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Data Recovery After Equipment Failure RRS feed

  • Question

  • My server won't boot anymore and I attribute it to a hardware failure - I believe my hard drives are OK.  When I start it, there is brief activity from the monitor but then the signal drops out.  There is never a picture - (e.g. no BIOS splash screen).  Could be any of the following:

    • Power Supply (only indication is a low 12V reading - ~11.45V)
    • Motherboard
    • CPU

    I've removed all unnecessary hardware, checked the RAM, and checked the video card.

     

    The system was extremely old and not an ideal design for this server which I assembled in Dec 07.  It was a P3 1GHz, with IDE controllers and SATA add-on cards.  This is nothing I would admit to except for the situation I've put myself into.

     

    I transferred the hard drives into another IDE system with a P4 CPU.  The system will start to boot but stops during the Windows load and returns to a "reboot" status - back to the BIOS startup and begins all over again.  It will continue this loop if I let it go.

     

    I have ~4 months worth of data that I will lose if I don't resolve this.  This includes unreplaceable family video and photos so I'm motivated to recover it.  I'm looking for all the options available to me to recover it.

     

    I'm currently only aware of 1 possibility which I gathered from another thread - this is to install the drives in a similar system in which Windows might overlook the hardware differences.

     

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for recovering this? 

     

    Thanks for any/all suggestions!

    George
    Sunday, March 16, 2008 8:04 PM

Answers

  • IF yout hdd's are still OK you have two options to recover your data.

     

    A.

    1. mount the disks in another NTFS aware system (not as primary disk)

    2. On each of the disks you will find a hidden directory DE which should contain your data.

    (also read Drive Extender to find out how and where your data are stored)

     

    B.

    1. On the new P4 system boot into recovery console from original Windows (XP) installation CD/DVD.

    2. Replace C:\windows\system32\hal.dll with the appropriate hal.dll (halacpi.dll for most modern desktops and pc's) from original installation CD/DV or from C:\Windows\driver cache and then rename it to hal.dll

    3. Reboot, and install the necessary drivers. Most of them will be present on the Windows Homeserver installation CD/DVD. If not you will have to find to the appropriate drivers. They were probably supplied by the vendor of the machine.

     

    Please note that this may cause a legal (licensing) issue. You may need to get a new license, but I guess that's the least of your worries at the moment.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:47 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • IF yout hdd's are still OK you have two options to recover your data.

     

    A.

    1. mount the disks in another NTFS aware system (not as primary disk)

    2. On each of the disks you will find a hidden directory DE which should contain your data.

    (also read Drive Extender to find out how and where your data are stored)

     

    B.

    1. On the new P4 system boot into recovery console from original Windows (XP) installation CD/DVD.

    2. Replace C:\windows\system32\hal.dll with the appropriate hal.dll (halacpi.dll for most modern desktops and pc's) from original installation CD/DV or from C:\Windows\driver cache and then rename it to hal.dll

    3. Reboot, and install the necessary drivers. Most of them will be present on the Windows Homeserver installation CD/DVD. If not you will have to find to the appropriate drivers. They were probably supplied by the vendor of the machine.

     

    Please note that this may cause a legal (licensing) issue. You may need to get a new license, but I guess that's the least of your worries at the moment.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:47 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks brubber

     

    Just returned from travels so I'll try these options over the next few days.  I'll follow up to let you know the outcome.

     

    I did try 'A' before but I looked in the DATA directory.  I found all the files but it seems they were only links as I couldn't open anything.

     

     

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:26 PM
  • I had an issue also with my Home Server (HP MediaSmart) and contacted HP for Tech support.  They could not get the option to do a system recovery and they could not help or even had any ideas how to get the data.  They stated that I lost my data.  I had the idea of "duplication" on my second hard drive and thought that the data would be on there.  After being "patient" with the "brains" at HP I decided to start searching.

     

    Thanks!  I used option A and copied all data from the secondary disk where my duplicate files were stored.  Then I formated and started over.  Worked like a charm.

     

    I read the "drive extender" file to locate the files and you were correct.

     

    Just wanted to say Thanks for the great answer...

     

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 2:05 PM
  • Great news - Option A worked for me as well. 

     

    I still have questions about Option B.  Although I recovered my data via Option A I'm interested in the hal.dll file now.  Why did you recommend using a Windows XP installation CD if the server OS is WHS?  Just curious.  I've tried a number of hal.dll files including: XP-Pro, WHS, and the one from the P4 system I was trying to load the old hard drives into.  Couldn't get any these to work. 

    Saturday, March 29, 2008 10:31 PM