Author Topic: Data Recovery in the event of the worst case scenario  (Read 42607 times)


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Data Recovery in the event of the worst case scenario
« on: June 07, 2019, 11:21:04 am »
As a follow-on to my sticky post about backups and why even with RAID you really have to have them, it is clear through our experiences in support that not everyone does.

This can be caused by a lot of things. The most common one we see is that non-technical end users did not really have a visceral understanding or the precariousness of the situation, right up to the moment of disaster, that is.

In the case of home users, this is usually simple lack of technical knowledge; it may be a trope that technical support people laugh at customers for this, but in my 20+ years of support experience, I can say that this is actually rare. Few people are happier to educate than a good support person, and no one lasts for any length of time wearing a headset with that kind of attitude. What mostly frustrates is an unwillingness to learn or partner to gain the best outcome. No one was born knowing this stuff, and not everyone needs to pack their brains with what is for them useless knowledge, and we understand that.

For business end users, the vast majority of cases are where the business decision makers are either suspicious of sales pitches to add cost for a backup system, suspecting invoice padding, or feel that the cost is too much for what they see as a small risk. A lot of the technical people in those organizations are frustrated by this choice, and end up between a rock and a hard place when trouble happens. One of my favorite quotes from an outsource IT provider we talked to is 'if they won't do backups, they aren't my customer' which I suspect isn't always practical from a 'keep the lights on and make payroll' perspective, but an attitude I applaud at least in concept.

For both of these customers, the moment of going over the precipice and our response to it is the same. We make every attempt to get customers back to a place where the data is accessible with the tools we have, and without making things possibly worse. If this fails, we refer to our Buffalo Data Recovery service. The guys who take these calls are among my very best support people, and sit with the rest of support. They make sure that we appropriately tried to recover the system and gather information for use by the engineers.

Once you start going down the path of data recovery, all of our resources are focused on getting your data back, and every possible risk, even marginal ones, are mitigated. Even if it's possible that we could pop the drives into a chassis, and quickly mount them using some linux wizardry, this could cause more damage - so we don't do that. We pull drive images and then we work with those. Bad drives go into a special 'clean room' and we crack it open to see if we can't get every good bit of data off of them. Heads are inspected and if necessary, replaced to avoid damaging the platters more than they may already be. After this happens then we try to see if parity can be used to fill in any blanks. This is not a simple process, as you may imagine, and is a good deal more involved than two self-taught guys with fancy screwdrivers and a freeware software package.

We hope that you never have to use our services. In most cases the cost of recovery is 5 - 10 times the cost of a backup solution, and we'd much rather sell you one of those today, before you need it. Still, for customers who are in that situation, we are ready to assist.

Find out more about our data recovery service at
**A single copy of data, even on a RAID array, is NOT a backup! Hard drive failure is not a question of IF, but WHEN! Don't take my word for it, take Google's!**