Drives

Today’s topic is large capacity external hard drives including network attached storage (NAS) units. These type of units have become increasingly popular because of their large capacity. They range from 500 GB to 4 TB and are manufactured by many companies including Lacie,Buffalo Technology, and Maxtor.

Something to remember is that these units have multiple disk drives inside that are configured using RAID technology. This is what enables them to offer such high capacities. Most of them offer users a choice when configuring the unit for the first time. RAID 0 offers high performance, but is very risky. RAID 0 stripes data across all of the disk drives, and if one drive fails the data can be lost forever. ReWave gets tons of these units in every week where the user has lost their data due to NAS failure. In most cases, these units come preconfigured as RAID 0. It is important to consider using a different RAID level unless you are certain you can perform regular backups. Most of the time, one of the disk drives fail and it becomes necessary to repair the drive in the clean room before the data can be recovered.

If you purchase one of these units, you may want to seriously consider changing the RAID level during configuration (don’t try to change it after you have been using it for a while unless you backup first!) Depending on your particular unit, your choices probably include RAID 1 (mirroring), RAID 5 (striping with parity), or JBOD (just a bunch of disks). RAID 1 essentially cuts your disk space in half but provides full security by mirroring your data. Although not as safe as RAID 1, RAID 5 can sustain the failure of one disk and allows you to use most of the capacity of the unit.

The bottom line is- if you must use RAID 0, please remember to perform regular backups!!!

Now for the joke of the day:

There are 2 cowboys in the kitchen. Which one is the real cowboy? The one on the range.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Clicking hard drives

A clicking hard drive is a dreaded sound that you hopefully won't ever have to hear (and if you do, hopefully you have backed up your data). A failing hard drive can make a variety of sounds and to post them all would take a while. In most cases, a clicking drive will sound something like this.

That clicking sound is indicative of physical hardware failure on the disk. It can happen anytime and can happen to a drive that is brand new or one that is really ancient. It is important that you immediately turn the computer off and stop using the drive. If the problem is a head crash, then continuing to use the drive in this state can cause permanent data loss.

If you have experienced this problem, contact ReWave for free help. We can diagnose your problem with a free evaluation which won't cost you anything. We have over 16 years of experience recovering data from clicking hard drives. We offer both desktop data recovery and laptop data recovery.

Now for the joke of the day:

A duck walks into a drugstore and asks for a tube of ChapStick. The cashier says to the duck, “That’ll be $1.49.” The duck replies, “Put it on my bill!”


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fire Damaged Hard Drives

I would like to take a moment to mention a few things about fire damage to hard drives. We received an interesting job over the weekend which was a Dell Poweredge server that had been in a fire. Amazingly, the server was in pretty good shape (this will not always be the case!). There were 4 hard drives in the server configured in a RAID 5 array. The hard drives were burnt somewhat and smelled of soot. We were able to repair the disks, get images of all 4 disks, destripe the RAID, and recover the data by Monday evening. This is probably as lucky as you will get working with fire damaged hard drives. This is why it is so important to perform regular backups of your data and store it offsite. The fate of the company was pretty much riding on the condition of these 4 little hard drives.

Now for some humor. Going forward, for each blog entry I will include a joke of the day. Sounds kind of corny-but if it makes readers laugh and lighten up, then it has served its purpose:

One day two drinking buddies, Jim and Dave, were working on aircraft at JFK airport in NYC. They got fogged in and finished up their work early and were sitting around bored. Jim spoke up, “Man I really need a drink!”“You know I heard a rumor you could drink jet fuel and get drunk.” Dave said.“Really?” said Jim.“That’s what I heard. Wanna try it?”“Sure, hell I’ll try anything once!” So with that they poured themselves a couple of glasses and began drinking the jet fuel. They sipped a little bit to find it actually tasted quiet good. So they drank more and more and sure enough they got stoned drunk. The next morning Jim awoke feeling like a million bucks he jumped up wet to the bathroom feeling great like he was floating on air he hadn’t felt this good in years. “Wow!” He said. About that time Jim’s telephone rang… “Hello?”“Hello Jim, this is Dave. How are you feeling this morning?”“Man I feel great, no hang over, no sick, I feel like a million bucks. How about you?”“Me too, but I have one question for you.”“Sure, what is it”“Have you farted yet?”“Ummmmm No. Why?”“DON’T. I’m in Phoenix!”

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hurricanes- (The Weather Phenomenon, not the Hockey Team) and Hard Drives

Wow- where do I begin? The Hurricane Season is just getting warmed up, so I wanted to take a moment to discuss what these monsters can do to hard drives. Most people who must leave their home or business as part of a hurricane evacuation are in such a hurry they totally forget about their computer systems. Laptops are easy- just chunk 'em in the car with you and everything will be ok....but it's not that easy with desktops and servers.

Really- you should be regularly backing up your data and storing the backup offsite or online. But according to a survey by Symantec & Harris Interactive of over 2400 users, only 57% actually backup their data. But we'll save that for another day.............

So what should you do with your computer if you're in the path of a Hurricane? The first choice would be to take the entire system with you. Of course if you are in the danger zone and fear for your safety, you must evacuate immediately and forget about your computer. That's what data recovery companies are for.....but if you have some time to prepare, try to take it with you if you can. If you cannot lift the equipment, then you could open the computer and take the hard drive(s) out. Place the drive in an antistatic bag or ziplock bag. If you have to leave your computer behind, you should try to cover any vents/open areas on your computer with tape and also the entire computer in plastic bags to keep water from seeping inside.

So what does a flooded hard drive look like? (not pretty)

Flooded drives suffer from major corrosion due to the dirt and debris that settles after the floodwater recedes. But no matter how bad things look- even if your hard drive is dripping water- ReWave can help.

ReWave has an area dedicated specifically to flood damaged hard drives. Our hurricane procedures start with teaching you how to package a drive damaged by flooding. Once flooded hard drives arrive at our lab, our team of engineers can begin the process of recovering data. About 80% of the water damaged hard drives we get in are recoverable.

Contact ReWave toll-free at 866-739-2835 or 704-262-7779. We offer free 24 hour data recovery service.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Welcome to the ReWave Hard Drive Recovery Blog

Hello to all our new and existing customers!

ReWave Hard Drive Recovery is excited to launch our first blog. This blog will serve many purposes including providing information on our services, data recovery tips, and fun stuff. We hope you will enjoy visiting our blog
on a regular basis.