Recovery after a dead hard drive

On March 29th at around 3 p.m my workstation here suddenly started throwing up massive number of windows indicating a write error to the c drive.  Uh oh, says I, what’s going on and a drivesmart window popped up indicating I had massive failures on my C drive.  Worrying that it was a fake alert I rebooted my pc and got the lovely experience of a pc that booted but didn’t build a full start bar and then died.


I tried again and no go this time.  Massive harddrive failure on a Western Digital VelociRaptor 300 gig drive.  Not something you want in the middle of a busy week with projects still to do and forensic software loaded up with keys tied to the operating system and other such licensing things that make rebuilding a forensic workstation something you do on a down time, not during busy season.


But I have BBBG.  Backup Box by Gramps a Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials box that takes a backup of my system.


Buy one here: http://www.smallbizserver.com/store.php


Buy several for your clients.


I inserted a spare 500 gig SATA drive that I happened to have in the closet.


You boot from a usb key or a cdrom and then you follow the screen commands.



You start the restore process



You enter the password for the server



You select the computer (it’s really a Windows 7, still called SusanVista – don’t ask)



You confirm you want to over write the drive you’ve put in the machine



They lie.  It took like two hours.  I fired up a laptop and remoted into a TS box in the meantime. 



It completed.  Note I went back a day and restored from the day before’s backup in case there was any corruption.  Mind you there was NO errors or warnings anywhere about drive failure from this drive.


Rebooted the system.  Because it was a totally different style of hard drive it needed a second reboot but it did not kick a WGA freak out.



And there we have it.  Fully restored to exactly the way it was.


After a complete failure of a hard drive:



We now hold a moment of silence for a dead hard drive.


And we have a happy Backup box by Gramps customer.


So if you are looking for a solution to add client backup to an existing SBS 2008 or 2011 standard network, this is how you do it:


http://www.smallbizserver.com/store.php

2 Thoughts on “Recovery after a dead hard drive

  1. As far as the time, I normally let it run till about 10% and double that time :)

    There is no reason not to use this on an SBS 2003 network, a network with no server, or a network with 100 servers. It backs up, up to 25 desktops. Does not matter if there are server(s).

    Not only does it cover you for failed hard drives but since we cannot seem to stop users from clicking on stuff they should not, we can restore the box back to before they “messed up”.

  2. We had a raptor come in, that we thought was dead as it wouldnt even show in Bios, it just needed a firmware update and it’s been working fine ever since.

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