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Xeb's Misadventures as a Data Recovery Engineer - Updated 4/11/2017 - Page 21

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And yet another reason...

Here at work I am known for being grumpy but I have my reasons as to WHY I grumpy. Mainly: Really important data with no other location that I now am under pressure to recover (if possible). Why am i grumpy? I wish more people would backup... but then I wouldn't have a job now would I? redface.gif

We had a client contact us a few days ago. Apparently, their office was hit with a fire... and they DID have backups but none of them were offsite.... 3-2-1 people:

3 Backups
2 Locations
1 Offsite

So, now it falls on us to recover it. What makes this one so unique? Cost namely.


Enough of me going on like an old man. Lets get down to business

Case 7


A customer contacts us after a fire and sprinkler systems go off in their building. Their servers were hit. Both systems were running a RAID 1 for the OS and a RAID 10 for the data and were duplicates of each other. Plus an external drive for a backup of the backups. Mostly doing all the right things EXCEPT for an offsite location. So... why is this here? Because they needed the data yesterday.

The case was submitted, expedite eval paid for and drives delivered all on the same day. I came to the office at 1130pm (normally work till 4:30pm sometimes 6PM) to receive the drives from the customer since I was on call that month. That very same night I also evaled the drives and began imaging everything. Lucky NONE of the drives were damaged by fire or water but there were issues...

The RAID 1 for the OS was perfectly fine with no issues. Nothing crazy there. I imaged the drives off and placed them up on our server for safe keeping. These drives were perfectly healthy other than being a little old.

Now, for the RAID 10. As it would turn out 5 of the 6 drives were failing... Thank god they were not all horribly failing but failing nonetheless. At worst one drive had about 100 reallocated sectors. The less failing ones were 7-8 reallocated sectors. Not bad and nothing my PC3Ks cannot handle. Each one can image 4 drives so i had to use 2 of them. Not too bad. Grabbed 6 known good image drives and set everything up and let them image overnight. Time I left? 1:30AM.

The next morning...
It is 7AM and I am dragging. Even after 6 shots of expresso my body feels like molasses in winter... Oi long day up ahead. Wait, never mind caffeine kicked in. Each drive only took about 4 hours to image. None of them had any skipped blocks which was good.
Let's have a little education section for those of you who do not know what a RAID 10 is and how it works.

RAID 10 is essentially 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1. it is the simplist form of a nested RAID you can get. You get LOTS of speed, some redundancy but not a lot else. If you loose one disk in any RAID 0 it will fail since data is sripped on all disks.
RAID 1 is mirroring. With this it is 2 RAID 0s mirrored. Now, you get full read speed as if you were reading from a 6 drive RAID 0. But you get half the speed when writing.

With imaging out of the way it is time to find RAID parameters and rebuild the array. Since it is 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1 i technically only need 1 set. Though, in this case, since I have all 6 drives in working order why not just rebuild the entire thing? wink.gif

There are various programs and utilites you can use to rebuild a RAID array. I use the PC3K RAID addition. Extremely powerful and far more reliable than most other offerings i have found. Beats having to figure out RAID parameters using a hex editor.

I just plug in all 6 drives and allow utility to do its work. Since these images are in good shape the autodetect feature is handy. After a short while it found one RAID 0 but not the other. This is normal and fine. i just unplug those drives and run it again. Now that i have both RAID0s reconstructed, putting them into a RAID 1 is trivial. Boom, full rebuild complete. I see all the data. After some time i recovered everything from the OS and the data arrays. Full recovery. Customer wasn't able to make it the same day so came the day after. Within a little over 48 hours I had recovered everything for the customer. Not bad if you ask me.

Mind you, during all this the case manager is going back and forth with customer. After some deliberation, he gets approval. How much you ask? Lets say it is enough to cover a semester of college.

Why did it cost so much? Expedite. I came after hours to receive, process, evaluate and begin imaging the drives. The next day, it was my only focus. The only time I was working on anything else was to pass the time. Otherwise, it had my full undivided attention. All other recoveries i was working on were put on hold till this job was complete.

with that out of the way, you may be asking: what about the external? Well... about that. When the sprinkler system went off it caused the drive to fall over. The heads got stuck on the platter and became completely mangled to hell. What resulted next was nothing short of spectacular amounts of platter damage.
 
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post #202 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

\with that out of the way, you may be asking: what about the external? Well... about that. When the sprinkler system went off it caused the drive to fall over. The heads got stuck on the platter and became completely mangled to hell. What resulted next was nothing short of spectacular amounts of platter damage.

I don't see any platter damage.


Sorry, turns out I am discovering a fetish for destroyed platters. evo.gif
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post #203 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

And yet another reason...

Here at work I am known for being grumpy but I have my reasons as to WHY I grumpy. Mainly: Really important data with no other location that I now am under pressure to recover (if possible). Why am i grumpy? I wish more people would backup... but then I wouldn't have a job now would I? redface.gif

We had a client contact us a few days ago. Apparently, their office was hit with a fire... and they DID have backups but none of them were offsite.... 3-2-1 people:

3 Backups
2 Locations
1 Offsite

So, now it falls on us to recover it. What makes this one so unique? Cost namely.


Enough of me going on like an old man. Lets get down to business

Case 7


A customer contacts us after a fire and sprinkler systems go off in their building. Their servers were hit. Both systems were running a RAID 1 for the OS and a RAID 10 for the data and were duplicates of each other. Plus an external drive for a backup of the backups. Mostly doing all the right things EXCEPT for an offsite location. So... why is this here? Because they needed the data yesterday.

The case was submitted, expedite eval paid for and drives delivered all on the same day. I came to the office at 1130pm (normally work till 4:30pm sometimes 6PM) to receive the drives from the customer since I was on call that month. That very same night I also evaled the drives and began imaging everything. Lucky NONE of the drives were damaged by fire or water but there were issues...

The RAID 1 for the OS was perfectly fine with no issues. Nothing crazy there. I imaged the drives off and placed them up on our server for safe keeping. These drives were perfectly healthy other than being a little old.

Now, for the RAID 10. As it would turn out 5 of the 6 drives were failing... Thank god they were not all horribly failing but failing nonetheless. At worst one drive had about 100 reallocated sectors. The less failing ones were 7-8 reallocated sectors. Not bad and nothing my PC3Ks cannot handle. Each one can image 4 drives so i had to use 2 of them. Not too bad. Grabbed 6 known good image drives and set everything up and let them image overnight. Time I left? 1:30AM.

The next morning...
It is 7AM and I am dragging. Even after 6 shots of expresso my body feels like molasses in winter... Oi long day up ahead. Wait, never mind caffeine kicked in. Each drive only took about 4 hours to image. None of them had any skipped blocks which was good.
Let's have a little education section for those of you who do not know what a RAID 10 is and how it works.

RAID 10 is essentially 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1. it is the simplist form of a nested RAID you can get. You get LOTS of speed, some redundancy but not a lot else. If you loose one disk in any RAID 0 it will fail since data is sripped on all disks.
RAID 1 is mirroring. With this it is 2 RAID 0s mirrored. Now, you get full read speed as if you were reading from a 6 drive RAID 0. But you get half the speed when writing.

With imaging out of the way it is time to find RAID parameters and rebuild the array. Since it is 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1 i technically only need 1 set. Though, in this case, since I have all 6 drives in working order why not just rebuild the entire thing? wink.gif

There are various programs and utilites you can use to rebuild a RAID array. I use the PC3K RAID addition. Extremely powerful and far more reliable than most other offerings i have found. Beats having to figure out RAID parameters using a hex editor.

I just plug in all 6 drives and allow utility to do its work. Since these images are in good shape the autodetect feature is handy. After a short while it found one RAID 0 but not the other. This is normal and fine. i just unplug those drives and run it again. Now that i have both RAID0s reconstructed, putting them into a RAID 1 is trivial. Boom, full rebuild complete. I see all the data. After some time i recovered everything from the OS and the data arrays. Full recovery. Customer wasn't able to make it the same day so came the day after. Within a little over 48 hours I had recovered everything for the customer. Not bad if you ask me.

Mind you, during all this the case manager is going back and forth with customer. After some deliberation, he gets approval. How much you ask? Lets say it is enough to cover a semester of college.

Why did it cost so much? Expedite. I came after hours to receive, process, evaluate and begin imaging the drives. The next day, it was my only focus. The only time I was working on anything else was to pass the time. Otherwise, it had my full undivided attention. All other recoveries i was working on were put on hold till this job was complete.

with that out of the way, you may be asking: what about the external? Well... about that. When the sprinkler system went off it caused the drive to fall over. The heads got stuck on the platter and became completely mangled to hell. What resulted next was nothing short of spectacular amounts of platter damage.

 

So it definitely could have been a lot worse then.  It's crazy how much some people/companies are willing to pay to have something done faster than usual.

 

While you are naming off software, any chance you have recommendations for offsite backup software that you can recommend?

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post #204 of 220
A freenas at your mother's house
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post #205 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

Snip

So it definitely could have been a lot worse then.  It's crazy how much some people/companies are willing to pay to have something done faster than usual.

While you are naming off software, any chance you have recommendations for offsite backup software that you can recommend?

Crashplan, Backblaze or Carbonite. I personally hate carbonite. Backblaze is what I personally use.

Though, if I had the money, I would have 2 Synology systems running. One at work or something while the other one is at home. Then use the Synology CloudSync to get everything in order.

BTW, the PC3K is more proprietary than anything else. it is special made for data recovery in mind. Not something the average consumer can afford.
 
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post #206 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

And yet another reason...


Here at work I am known for being grumpy but I have my reasons as to WHY I grumpy. Mainly: Really important data with no other location that I now am under pressure to recover (if possible). Why am i grumpy? I wish more people would backup... but then I wouldn't have a job now would I? redface.gif


We had a client contact us a few days ago. Apparently, their office was hit with a fire... and they DID have backups but none of them were offsite.... 3-2-1 people:


3 Backups

2 Locations

1 Offsite


So, now it falls on us to recover it. What makes this one so unique? Cost namely.



Enough of me going on like an old man. Lets get down to business

Case 7



A customer contacts us after a fire and sprinkler systems go off in their building. Their servers were hit. Both systems were running a RAID 1 for the OS and a RAID 10 for the data and were duplicates of each other. Plus an external drive for a backup of the backups. Mostly doing all the right things EXCEPT for an offsite location. So... why is this here? Because they needed the data yesterday.


The case was submitted, expedite eval paid for and drives delivered all on the same day. I came to the office at 1130pm (normally work till 4:30pm sometimes 6PM) to receive the drives from the customer since I was on call that month. That very same night I also evaled the drives and began imaging everything. Lucky NONE of the drives were damaged by fire or water but there were issues...


The RAID 1 for the OS was perfectly fine with no issues. Nothing crazy there. I imaged the drives off and placed them up on our server for safe keeping. These drives were perfectly healthy other than being a little old.


Now, for the RAID 10. As it would turn out 5 of the 6 drives were failing... Thank god they were not all horribly failing but failing nonetheless. At worst one drive had about 100 reallocated sectors. The less failing ones were 7-8 reallocated sectors. Not bad and nothing my PC3Ks cannot handle. Each one can image 4 drives so i had to use 2 of them. Not too bad. Grabbed 6 known good image drives and set everything up and let them image overnight. Time I left? 1:30AM.

The next morning...

It is 7AM and I am dragging. Even after 6 shots of expresso my body feels like molasses in winter... Oi long day up ahead. Wait, never mind caffeine kicked in. Each drive only took about 4 hours to image. None of them had any skipped blocks which was good.
Let's have a little education section for those of you who do not know what a RAID 10 is and how it works.


RAID 10 is essentially 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1. it is the simplist form of a nested RAID you can get. You get LOTS of speed, some redundancy but not a lot else. If you loose one disk in any RAID 0 it will fail since data is sripped on all disks.

RAID 1 is mirroring. With this it is 2 RAID 0s mirrored. Now, you get full read speed as if you were reading from a 6 drive RAID 0. But you get half the speed when writing.




With imaging out of the way it is time to find RAID parameters and rebuild the array. Since it is 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1 i technically only need 1 set. Though, in this case, since I have all 6 drives in working order why not just rebuild the entire thing? wink.gif


There are various programs and utilites you can use to rebuild a RAID array. I use the PC3K RAID addition. Extremely powerful and far more reliable than most other offerings i have found. Beats having to figure out RAID parameters using a hex editor.


I just plug in all 6 drives and allow utility to do its work. Since these images are in good shape the autodetect feature is handy. After a short while it found one RAID 0 but not the other. This is normal and fine. i just unplug those drives and run it again. Now that i have both RAID0s reconstructed, putting them into a RAID 1 is trivial. Boom, full rebuild complete. I see all the data. After some time i recovered everything from the OS and the data arrays. Full recovery. Customer wasn't able to make it the same day so came the day after. Within a little over 48 hours I had recovered everything for the customer. Not bad if you ask me.


Mind you, during all this the case manager is going back and forth with customer. After some deliberation, he gets approval. How much you ask? Lets say it is enough to cover a semester of college.


Why did it cost so much? Expedite. I came after hours to receive, process, evaluate and begin imaging the drives. The next day, it was my only focus. The only time I was working on anything else was to pass the time. Otherwise, it had my full undivided attention. All other recoveries i was working on were put on hold till this job was complete.


with that out of the way, you may be asking: what about the external? Well... about that. When the sprinkler system went off it caused the drive to fall over. The heads got stuck on the platter and became completely mangled to hell. What resulted next was nothing short of spectacular amounts of platter damage.

So it definitely could have been a lot worse then.  It's crazy how much some people/companies are willing to pay to have something done faster than usual.

While you are naming off software, any chance you have recommendations for offsite backup software that you can recommend?

For a business, especially one without a resident IT tech, a business plan with a good, paid, cloud backup service is best. They work automatically in the background with no input from users, have versioning, and georedundancy (the data is kept in more than one geographical location). They aren't cheap but data recovery isn't cheap either and carries no guarantees of success.

For home users, backup drives that are stored offsite would probably be the most cost effective although a good, paid, cloud backup service (not a free cloud storage site!; those are rarely secure and are notorious for disappearing with little to no warning), such as Carbonite.com (my personal choice), CrashPlan, or Backblaze could also be used. Data and System files (OS and programs) should be segregated from each other on the computer, such as on separate drives or partitions on a single drive. As Xebbie pointed out, you need two sets of backup drives, one set kept onsite and the other kept offsite. The two sets should be swapped out frequently to keep the offsite set as up to date as possible. Also, backup drives should be kept disconnected from the computer except when updating a backup.

For backing up System files, imaging is best. I prefer the paid version of Macrium Reflect Free although the free version is also good. For backing up data, a folder/file syncing program, such as FreeFileSync (my personal choice) or Synctoy is more efficient and requires less drive space than imaging would be (you have to use imaging or cloning to backup and restore System files with imaging being the most efficient).

One important point is RAID of any kind in itself is NOT a backup! All RAIDs 1 on up do is ensure continuous operation should a drive (or more, depending on the kind of RAID) decide to die on you. Except for RAID 1, RAIDs can also be used to increase the size of drive volume beyond what a single drive will have, such as in a NAS. Most home users do not need continuous operation of their data drives since it doesn't take all that long to replace a failed drive and restore data to it. Or, if one keeps duplicate backup drives like I do (I have a set of four backup drives for each drive in my computer; two kept onsite and the other two kept offsite), one can just pop in one of the onsite backup drives within just a few minutes and keep chugging along until a replacement drive can be procured and have the data transferred to it.
     
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post #207 of 220
Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

Snip

So it definitely could have been a lot worse then.  It's crazy how much some people/companies are willing to pay to have something done faster than usual.

While you are naming off software, any chance you have recommendations for offsite backup software that you can recommend?

Crashplan, Backblaze or Carbonite. I personally hate carbonite. Backblaze is what I personally use.

Though, if I had the money, I would have 2 Synology systems running. One at work or something while the other one is at home. Then use the Synology CloudSync to get everything in order.

BTW, the PC3K is more proprietary than anything else. it is special made for data recovery in mind. Not something the average consumer can afford.

 

Ah, I forget to clarify if you have your own hardware.  So if I had a spare computer that I could throw some hard drives in Raid 6 or something and throw it at my Uncle's house, are there any recommended programs for syncing that if for some reason you wanted to avoid the Cloud to store your files.  Having access to your backup data physically if for some reason internet fails in the area or at either site location is always a bonus in my books.

 

Backblaze for $5/month of unlimited cloud storage does seem rather nice though as an added backup location.

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post #208 of 220
Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

Snip


So it definitely could have been a lot worse then.  It's crazy how much some people/companies are willing to pay to have something done faster than usual.


While you are naming off software, any chance you have recommendations for offsite backup software that you can recommend?


Crashplan, Backblaze or Carbonite. I personally hate carbonite. Backblaze is what I personally use.


Though, if I had the money, I would have 2 Synology systems running. One at work or something while the other one is at home. Then use the Synology CloudSync to get everything in order.


BTW, the PC3K is more proprietary than anything else. it is special made for data recovery in mind. Not something the average consumer can afford.

Ah, I forget to clarify if you have your own hardware.  So if I had a spare computer that I could throw some hard drives in Raid 6 or something and throw it at my Uncle's house, are there any recommended programs for syncing that if for some reason you wanted to avoid the Cloud to store your files.  Having access to your backup data physically if for some reason internet fails in the area or at either site location is always a bonus in my books.

Backblaze for $5/month of unlimited cloud storage does seem rather nice though as an added backup location.

If you can reliably maintain a NAS at another location, such as your Uncle's house, CrashPlan has a free plan that will backup your data to a computer or NAS at another location via the internet (the data is merely transmitted via the internet, it isn't stored in the cloud).
     
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post #209 of 220
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Let's have a little education section for those of you who do not know what a RAID 10 is and how it works.

RAID 10 is essentially 2 RAID 0s in a RAID 1. it is the simplist form of a nested RAID you can get. You get LOTS of speed, some redundancy but not a lot else. If you loose one disk in any RAID 0 it will fail since data is sripped on all disks.
RAID 1 is mirroring. With this it is 2 RAID 0s mirrored. Now, you get full read speed as if you were reading from a 6 drive RAID 0. But you get half the speed when writing.

I'd like to clarify something here. As far as I was aware the notation for nested RAID topologies is expressed left-to-right and in the order in which they are applied. So, a RAID as you describe is actually RAID 01 - a mirror of two RAID 0s. RAID 10 would be a striping of two RAID 1s.
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post #210 of 220
i want a refund - this thread sucks!
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