Server Recovery - What Not To Do When Disaster Strikes

Thursday, December 31, 2009 by The Data Experts

Data disasters will happen. Accepting that reality is the first step in preparing a comprehensive disaster plan. Time is always against an IT team when a disaster strikes, therefore the details of a disaster plan are critical for success.

Here are some suggestions from Ontrack Data Recovery engineers of what not to do when data disasters occur:

  • In a disaster recovery, never restore data to the server that has lost the data - always restore to a separate server or location.
  • In Microsoft Exchange or SQL failures, never try to repair the original Information Store or database files - work on a copy.
  • In a deleted data situation, turn off the machine immediately. Do not shut down Windows - this will prevent the risk of overwritten data.
  • Use a volume defragmenter regularly.
  • If a drive fails on RAID systems, never replace the failed drive with a drive that was part of a previous RAID system - always zero out the replacement drive before using.
  • If a drive is making unusual mechanical noises, turn it off immediately and get assistance.
  • Have a valid backup before making hardware or software changes.
  • Label the drives with their position in a RAID array.
  • Do not run volume repair utilities on suspected bad drives.
  • Do not run defragmenter utilities on suspected bad drives.
  • In a power loss situation with a RAID array, if the file system looks suspicious, or is unmountable, or the data is inaccessible after power is restored, do not run volume repair utilities.

Ontrack Data Recovery should be part of your disaster planning and your key personnel should be aware of our server recovery capabilities. During an outage, it is common to have multiple recovery efforts going on at the same time. This makes sense because the goal is to get the company back to its data. The key to success is to contact Ontrack's server data recovery service as soon as possible.