How to recover from a hard drive failure

by Computer Repair on October 28, 2014

I left my office in the morning and returned to find my monitor displaying garbage. A quick reboot allowed me to discover my secondary drive had failed completely. I can still hear the horrid noise it was making while heading towards complete failure.

Now it was time to go in to recovery mode and get things working again. Good news the primary drive worked just fine and I was able to easily boot in to my ubuntu operating system. Once the computer was up and running again I downloaded my backup database file from the cloud and copied to my local hard drive.

Fired up my virtual windows computer from within ubuntu (host OS) and fire up the company database. Back in business and the whole process took ten minutes. From here I powered down my workstation and moved it to the shop for repair. I moved my “guest” workstation to my desk. Installed my database program and database file and now have a working workstation and freed up any pressure for repairing my main workstation computer.

I can identify three facts that allowed this successful recovery event to occur. First concept is keeping the data away from the workstation OS. That way when the workstation fails the data is not effected. Either from being outside of the workstation problem or residing in a place outside of it.

In this event is was not the primary drive that failed. While the partition  spanned two drives the virtual machine lived on the primary drive. In setting up this system the plan was to use the virtual computer in the event of a disaster recovery event. Note I was able to decide how best to proceed because of these procedures in place. I could of just used the virtual machine, and would have  if things were busy enough so that working on the problem was not practical. So other than a fast reboot I was not out of business or off line longer that it would take to get a cup of coffee. This is an effective disaster recovery situation.

The third element that made this situation a simple matter of procedures is the fact that the data resided on the cloud as a backup. While local copies were available the universal access ability of cloud storage is far more practical and easier to manage. Even in a high stress situation such as data recovery. The old model of  disaster recovery based on copies of data is a bit outdated. Today the effective view is to see this as how many ways do I have to access my information. The more paths that lead to quick data acquisition the faster the resolution.


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