Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got a client running a radio server which essentially uses Firebird as the database. (Databases are stored in files ending in *.fdb anywhere on the filesystem, think SQLite) I had to reinstall the radio server software to switch it to use MySQL, and I think it basically wiped the Firebird database. Only afterwards did I realize how much important information was in the database. Major fail.

I was wondering if I could employ some elite hackery to try and recover the database file. The server is running (*gasp*) Vista and NTFS. Is there something I can do here?

share|improve this question

You reinstalled the operating system and are surprised that it over-wrote the database files? Methinks you're a bit out of your depth here.

While there's a very small chance that some of the database files could be recovered, it's going to take some work, most likely by a professional data recovery outfit ala Kroll Ontrack.

Honestly your best bet is to restore from backup and be done with it. That's going to be your quickest path back to a functional system

share|improve this answer
Nope, sorry, I meant the "radio server software," I just updated it. I didn't format the drive at all, the OS is intact, I just had to reinstall the server software, not the operating system. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 14 '11 at 23:36
Well if you've manually verified that the *.fdb files are gone, you can try using one of the many NTFS file recovery suites out there. The issue you're probably going to run into though is that when files are restored by these packages, they are unable to recover the filename, so it just picks a sequential filename for each file. – EEAA Dec 14 '11 at 23:39
Thanks, I'll look into that. If you have any recommended software in particular, it'd be most appreciated. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 14 '11 at 23:42
I can't recommend any specific package, though a quick google will no doubt return dozens of options. Why don't you just recover from backup? That's really going to be the quickest thing for you to do. – EEAA Dec 14 '11 at 23:43
Sorry to be harsh, but this is on you. As the sysadmin, it was your responsibility to ensure your ability to revert the change before you took any action. I suspect both you and your client have learned your lessons here, though. – EEAA Dec 14 '11 at 23:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.