hard drive crash recovery?

bjseiler

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A server went down and would not come back up remotely so I went to the data center and rebooted it with a monitor connected. Dell 600SC running FreeBSD 4.10. The server gave a few beeps and when I looked up the code on dell.com, it said that means bad memory. I pulled the memory and rebooted again.

The server would not load and started complaining about disk problems (uncorrectable READ_DMA ...). I went into single user mode and ran fsck, but it would not complete without saying I had to run it again and then it would either repeat that or just lock up where I had to reboot.

1. Is it normal for RAM and a hard drive to fail at the exact same time?

2. I tried installing the disk on another machine as a secondary disk to see if I could mount it as a partition and at least recover some of the data, but it won't let me mount until I run fsck and it won't complete an fsck.

Is there any other way (other than sending it off to a data recovery firm) to read the data or another fsck type function to try and fix the errors?

Thanks for any help!
 

nobaloney

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bjseiler said:
1. Is it normal for RAM and a hard drive to fail at the exact same time?
That would depend on why and how it failed. If it failed because of a catastrophic power problem, absolutely; a few months ago a major Northern California data center (which I shall leave nameless) had a power problem which caused surges through a lot of systems, and many failed completely with multiple failures and had to be replaced.

And certainly even without such a catastrophic problem, you could have just failed the odds.
Is there any other way (other than sending it off to a data recovery firm) to read the data or another fsck type function to try and fix the errors?
Probably not. If you can somehow manually mount the drive as a raw device you might be able to do some data recovery yourself, but unless you're willing to do a lot of forensics (reading the root, directory, following it through each directory path, finding and copying file fragments manually) you won't be able to do much. This is what recovery companies do (often physically dismantling drives and rebuilding the platters into other working drives as part of the process), and that's why they're as expensive as they are.

Jeff
 

bjseiler

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The power surge would really surprise me. The data center is top notch (the city's 911 data facility is next door and it is connected to 4 different power grids). But, oh well, if it happened it happened.

I was hoping somebody knew something that I could not find on google, but it seems fairly obvious that the hard drive and memory are hosed. I just found it so odd that the ram and the hard drive would die at the exact same time that I was hoping this would mean something else......

Thanks for the input!
 

nobaloney

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bjseiler said:
The power surge would really surprise me. The data center is top notch (the city's 911 data facility is next door and it is connected to 4 different power grids).
You're not writing about Hurricane Electric, are you, by chance :eek: ?

Jeff
 
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