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Server Failures Through Overheating

“When the air conditioning system failed at the weekend, high temperatures affected the two servers which were left operational. A problem only became apparent when I was unable to attach to the mail server. On arriving at the office it was clear that the mail server and file server had both failed due to excessive heat. After calling support DiskEng were recommended to us, who provided a thoroughly professional service, returning all of our data.”

AJ Shah, Company confidential, London

A pair of HP servers arrived at our office, both containing a pair of 1TB Seagate hard disk drives and three 3TB Western Digital hard disks. An inspection of the mail server revealed that both of the Seagate drives and one of the Western Digital disks had suffered damage to the controller boards due to the high temperatures. An inspection of the file server revealed that one of the Seagate and one Western Digital drive has suffered heat damage to the controller board.

Our hardware data recovery engineers were able to overcome the problem by replacing the controller boards on each of the failed drives. Our data recovery specialists were able to image all of the hard disk drives from the mail server encountering no bad sectors during the process.

When imaging the Seagate drives from the file server a couple of thousand bad sectors were encountered on each. The two undamaged Western Digital drives from the file server imaged with no bad sectors, but the other drive had suffered considerable damage. The read/write heads had impacted with the surface of the platters, probably as a result of the high temperatures. The read/write heads were replaced, but imaging the drive was problematic with several million bad sectors encountered during the process.

An examination of the Seagate drives from the mail server revealed that they were a mirrored pair, with two partitions containing 250GB and 340GB respectively. Our data recovery specialists examined the three 3TB drive images which revealed a RAID 5 scheme for which a virtual RAID was configured. This virtual RAID contained only a single data partition of 6TB containing 3.2TB of data consisting mainly of mail database files.

The images from the pair of Seagate drives contained in the file server revealed another mirrored pair of disks. None of the bad sectors had affected the same sector, making all sectors recoverable from the single 1TB partition which contained approximately 720GB of data. The three 3TB Western Digital drives had been configured as a RAID 5 array, for which our data recovery specialists created a virtual RAID. Due to the redundancy of a RAID 5 array, all of the data from the bad sectors contained on the damaged drive were recoverable. This RAID contained a single data partition containing approximately 2.2TB of data consisting mainly of assorted office documents, photo and website files.

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