SCSI data recovery

June 8, 2008Dan No Comments »

Data recovery

To continue where my last post left off, I was most disappointed to have my main machine fail — taking 4 months of unarchived data with it! Really need to get into a regular backup scheme again. Anyway, after getting the harddrives in my windows machine replaced and installing a fresh copy of Vista 64-bit, I was getting a little antsy to have my data back.

I had found out already that if I force one of the drives back online, I can read information off the degraded RAID 5 array for about 3-4 minutes or so. That was while the drives were still confined in my computer case. Sounds to me like they will work until they warm up a bit, so I put together a ‘spare’ socket A system (pictured above) on my workbench to do recovery. I screwed on some large heatsinks to the failing SCSI drives and put them in front of a 120 mm fan to keep them cool. Also connected to this machine was a CD-ROM drive (to boot knoppix, of course) and a 40 GB IDE harddrive to copy files to.

Data recovery was ultimately uneventful. After partitioning the IDE drive and forcing one of the failing SCSI discs online, I was able to grab my entire iTunes library, savegames, documents, etc. No errors were reported and I’ve not had any trouble with the files I rescued. I’m very thankful about that! If I had one complaint about the whole data recovery process, it’s that copying files (almost 20 gigs) took quite a long time and I’m not sure why. I mounted a Samba share on my Vista machine and copied everything over a 100 mbit/full duplex connection. Transfer rate was only about 1 MB/second. CPU and disc load on both machines was far from peak. I poked around on the makeshift workbench PC for a while and couldn’t get much higher throughput using ping -f, so I’m thinking it’s either the NIC on that machine or there was something up with the cable I used to connect it. I highly doubt the latter. <shrug>

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