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Data Recovery, Backup, Restoration, and Disaster Recovery - Definitions Merge
Friday, November 27, 2009

Over the past several years there has been a confluence of the definitions of Data Recovery, Data Backup and Restoration, and Disaster Recovery. The merging of these definitions does not serve the industry. It only serves to confuse the consumer, the very people these various industry segments want to reach.

Data Recovery
Defined as the process of extracting data from inaccessible storage media or storage system such as hard drives, tapes, optical media and RAID's. The process involves repairing physical damage, repairing electrical damage, correcting media maintenance information, correcting data corruption, undeleting files or some combination thereof.

Data Backup and Restoration
This process begins with an intentional effort to store data on alternate media such as tape, optical media, hard drives, other storage systems or an online service. That's the Backup portion. In the event of a failure of the primary storage media, the alternate media is used to restore data from the alternate source to a new primary source. That's the Restoration segment.

Disaster Recovery
The process of returning an entity, such as a business or home office, to a functional and optimal state after a natural disaster or man-made event that either completely or partially impairs the function of that entity. Disaster recovery may include data recovery and/or data backup and restoration.

There are key differences that make these definitions and industries unique. Data Recovery is usually considered after data restoration has been eliminated as an option. Data backup and restoration is considered a primary function of computing to ensure data is safe from media failures. Disaster Recovery takes into consideration the complete infrastructure including facility restoration, data restoration and data recovery as a last resort.

In a literal sense there is an intentional effort to ?recover? data from some sort of catastrophic event in all three environments. That may be the source for the merging of these terms.

Confusing the consumer is not the only effect of this merging or confluence. Do a search in Google News for ?Data Recovery?. You'll find results appear for all three definitions on the first page. In the future, this confluence may make it difficult for the search engines to discern between the three. Will this effect snowball? Only time will tell.

While some businesses offer services and products that address all three categories, the definitions need to be clearly defined. As there is no unifying body or advocacy group for any of these industry segments it's likely the definitions will continue to be fuzzy at the very least. Until these definitions are more clearly defined, it will be up to the consumer to determine what Data Recovery really means.

Richard Myers
http://www.iswamp.com
The Data Recovery Resource Center

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 5:51 AM  
Secure Data Backup And Instant File Recovery
Friday, November 20, 2009

Just how recoverable are your computer files?

There are many times when the PC seems to ?have it in for you?. I have even known servers with really nasty streaks ? how is this for an example:

I was running an IT training course in a secure establishment. The day before, I set everything up with a technician, had it checked and locked the room.

The next day the network would not work and when it did all the files for the course were missing. It took us a day to put everything back together and then do a tape backup - all for a two day course.

The next two days were perfect, but that was a training course, Imagine if that had been your small business computer or home machine and you were off to see a client.

What are the options to secure Data

It is estimated that 80% of small business could go out of business if their PC's fail so we have all learned to back up our work and know that tomorrow everything will be OK... YOU DO BACK UP DON?T YOU????

When you need to restore data

What happens if the file you need for your presentation has GONE. No, I mean it - GONE! It may have been deleted and then the Recycle Bin emptied. It may have been too big for the recycle bin and so your back-up was not there.

Well you do what I have done, you go into the meeting or training session with no notes or no presentation and you 'busk it'. It looks bad and it is bad. If you are in a large corporation and this is an important presentation, the technicians will beaver away on your PC or server area trying to get the files back in a usable form. They will probably succeed but it can take days if they are trying to recover from a tape backup. Luckily many have software that will do the job.

If you are a sole trader or a small company - welcome to the world of terror.

If your file does get deleted and has not been backed-up what can you do?

Having been working via the Internet as a small business owner for nearly 20 years I have kept up with all the products for backing-up, saving and those that can search, find and retrieve lost files.

The only problem is that with some programmes you have to actually have the programme on your PC when you need it.

What should you do to prepare for the worst?

For small business owners, File recovery and data safety come down to the following:

1 Backup weekly to removable storage such as CD, DVD, ZIP or an Internet data backup provider. If you store the data on your own media remove the backup media from the premises ? say from office to home. At least in that way file recovery can be achieved if something happens to the main office.

2 Backup important daily work onto another machine if you have one, or CD/DVD.

3 If you lose today?s work - there is only one solution and that is search the net, find an instant file recovery product, download it and find that file. Better still, have the software ready loaded. I have used quite a few data recovery programs and find that Instant File Recovery gives a good result when needed. It is also cost effective.

What irreplaceable material is on your computer?

If you don?t want to lose it, safeguard it now.

Make sure you have all the backups that you need and software that will allow you to recover any lost or missing files.

All computers die at some point; BE READY for when it happens.

Di Chapman is an IT specialist, having won 2 Awards for her work in the promotion of Virtual Working and the running of Virtual Offices. For more information http://www.recover-lostfiles.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 8:25 AM  
Security - Data Recovered

The world?s population put a lot of faith in their computers. This is as true for online businesses as for personal computing. But what happens when your computer crashes?

Data Recovery

The benefits of data that is backed up by one or more sources are incredible. However there are many businesses that do not backup their business data in a meaningful way.

Should the computer suffer a major meltdown you may not be able to recover the data on your hard drive.

The use of a zip drive is a quick way to backup data in a compressed environment. If your data is not extremely large you can always save it on a CD-ROM, re-writable disk or jump drive. This information should be stored in a location other than your business in the event of either a break in or fire. If your system does fail you will have a very recent update of your data that can be reimported when the system regains function.

Inevitable Recovery

Make sure to have phone numbers for technical support in a central location along with the software product, manuals and registration numbers you have for your computer. The reason this is important is in the event of computer failure you will need both assistance as well as a means of importing software for a quick recover.

An Electric Onslaught

Surge protectors are an inexpensive investment in the security of your computer. If an electrical surge is allowed to access your computer it is likely to cause significant issues with your hard drive. A surge protector works to prevent any problems with variations in power distribution.

Who are you Again?

Registering your software may not seem like the best use of your time. Many individuals fail to register their software product for fear they will be deluged with email offers. While this can happen, the truth is by registering your software products you will be alerted to any problems, fixes and upgrades that may be available. If you don?t register the product the company does not know to contact you regarding these issues.

The Other Side of Security

While most people think about computer security as the work of espionage and subterfuge this article is meant to show the practical side of making sure your computer works as efficiently as possible, but when it fails you now have some tools to help you recover much faster.

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other web projects. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com at: http://www.highpowersites.com Start your own ebook business with BooksWealth at: http://www.bookswealth.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 8:22 AM  
How Data Recovery is Performed on Failed RAID 5 Arrays
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RAID 5 arrays are used for many applications because they are for the most part cost-effective and provide a level of fault tolerance not provided by some other levels of RAID. As with any RAID level, RAID 5 can experience many different types of problems. This article will provide a brief discussion of some of the problems causing RAID 5 failure and how data recovery can work to solve these problems.

Problems That Can Cause RAID 5 Failure

Bad Sectors

A RAID 5 can fail due to bad sectors on any of the disks in the array. This can force the array to go offline.

Corrupt Data

A RAID 5 can suffer from corrupt data due to many reasons including viruses, user error, overwriting files, and scratches on the surface of the disk platters.

Degraded RAID 5

A RAID 5 becomes degraded when there is a loss of one of the member disks. This causes a huge decrease in performance and also removes the fault tolerance of the RAID 5. Operating a degraded RAID 5 is dangerous because the loss of a second disk will cause the entire array to be lost.

Deleted Files

Many times a user will accidentally delete important data in a RAID 5 array. Other times, it is done intentionally by disgruntled employees. In most situations, deleted files can be recovered.

Missing Partitions

In many cases, the partition table can become corrupt or missing causing an entire partition to disappear or become unusable. This makes data recovery necessary. Attempting recovery with software will increase the risk of permanent data loss.

RAID 5 Controller Failure

A Hardware RAID 5 array uses a controller which contains all of the logic and handles the operations of the array. For many reasons, the array can experience a controller failure. This can cause the array to not boot. It could also cause the logical volume to disappear.

RAID 5 Disk Failure/RAID 5 Drive Failure

A RAID 5 is a set of three or more disk drives. Any of these drives can experience failure. A RAID 5 is configured with the ability to withstand the failure of only one disk at a time. In most cases, the RAID can be recovered in a data recovery lab using parity data written to the disks by the array. Even if more than one disk has failed, data recovery is still possible in a recovery lab.

RAID 5 Firmware Failure

Firmware problems can occur in the RAID controller or the member disk drives.

RAID 5 Rebuild Failure

For various reasons, a RAID 5 array can experience a rebuild failure. This may keep member disks offline and render the array unusable.

Server Crash

Many times, the host server experiences problems and can crash. This of course makes the array unaccessible. A data recovery lab can recover the data from the member disks.

How to Ensure RAID 5 Data Recovery is Successful

If you have experienced a RAID 5 failure, it is important that you do not take matters into your own hands. This can cause the parity data to be overwritten. Parity data, which is written to the member disks, is in many cases vital to ensure a successful recovery. The very first thing you should do is power off the RAID server immediately to ensure that no additional writes are performed. Any events describing what may have happened to cause the problem should be noted. If the member disk drives are removed from the server, they should be labeled in the correct order they were removed. The disk order is very important if time is of the essence. This is also important if you have a large number of member disks.

To ensure a successful data recovery, it is important that the failed RAID 5 remain intact. More information can be found by visiting RAID 5 recovery.

Andrea Stone is employed with ReWave Hard Drive Recovery, a data recovery company serving clients in cities worldwide including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, Richmond, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa. Visit the ReWave Hard Drive Recovery website for more information about RAID recovery and data recovery.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 3:41 AM  
Data & Tape Storage & Disaster Recovery ? What you need to consider (SME organisations)

You may be in a situation where you know your data is not being backed up correctly ? or at all. You know it needs to be looked into????.but you just can?t ?find the time? to speak to the other team members about it.

Data is the second most irreplaceable and valuable asset after ?people?. In the event of a disaster, insurance money can only pay compensation and replace tangible assets; it cannot replace people or your unique data.

So where do you start? Well every business has their own requirements and generally will look to their IT support company for advice on their specific needs. In my experience, IT companies (particularly for SMEs) just rather organise blue cable, servers, peripheries and maintenance plans ? than ensure a decent Disaster Recover (DR) plan is in place. And if they recommend a DR plan, it will be based on their biases on the subject.

Here is what to consider and investigate when developing a data backup plan.

First ? How much data are you generating each day? That is how many Gigabytes? Second. How many days/hours of data can you afford to lose? Third. If there is a major systems failure ? how much downtime can you afford?

How much daily needs to be backed up daily? You should only need to do an incremental backup of the NEW data for the day. When to do a FULL backup? ?????. Usually weekly. Also you may require Archive backups?????often monthly.

Once you know the quantity of data to backup daily & weekly, you can then decide on the method.

You need to consider how much data needs to be stored on Disc (eg NAS) for rapid access in case of a systems failure; and how much data can be stored on Tape (LTO, DLT). Tape is cheaper to run but takes longer to backup and access. The simplest method is to buy a Tape drive unit that can backup about 200 ? 400 GB of data. The costs vary ($1000 - $2000) for the unit and the individual tapes cost about $50 - $60 each (you often need about 20 tapes). If your data is close to a Terabyte (TB), you are now looking into more money to set up ($5000 - $10000). On the other hand, you can store a lot of your daily data on Disc Storage (NAS etc..) however the hardware can be very expensive to purchase and very expensive to operate. You need to keep the units running constantly - even if you just want to have access to a simple word file ? the whole unit needs to keep running. A lot of electricity for disc, whereas tape just sits on the shelf.

Some experts will say tape is vulnerable to damage and corruption. The solution is the make multiple tape backups and then store in a cool, safe place. Tape actually can last years without damage.

Many companies offer off-site tape storage. This allows you to store tapes in a library/cataloguing system that can be viewed online. They are kept in a secure vault with idea climate conditions for tape longevity. You are also able to instruct the storage company how often they visit your office to exchange your backup tapes on an agreed tape rotation plan.

You just have to know what data you need to store for rapid access (Disc storage) or archive or not so urgent (Tape) and balance your expenditure and operating costs accordingly. Also remember to factor in the amount of data increase you are experiencing in your organisation (thanks to emails and larger file sizes ? there is at least a 50% increase in all extant data per annum!!!)

What about the Internet?

Yes some people have backup software that allows their data to be de-duplicated and compressed so as to fit in the available bandwidth. Some IT people actually backup onto the available space in the their Website Database. Web hosters often offer a certain amount of data to be stored in the back end of the web site itself - for a monthly fee. Just check to see the extra costs associated with data transfer. Also in the event of a systems failure (where communication lines can go down ? thus internet and WAN) how are you going to retrieve the data?

IT people are also known for taking home older servers ? placing them in their garage and backing up data over the internet to their second hand PCs. Is this a reliable solution considering sick days, holidays, burglary and internet integrity?

Some companies will host your data in a similar way to Web hosters? Just ensure that they are in fact a suitable option when you factor in costs, reliability, bandwidth, data restoration time and DR.

Other simple solutions

There is more software being developed that will compress and simplify your data so that you are only backing up a smaller parcel of data.

This is definitely worth investigating, however I would recommend that you start changing policy internally with regard to backup solutions. Remember that a large source of your problem is that company employees often make several copies of the one file, do not delete there ?Sent files? and do not archive or manage their emails. This is where you can save a lot of memory ? and thus know for sure the REAL amount of data that needs to be stored.

http://www.datastoragesolutions.com.au Glenn Caldwell

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 3:40 AM  
Understanding Data Loss and Data Recovery
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Losing data is the worst thing that can happen to someone who is too attached to computers. It is not a question on "how attached" a person is, it is a question on how much a person earns out of his data. In other words, for beginner computer users, losing files is like losing common documents, but for developers, it means losing source files. Source files are projects developed with the use of certain complex application. Losing them is close to losing a career!

Data recovery is the solution to lost files. Data do not just disappear in one click but some of them are stored and could be recovered. The means of data recovery depends on the diagnostic and troubleshooting on how the functioning of the computer started.

It is not easy to determine problems in the computer for a novice, but for experts, events with PC sounds, speed change, temperature and booting problems are just some signs and symptoms of a lingering problems which could lead to data loss. Corrupt files occur when there is direct disturbance changing the data properties. When a project file can't be opened, it is possibly corrupt. Latest softwares have the capability to recover files in one execution.

Simple documents have high potential possibility of destruction. Complex applications involving vectors with larger project files, when corrupted, have the least chance of recovery. Examples of which are computer aided design applications, graphic arts editor, video editors and programming applications.

What are the kinds of flaws that trigger data loss?

Physical Defect Of Peripherals - hard disk damages show signs of file corruption before affecting the raw data. Upon knowing the sign of hard disk failure, it is important to make back-ups to avoid losing current and past data. Accidents and unavoidable circumstances can also cause peripheral damages in a PC, which can lead to data loss.

Overheating of the CPU can lead to chain reaction and shut of the computer. Constant crashing without proper shutting down procedure is one of the harshest of data destroyer. Usually the current file being worked on before the big crash happened is the one rendered useless afterwards.

Virus Attack - computer intruders will not give computers any benefit. Virus is always created to destroy data. By installing an effective anti-virus, this problem can be avoided or can be resolved easier than not having one. Careless downloading of any freebies in the Internet is harmful. It is important to understand how adwares can harm your local file in just one click. Virus propagators in the net are using advertising tools to gain access remotely to any private data.

On the onset of viral attack, do not do anything in the computer or leave it on any further. The more it is left functioning, the more the virus will spread and destroy the system. If you suspect your PC has been attacked, give it an instant cold boot. Do not use it unless the purpose is data recovery and diagnostics.

Accidental Format - A person could be too drunk booting the PC and accidentally executing the format command! Formatting is the greatest mortal sin one can execute to a disk rich with important data. It is the last resort when a disk has too many garbage needing a good overhaul. Formatting a disk is erasing the entire disk for good. Some good utilities have means to UNFORMAT and regain back the lost data in a formatted hard disk.

Bob is the owner of http://datarecovery.knowsmart.com/ which is an up-to-date, informative data recovery website.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 11:22 PM  
The Lost Art of CD Data Recovery

Between losing data on our computer's hard drive, on tapes, and on diskettes we would think that there would be no other way to misplace or lose our important data, but we'd be wrong. CD data recovery has become another method of finding and recovering lost computer data; that's right you guessed it, CD data recovery is the art of recovering data that has been lost on, a CD. Now, if you lose important information, pictures, music files, or any other information that is important its no longer " the end of the world". In most cases with CD data recovery, allows all of the lost information to be completely recovered.

Sleep Easy

It doesn't matter if you've lost data on a CD-R, CD-RW, or DVD, CD data recovery can help you! Data loss on your CD's can occur for a variety of different reasons. Some reasons, include virus attacks, lost drive letters, lost partitions, configuration errors, and drive limitations that improperly read the files of the CD. This can make data recovery of CD complicated, but there is always hope, when it comes to recovering your lost data.

There are a number of programs that are designed to aid you when it comes to recovering your lost data. Some of the highly recommended programs are one's like "Bad Copy Pro" this program fully automatic and simple to use, it simply copies the lost data and then rewrites it back to your hard drive. When it comes to recovering missing or lost data from documents, images, and even applications. "Bad Copy Pro" is the way to go, its inexpensive and it has a high success rate. It won't overwrite the files that are on the CD, because that can cause problems.

"Multi Data Rescue" is another really good program to use. This software is the tool the experts use to recover lost data from CDs. This program can be used in the Windows interface, and it is very user friendly. It is used to recover files from CDs and DVDs, it supports digital media recovery, and it can even recover lost data from memory cards and USB related disk issues. There is a program that is a spin-off of the "Multi Data Rescue" software, that is specifically designed to recover lost DVD data.

With these two programs and the others that are out there on the market, CD data recovery is no longer an impossible feat. It doesn't matters how the files were lost or what happened to the CD, because recovery is possible. Sometime technology can hinder us, but there will always be something available to right the wrong. What will they come up with of next?

If you would like to learn more tips on how to recover lost data from DVDs and from your cd's and other damaged media then visit: http://www.MyDataRecoveryTips.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 11:21 PM  
The 5 Most Common Reasons Why People Believe They Won't Need Data Recovery

Most people don't realize how important their data is until it is lost. Hard drive data recovery is needed for a variety of reasons, all of which are often ignored until it is too late. And in most cases, some people have had opportunities to protect their files from data loss and corruption, but may have thought one of these 5 common beliefs about their data and why they won't need to find a hard drive data recovery company.

"My hard drive is brand new, so my data is safe" Have you ever bought a new toaster, coffee maker, DVD player, or even the most popular toy for your child only to have to return it or exchange it because there were problems with it? Then as you drive back to the store where it was purchased, you wonder how something you just purchased brand new could break so fast. Things break, brand new or old, that is why there are warranties! Regardless, a hard drive is no different. Each comes with a manufacturer's warranty for the hard drive, but not the data. A data loss is your problem, not theirs.

So when your hard drive fails and you are left looking at a blank screen, a variety of error messages, or hear a loud clicking noise from the hard drive, you sit and slowly realize that your world is about to change. Your belief that the data on your new hard drive is safe from data corruption or mechanical hard drive failure erodes, and the panic begins to set in.

"We backup our data to a spare hard drive (or other media)"

It is always a good habit to backup your data. In fact, kudos to you if you do! Now, that you have patted yourself on the back for your fantastic disaster planning, do you recall when you last tested your backup? When was the last backup restored to verify the data, test the backup media, and confirm that the data stored is still relevant to your business?

This is often where problems arise. While it is great that a disaster recovery plan in place, is a backup from 1 month ago really of value? 1 year ago? 3 days ago? Loosing a few days or months of data from a home user's point of view may not be such a big deal...as long as they have their important docs, pictures and MP3s.

However, depending on your business, several lost days of data can devastate a company. For the business community, a day of data loss can cost the company thousands of dollars and worst yet, customers.

"I run a RAID server, and because of that, my data is safe"

RAIDs are configured with multiple hard drives, at least 2, and the belief most people have is that their data is safe from data loss and they won't ever need data recovery since they use a RAID server. In most cases that is true. However, when multiple hard drives fail, the risk of data loss increases. When a single hard drive in a RAID array fails, it can be replaced and the RAID can attempt to be rebuilt. When multiple hard drives fail, the rebuild process can possibly still be done, however there is a higher risk of data loss if the rebuild process fails.

If hard drives are moved around to different positions in the RAID, new hard drives added, and the swapping of good and defective hard drives are done, the risk of overwriting the RAID stripe and destroying that information reduces the chances of recovering data from that RAID. The safest way to ensure that your hard drive data is recoverable when your RAID looses a hard drive and becomes unhealthy is to seek out a data recovery company who are RAID recovery specialists. The more you (or your IT staff) attempt to repair and rebuild, the less of a chance that the data will ever be recovered.

"I don't surf 'questionable' websites, so I won't catch any viruses"

Of course you don't. Nobody visits 'questionable' websites. Those websites all just are out there, with nobody visiting them at all. From the adult websites, free software websites, music websites, and every other website created by people that my have alterior motives and want to get at your data...any computer attached to the Internet is at risk for data intrusion and corruption.

Most businesses and home users have varying degrees of network security for their computers, which protect their data from most hard drive corruption, such as viruses. However, with with e-mail, instant messaging, file attachments and other such things shared by employees and friends, the risk to accidentally infect a hard drive with a virus increases.

Make sure you run some sort of anti-virus software and if possible a fire wall to protect yourself and your data from corruption. These two simple suggestions can save you hundreds of dollars in hard drive recovery.

"I definitely learned to expect the unexpected"

Life has a funny way of getting at you when you least expect it. Weather is the least planned for with regards to data loss, and for good reason. Mother nature like to keep us on our toes! She floods homes and businesses with water and causes major water damage, she throws lightning from the heavens which cause power surges and wrecks havoc on electronics, she waves tornados and hurricanes toward companies and consumers and send them scattering for safety, and she also scorches the earth with fire burning offices and homes and charring computers, servers and laptops.

Mother nature can also be kind and provide a beautiful day of warm sunshine. Allowing you to relax by the pool with your laptop, drinking some iced tea and getting some work done remotely...until somebody jumps into the pool and drenches your laptop with a wave of pool water. You can do everything to protect your data, but at some point, there will be a need for data recovery. It could be something due to a mechanical hard drive failure, file system corruption, or something as simple as 'my kid poured water on my laptop'.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong and nobody and plan for all of them. But, when given the opportunity to protect your data from data loss, take the extra time to evaluate the value of the data on your hard drive and weigh it against the time it would take to rebuild it and how it would affect you if you were to lose it permanently.

If your hard drive is experiencing problems, your safest option is to turn the computer off. Continued use may damage the hard drive and make your data unrecoverable. You should then make a note of what happened and consider contacting a company that specializes in data recovery.

ADR Data Recovery is available to evaluate the damage and potentially recover your lost data. For more information on ADR Data Recovery's service, visit http://www.adrdatarecovery.com.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 11:18 PM  
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