Q: Scott, when you get drives in your business what’s the biggest problem when you try to fix them?
A: One of the biggest problem is people sending open drives to be repaired.
Western Digital drives definitely should not be open. Once the screws are out of the lid, the lid is part of the alignment.
Users should practice first with old spare drives that may be available to them.
SCSI Drives (Small Computer System Interface)
Scott believes SCSI drives are the more reliable drives available in the market.
Most servers rely on SCSI drives. They are more difficult to extract data and require a different set of equipment.
Reliability is based on: lower density, made with better components, chips have been tested longer, head assembly are more robust, and they’ve been around for 30-40 years.
Q: What’s the most reliable brand of drives?
A: No preferences on a specific brand but be careful with Samsung and Western Digital drives. Hitachi is very stable.
Using a RAID array is the most reliable way to go because you have redundancy.
FreeNAS is a very inexpensive way of setting up a NAS on your network, just add a $100 RAID card on an old machine, several drives and in 5 minutes you’re setup. Everything is configurable via a browser, easy to setup.
Microsoft SkyDrive – 25 GB of free storage
Gladinet will mount SkyDrive as a local drive on your computer allowing you to run a backup via the cloud
Gladinet Cloud Desktop Introductory Video
Available online backup options:
Bandwidth is the biggest limitation, not practical for disaster recovery situations
Apple Time Machine:
Not as practical as they show it on TV. Recovering a single file may not be a simple thing to do.
The option to show “Previous Versions” available in Windows is not available in a Mac.
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 & 2008 already have space already design to duplicate/backup files.
Performance is affected but not a big impact.
A right-click on any given file will show a list of multiple previous versions available on the local drive.
This is an extremely helpful tool in forensic.
Microsoft should promote this feature more via an extensive marketing campaign.
Drobo Storage Products
Simple, scalable, reliable data storage solution, easy to setup.
Does not perform as fast as people expect, does a better job with redundancy; attempts to do compression on the fly.
Don’t mix drives with different sizes; stick to same size drives; RAID5 is the best algorithm Drobe will attempt to use.
DeepSpar Disk Imager
This is a disk imaging device built to recover bad sectors on a hard drive.
Built to handle disk-level problems and to recover bad sectors on a hard drive.
Excellent tool for forensic people.
The largest the drives are, the less reliable they are and harder for data recovery
Laptops with 750GB drives have already started to hit the market
1TB drives have been released but are a little bit thicker, they do not fit very convenient; seen more on external devices or Play Station-3
New 1TB SSD drives cost around $2,200 right now, they are a higher potential risk. Once it dies, it’s gave over, age poorly, speed is not recoverable
Spinning drives will not go away on Servers or Desktops yet.
NAND Flash Memory
Storing data in solid pieces of metal?
This will be the first time in history that we ever store data without making a change to the state of an atom.
Racetrack memory is an IBM project led by physicist Stuart Parkin.
GMR heads available on all current drives were design by him.
Data Recovery Classes
Notes by Jorge Hernandez of 123ComputerRepair.com