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Failed Linux CentOS Server

“Fantastic work. When my laptop was stolen and my home server started running excruciatingly slowly, I thought years of photos, web site pages, source code and documents were lost forever. Thoroughly recommended.”

Dean Whitman, Birmingham

A small server system arrived from Birmingham at our laboratory in Oxford, which contained a single 4TB Seagate hard disk drive. An inspection of the hard drive revealed no electronic problems, but it was soon apparent that there was a problem with read/write heads which were struggling to read sectors. When our engineers inspected the drive they found that one of the heads had failed, which was causing alignment issues when attempting to read a sector.

Our hardware data recovery specialists were able to source a new read/write head stack and rebuilt the drive. They were then able to secure a sector-by-sector image copy of the drive, which was slow in some areas of the drive. During the process approximately 400 unreadable bad sectors were encountered all clustered in a small area of one single platter surface.

The image of the disk was examined by our data recovery specialists revealing four partitions pertaining to a CentOS Linux installation, consisting of a small boot partition, a root partition, swap area and a home partition 3TB in capacity. The home partition was the most important, as it contains all the user data and shared drive space, formatted using XFS was found to contain approximately 1.4TB of photos, web pages, source code and many office documents. The bad sectors encountered during the imaging process were found to all affect the root partition, leaving all the user files intact.

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