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recovering data form data.4096 files? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I've been using  WHS 2003 for backing up my home laptops for years. Recently my daughters hard drive crashed, but the backup status in the console was "unknown". Reparing the backup failed, and actually removed all the <hostname>.configdat and all other backup configuration files for this one machine. All the data.4096.* files seem to be intact. So theoretically, as I see it, all the data should be there, but is it possible to pull any data from these files without the client "config" files?

    Just getting the *.jpg files out from the backup would be sufficient, don't care about folder or file names. Is it even theoretically possible?

    Tried the WhsDbDataDump tool already, but it doesn't do anything without the client config files... :-( Also tried to undelete the config files from the server drive but they were all overwritten....

    everything lost?

    Thursday, November 19, 2015 2:42 PM

All replies

  • Unfortunately I would say, yes (although I am technically not that deep in the database structure). These backup databases are very fragile, even a damaged sector within can sometimes be enough for disaster. So meddling around be deleting files calls for it. (Usually one assumes, that the client needing restore and the backup database are not dead in the same time, but with bad luck this may happen.)

    Failing to undelete means you deleted them not via the recycle bin? Also the real files may have been stored not on D: bot on another physical disk so that the undelete did not follow up the proper file, only the tombstones, maybe.

    In which manner the harddrive on the PC crashed? Was it a soft crash or is it physically dead?

    If the first you may try to attach it as secondary disk to another PC and try to recover the data that way. For a physically dead drive only the costly data recovery services would be an option.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Friday, November 20, 2015 11:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf,

    thanks, actually the config files were removed by Home Server when I did a "repair database" from the UI, so I didn't remove them myself. But I thought they might have been recoverable, seems they were not. 

    I wrote a small program to grab pdf files from an arbitrary stream, works fine for the .0.dat and .1.dat, but it seems that the data is differently stored (compressed?) in the later files. If I had some kind of idea I could try to pull out the pdf files (and they have interesting info in the exif so I would not even need to recover file or folder names. 

    So if anybody has some insights into how to possibly recover any data from the data.4096 files I'd appreciate that.

    Monday, November 23, 2015 1:57 PM