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Uber Geek

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  #2133086 24-Nov-2018 08:50
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Many years ago I was working in the Netherlands for a global company and one global company we supported had a site in Yemen. They were running a two node cluster in Yemen that was supposed to be fully replicated as the site was connected via Satellite over a 128kb link. Of course it wasn't properly clustered and one node held the master configuration that hadn't been replicated to the other.


That node had a harddisk failure and was completely lost. The backup software also depends on getting to the master config so there was no way to restore locally or recover as the core metadata was required to bring everything back and this situation was never catered for.


So I had to talk through on a conference with the tech in Belgium who worked for my client and his onsite engineers in Yemen to take a backup of the metadata of the cluster, transfer it from Yemen back to Belgium, and then back to me in the Netherlands. I had to hand-re-stitch the metadata back together using a database editing tool I only learnt 3 weeks beforehand and then email back to Belgium and back to Yemen. Then I had to talk the onsite engineers the exact steps to take to restore the metadata.


The best part was that the onsite techs in Yemen would need to go for prayers every hour or so for 5 mins, so they would say "sorry, can't do that right now need to go for prayers, back soon" and if you can imagine when talking through people key stroke by key stroke as doing the incorrect step could completely destroy everything with lots of non-native English speakers was interesting. My manager was investigating flights to Yemen half way through the call as we thought the whole system was toasted.


Got it all back up and running on the first attempt as I had fully tested the complete restore procedure twice before I sent it all back.


Then I also have a USB disk that has a spinning disk inside in the days before USB storage. It developed a bad sector in the disk so now I have data on there I can't get off as the partition table was stuffed up and one day I hoped to be able to image the whole disk and get it back.


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Ultimate Geek

  #2133101 24-Nov-2018 09:05
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5 years ago I bought my first NAS Synology and kitted it out with 2 lovely Seagate Green Drives. 6 months later, I added another two. Fantastic amounts of storage (rather than redundancy).


What I didn't know was the importance of using NAS hard drives rather than just desktop drives. Over a period of months I had one after another fail requiring a rebuild.


As three of the drives failed, I migrated them to my desktop, replacing with WD Red NAS drives with no problems since. Thankfully only lost files on one of them (nothing critical thank goodness).


An expensive and time-consuming lesson.


Still have the NAS today though and still working well.




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  #2133153 24-Nov-2018 11:18
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A while back, I got myself an SSD for cheap, and put a bunch of my games on it. Works great, loading speeds significantly improved, but now I find myself running low on room... The downside of being a gamer... So it would be awesome having more high-speed storage space :)

The son of Jevvv

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  #2133179 24-Nov-2018 11:43
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A well known IT company set up back ups for a company. The company had 110gb of data and was backing up to a 300gb drive. The backups were set to run daily... and were set as full backups. Setup on march 29.

You can see where this is going..3 days later backups failed for lack of space. No warnings. No notifications.

A month later the pc failed. The company had 10s of thousands of dollars of work invoiced on the pc using quick books and no hard copy versions. I got called to find the issue, announced a dead drive and went to see if they had backups. The backups had failed april 1st... so nothing recoverable for the last month or six weeks.

The drive ended up in Auckland for over 2k of forensic recovery. The well known i.t company took no responsibility for their mucked up job. I have a great client who now has great backups and afail over system.

We always tell our clients.
Data recovery means data in at least two drives
Disaster recovery means data in two places
Backups are useless unless tested regularly

Backup early... back up often.

Last thought. Cloud is great for disaster recovery as it doesn't rely on a person remembering to swap backups... But it is painfullt slow for larger data recovery. 200gb takes for ever even over fibre if it is on amazon type storage. A local copy is still amust have for time critical systems.

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  #2133182 24-Nov-2018 11:50
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Here is my horror story, named "I Did Something Bad To My External HDD's & Can't Access Them". 

R-tt studio software. Great data recovery software. Ive recivered some very messed up drives using it

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Ultimate Geek


  #2133198 24-Nov-2018 12:17
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A couple of storage stories I have to share (out of many).......




First would be a really long time ago I wanted to upgrade my HDD so went to the store to get a upgrade....when I said to the store guy I wanted to keep my old HDD too he replied what would I need all that space for???.......I was adding 1Tb to a 850 Meg yeah was quite a while ago....


For a more recent story a couple of years ago I bought my first SSD and a new PSU...installed both made the SSD the primary installed windows and 2 weeks later it all died now that pc just whirs on power on and does nothing other than restart after a few seconds....


A new SSD would get me off my butt to get the PC up and running again instead of using a lot older machine.

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Master Geek

  #2133273 24-Nov-2018 14:10
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My very 1st HD was a 20mb... and when it started failing, I backed the entire thing up to floppies.  I later found that my DRDOS formatted floppies did not work, for some reason, on any other computer in the world, leaving me with a pile of floppies containing all my data and no way of opening it.

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Master Geek


  #2133520 24-Nov-2018 21:59
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I recall many years back needing more hdd space urgently at work to continue work on a project. So I got a new hdd purchased and went to install in in my work computer. After 1/4 hour of scratching my head wondering why it was only failing with different errors each time I tried to format it. I ended up running in depth diagnostics and found out that it was rather faulty. I've been more careful since then to not assume that just because something is brand new that it actually is in perfect working condition.

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  #2133713 25-Nov-2018 11:42
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My horror story isn't as bad as some of the ones posted here! I was just minding my own business when the computer suddenly popped up with the "always eject the drive before you disconnect it" message and then promptly crashed. Rebooted and no drive found.


I had a backup of everything so it wasn't a huge loss other than the inconvenience of having to restore everything.

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  #2134017 25-Nov-2018 21:34
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I remember saving programs to cassette tape, the 15 min tape worked better as the longer tapes would stretch more=loss of data.


I've had 3.5 floppies die, USB sticks and last year a WD Back up drive.


Just invested in a new motherboard which will take that type of SSD, would be so great to have so much fast storage.


I have a 128gb SSD which makes games load fast but its full now.


Someones going to have a Happy Christmas with a new 1TB SSD.

410 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2134209 26-Nov-2018 10:16
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I was very luck to change my laptop hard drive to a SSD just as it was about to die. Managed to get my files off the old hard drive before it complety giving up. Loving teh SSD in my laptop.


Would love to win this SSD and put it into my Intel Nuc in the lounge, I am sure it will be very fast.

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  #2134762 26-Nov-2018 17:53
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I've been pretty lucky, and a little bit careful with my own storage, as in doing backups even if not as often as I should, but I've seen some interesting cases with other people.




There was the photographer who got ransomware, and almost lost everything on his hard drive, but thankfully he had the idea to buy a new flash card every time one filled up, as the way he put it, flash memory is dirt cheap compared to what film ever was, and somehow the ransomware had left his Lightroom catalogue alone, so we managed to slowly rebuild his photo collection from a stack of memory cards, with Lightroom having kept details of what edits he'd applied.


The only issue was the file renaming conventions he'd applied when he imported from the cards which made a bit more work.


Then there was someone else who had their whole server encrypted, along with the backup drive that was still attached.


Fortunately they had a 'faulty' backup drive that had been taken off site, which turned out to be ok.


My own biggest data loss dramas tend to have come with mobile devices.


There was the time I left my phone on the garden table, and my daughter had played with the sprinkler and changed the arc of rotation, so the table was now within range, and when it turned on automatically my mobile got a drenching, and while the screen still lit up, the touch sensor died.


My next mobile developed random behaviour after a while to the point of being unusable, as it would reboot itself seemingly at random.


Fortunately in neither case did I lose much, as most of it was automatically backed up to the cloud, but it was still a pain setting up a new mobile device.

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  #2134862 26-Nov-2018 19:17
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We are still using 3.5" floppy disks at work.... Thank goodness we have to moved on from those! This would go great in my home PC...


My views (except when I am looking out their windows) are not those of my employer.

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  #2134950 26-Nov-2018 23:56
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Lots of storage woes over the years - most were customer-issues...


Raid Controller died and spat corruption over the disks - I was called in to solve the problem and customer was happy to pay for me to reconstruct data via a hex editor...that was years ago and was my first (and last) foray into data recovery - I have better things to do with my time...


NT4 (going back a but I know) had a hernia with a scsi controller. No backups - corruption of Raid data - another hex editor jobbie....


One of my own issues - thought I'd save some money using standard drives in a Synology NAS - ouch! No loss of data but lots of disk replacements before I bought some decent hardware.


Zfs resilvering issue at work - was an early adopter and quickly found out how much ram is needed to keep zfs happy. Nasty stuff happens when zfs is starved of ram.


Had a very old Promise raid controller - when that died found that the raid info on the drives was not readable by a replacement raid controller from the same manufacturer. That was ugly but at least there were backups so creating a new raidset, restoring backups and then injecting the new drivers over the top (as the restored ones would not boot) was doable. 


Not a technical issue as such but changed sd cards in a field in the back of beyond in China and dropped the thing - two weeks of photos lost. :-(


Speaking of cards, have had a few customers not ejecting them before removing them and then finding out that the data they thought they saved was not there...


Had a large customer take the advice of a "consultant" and replaced a 40 disk "old" EMC unit with a "much faster, new" 12 disk system and then wondered why performance substitute for spindles...


Bleh...could go on for a while...

2225 posts

Uber Geek

  #2135107 27-Nov-2018 10:45
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I don't really have any great stories but do have a 20mb HDD sitting in a drawer in my shed, and i also have a spare M2 slot in my Xiaomi Mi Book Air where the Crucial would love to live :P

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