Emergency Server Recovery Services

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Failed Windows File Server

“Our current production work is stored on one of our Windows servers before transfer to backup and off-site archive. We need to review our procedure after the disk containing the data failed to mount after rebooting the server, leaving our office at a standstill. Many thanks for the swift work in recovering our data for us.”

Keith Malden, company name withheld, Manchester

We received a 4TB Seagate hard disk drive from Manchester at our laboratory in Oxford. An inspection of the hard disk drive by our hardware data recovery specialists did not reveal any indications of a physical failure. When our data recovery engineers started to secure a sector-by-sector image of the disk to our servers it was immediately apparent that sector zero, which contains the important partition information was missing. During the imaging process sector zero was the only unreadable bad sector encountered.

In order for the operating system to be able to determine how a hard disk drive is partitioned and how any file systems on it should be handled it is essential to read the data contained in sector zero. Without this information the operating system is unable to overcome the problem, making the data held on it inaccessible.

The secured drive image was analysed by our data recovery specialists which revealed it to contain a single 4TB NTFS data volume. This file system was found to contain approximately 2.3TB of recoverable files mostly consisting of assorted office documents, website files, PHP and C# source code. All the files were written to an LTO data cartridge for return to the customer.

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