When the hard drive crashes on your server and your tape backup turns out to be a dud, who you gonna call? Use this hack.
You have critical data on your server and your hard drive crashes. And you haven't made a backup recently. What do you do? I know, not making regular backups is irresponsible, but these things happen. Or perhaps you have a RAID 5 unit and the unimaginable happens: two drives fail simultaneously. And Friday's backup tape is unreadable, because you haven't cleaned the tape drive for over a year. Another example of being irresponsible, but let's lay aside the blame until we fix the problem, okay? So, what do you do?
You need a data recovery company?fast. I know seasoned administrators who have been in this unfortunate situation, and here's a list of companies they've recommended to me that you can try if this ever happens to you:
A popular data-recovery service provider that offers various levels of services, including in-house, remote, and do-it-yourself. They also have a partner program that offers discounts based on referrals and resale. They have worldwide locations in the US, Europe, and Tokyo. Their web site is http://www.ontrack.com.
An industry leader in data recovery that offers free estimates. They also have a terrific list of tips on their site (http://www.drivesavers.com), explaining how to anticipate and prevent drive problems before they occur.
An ISO 9001:2000 Certified company with data recovery labs in Atlanta, Santa Clara, and Toronto. On their web site (http://www.actionfront.com), you'll find a free 22-page Data Emergency Guide you can download, and it's definitely worth a read.
These are only a few of the many data recovery services out there, but they come highly recommended by competent IT professionals I know personally, so I pass them on to you. However, you should know that data recovery usually isn't cheap, so clean that tape drive regularly if you don't want to break your IT budget!
By the way, if you've ever had to use a data-recovery service yourself and would like to recommend them, feel free to post a comment on this book's web page (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/winsvrhks/).