Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

My hosting provider has told me that the server harddisk that I am currently using is crashed and they failed to recover most of the data and they only managed to recover some files or folder from the crashed HDD (Less than 1%) by utilising the forensic recovery toolkit.

They claims that they have tried several methods such as ext3grep, linux rescue, fsck and multiple recovery tools but without success.

All my data in this 6 years is gone and they will just extend the hosting expired date to another 90 days.

Is there any other way to retrieve the data from the crashed harddisk?

I am a webdeveloper and have limited knowledge on the IT side. Basically I am using slax live CD to copy all the important files from the crash window to thumbdrive or another PC through network.

As I know mysql is storing under "/var/lib/mysql", if we manage to copy all the "table.frm" and paste in in another server, is this is going to work out?

Need your helps. Thank you.

regards, cw

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by jscott, Scott Pack, MDMarra, Sirex, Tim Brigham Mar 1 '12 at 16:45

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can't help, but is this a dedicated server, over which you were supposed to backup? or a shared hosting provider, that your ISP should have been backing up for you? If so,and they have no backups, please let us know who it is so we can avoid using them - having no backups is inexcusable if they were supposed to be doing this for you. – EJB Mar 1 '12 at 14:15
I would be majorly, majorly pissed if I knew they were using just one disk (not in a mirror, or RAID, just stand-alone) to host my site. Backups are one thing but not looking after disk integrity is inexcuseable. All I can is good luck. – tombull89 Mar 1 '12 at 14:18
Well, why would you be pissed? The contract you sign for the server clearly states the conditions of how it will be provided. The Poster did not select that option - now he has to live with that decision. IT Decisions have consequences, this is why professionals do not take these decisions lightly. – TomTom Mar 1 '12 at 14:33
If he pays for backups etc then yes, totally different story. But then this is not "I lost my disc" but "they betrayed me" and you better taket hem to court - they are liable. – TomTom Mar 1 '12 at 14:46
sheesh, how about somehow helps the guy rather than berating him for things that were obviously not his responsibility has a web developer. @cww, can you get the physical hard drive? Is the hosting company willing to provide it to you? – user606723 Mar 1 '12 at 15:47
up vote 8 down vote accepted

All my data in this 6 years is gone and they will just extend the hosting expired date to another 90 days

That is very generous of them. Seriously.

Is there any other way to retrieve the data from the crashed harddisk?

Get the disc, send it to a recovery lab. Cost is some US$ PER GIGABYTE OF DISC SIZE. Are you willing to pay that?


All my data in this 6 years is gone

Yes, because you did not take a backup. I am sure your host specified in the contracts that they don't do backups like that.

I am a web developer and have limited knowledge on the IT side.

So why you run your own server? There are reasons people hire IT folk to run the servers.

Need your helps.

Get out of IT. The data is MOST likely toast. If it is not you will need to pay a lot to a recovery company. Such as:

Use this as a learning experience, rebuild and - well - start using one of the myriad of backup services.

share|improve this answer
Or perhaps the server company told him they were doing backups and didn't, I understand that he should have been doing his own backups but if you;re paying someone to do it then some people might not see it as neccesary. So while I agree with some of your points I think you were overly harsh and judgemental with a fair bit of it. – Joe Taylor Mar 1 '12 at 14:54
I agree, it is a bit overly harsh. That said you should always have your own backups, no exceptions, ever. You should have them locally, offsite, and multiple revisions. It's practically a licence to use a computer in this day and age. I can understand why tomtom is annoyed though. Its very frustrating when you see people lose data in such ways. – Sirex Mar 1 '12 at 15:00
In fact this system was developed by my senior 6 years ago and when they signed up with the hosting provider which I haven't join my current company. – cww Mar 1 '12 at 15:36
I just help to debug the system if there is any problems with the software. I do have backup of the source code but not database. I didn't run my own server so that's why we outsource to a hosting company. I have use several hosting company and all of them are providing backup services automatically with the plan. I do admit this is my mistake for not re-checking the terms and conditions when I renew for the hosting services. Thank you for your comments and yes I do learned a very expensive lesson. – cww Mar 1 '12 at 15:49
All senior has left after I join the company for 3 months. Most of them are trainee. No luck. I am consider the most senior in my department. lol. The pain is everything has to learned and do by myself. – cww Mar 1 '12 at 16:22

I agree with the points made about backups, but if you had those you wouldn't be asking us about data recovery. An expensive lesson learned.

At this point your options may well be very limited. While it is possible for specialist recovery services to do good work at recovering data from broken hard disks, this very much depends on the fault; if its one that involves physical damage to the disk platters then spinning it up to run lots of lightweight 'data recovery' tools makes doing anything further with it a losing proposition.

share|improve this answer

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