Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Data Recovery Adventures of Andy Style

I’ve spent a lot of time at my computer this week, none of it blogging.

The Adventure begins Saturday evening when I decided it was finally time to reformat the old hard drive and reinstall everything. The week before I had purchased an external hard drive with ample space to do my backups. And like a good IT professional I properly backed up all my files, and settings.

Oh by the way, the Windows XP settings backup is a great utility!

So there I am, I’ve got all my backups in place A Windows XP install disc and a computer that desperately needs a reformat.

So when prompted to partition hard disc space I decide to go from 2 partitions to 1. So I start deleting partitions. Unfortunately my firewire drive was still on so that third partition I deleted was all my backup data.

(insert expletives here)

Now keep in mind At this point I have no access to my now unpardoned backup drive because the only firewire port in the house is on my desktop PC with no operating system at the moment.

Now this is where things get a little complicated. Even though I had the foresight to turn off the firewire drive AFTER I had deleted the partition (not that it would have mattered) Mid-format of the internal drive was interrupted when the power surged and restarted the computer.

At this point I have an unpartioned external drive and a half-formatted hard drive that when you plug it in you get a lot of clicking because it can’t find its own start point.

So I give up and go to the bar.

Sunday I buy a brand new internal hard drive and install Windows properly and then the fun begins. I finally have confirmation of my worst fears. I don’t have access to any of my backups!

Well I know where they are. They’re in that little grey box with the bright blue light on my desk… I just have no way to access them.

Apearently I’m not the only person to have done this. This article explains how someone could easially do the same thing. And I agree Frustration compounds even the simplest task (you can quote me on that one!).

I tried the program he recommended and honestly after 2 hours of waiting for it to finish scanning the drive and providing no results I was almost depressed. Wanting to give it another try I mentioned it to a DBA that I play volleyball with. He recommended Zero Assumption Recovery.

Where was this when I needed it Sunday? (given it was only Tuesday when I talked to him) but literally within 20 minutes I had found all my data in tact! So it didn’t take me long to whip out Mr. Plastic (that’s a credit card, not a penis euphemism you pervert!) and pay the $79 to get it all back.

So there you have it... Data Recovery Adventures Of Andy Style…

The moral of this story: Try not to loose anything important in the first place!


Anonymous said...

What "utility" are you refering to here:
"Oh by the way, the Windows XP settings backup is a great utility!"

azoric said...

The proper name is the "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard"

Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Files and Settings Transfer Wizard.

Remote Backup said...

A great backup program is Backupright. I bought it for my son before his computer crashed and he didn't lose a thing. It was amazing!