Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

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coius's picture
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Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Vista just wiped all 1.2TB of my data! All my client's data is lost! what am I going to do? I went to install Vista, and when I went to install, it proceeded to wipe EVERY ONE of my 7 Hard drives, thinking that they needed to be formatted...
God, i feel sick... not only was my irreplaceable data gone, but my client's also. I don't have time right now to try to get it back.
My heart hit the floor as I couldn't do ONE thing to stop it. I don't have that much money to have it proffesionally recovered. The problem is that I have so much dynamic data, i don't have time to burn them to DVD.

So much for the drive redundancy backup...
I am going to crawl into the corner and cry Cray 2

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you know whats sad.... is tha

you know whats sad.... is that i felt that was a cry of vista related pain before i even opened this topic.... im soo sorry man......

coius's picture
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i don't what I am going to do

if a client comes asking for a file they need to get back, i don't know what to tell them. "I'm sorry, i can't give you your stuff, microsoft is holding it hostage, permanantly"
I mean, if it was my stuff, it would have been better, but it erased all the stuff i was paid to hold by my clients. I don't know if I can take this big of a loss...

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just goes to show how much yo

just goes to show how much you can trust MS. This is why Macs ar at at the top of my food chain. Hope you figure something out.

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man...

That sucks.

For what it is worth, you have my sincerest "I'm so sorry." Why in the world did Vista see the need to format all of your drives? I will definately be careful when I take the plunge for Vista (whenever that may be, 2009...) I don't have a TB, or client data, but an unplanned formatting of my 4 drives (1/2 TB) would be a sad sad day.

I swear this isn't flippant, but is unformat something applicable here? I haven't used it in so long, I don't even remember if it is appropriate. I'm sure you were all NTFS, and I'm sure that Norton unformat is not for that situation. 'Twould be nice, though. Like "undo".

I hope the fallout from this with your client isn't too horrific.

mike

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unformat?

I thought that if a drive was formatted, unless it was a zero write, the drive just appears empty. it is still possible to recover data, since it is still there, just hiding.

unfrotunantly, I am no data expert. google it.

and to think I was looking at vista today thinking it looked quite nice, until I opened the HD. 17.7gb used just for the OS and office. holy crap. OS X and ALL my software BARELY taked 10gb. the rest is my data, which I am fortunant to have 80% backed up to CD. looks like I will be investing in some sweet NAS.

-digital Wink

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Yeah, it's...

possible to recover data on formatted drives, and usually fairly affordably. Basically you're going to pay for either software to do it, or the service to do it, but when you format a drive it just deletes the directory tree, unless you zero out the drive. Even then you'd need a mutli-zeroing to ensure that data is truly lost. The more you screw it up the more it's going to cost to fix basically.

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Your data is probably still i

Your data is probably still intact. If you don't touch the drives, then there will be a good chance that with the right software, you can recover most of it. Just don't touch those drives in the meantime - every single write is destroying some of your data.

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If your clients have paid you

If your clients have paid you to keep their data intact - you are obliged to pay to recover it. You'll take a hit in the pocket, but otherwise you'll lose all of your clients. And probably any future ones.

And I guess know you know why a second drive on the same machine is not a secure backup.

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My apologies..

like has been said several times, it is usually possible t o(fairly easily) recover the data, unless you've done a low level format.

but, my two questions to you are.....

1) why did you feel the need to upgrade to Vista?
(thats a legitimate question, i have been on the MS beta team with this thing for the last two years, running each new build... and in all honesty, the only features that offered ANY kind of advantage over XP were stripped out about a year ago [new filesystem, etc.] Vista REALLY is just eye candy on the same XP core.)

2) If this is a Production machine, with your clients dat on it, in live use... why on earth would you try to update over important data? With something as major as a complete OS replacement it really seems like it would be safr to install to a fresh HD and when it was confirmed OK, then move over the data.

And, in response to an earlier post... not to defend MS, not at all in fact... but, this kind of event can happen on ANY kind of larg software install / OS upgrade... wheter its a Mac, a Linux box, or a Windows PC.

coius's picture
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working on data recovery

my friend sent me a link to a program, and am working on it right now. It seems to resurrect the files in the exact place they were instead of moving it to another place. so far, i have resurrected about 30GB of data, i am also backing up to DVD as well as moving it to an external 80 (for temp storage as I do the backup) since this is time critical, i am working round the clock, and hope I don't fall asleep for too long during times of backup. Thanks guys, i think i should *mostly* be in the clear. Hopefully, i can recover at LEAST 90% of the data, and most of it being a client's data.
*Sigh* i am used to doing this with clients, but hate it when it is my stuff that I have to do this for. Right now, i got 4 clients on hold, until i get this stuff back. It's stil better than the 1 month waits that Best Buy and CompUSA puts on their computers before fixing them Fool

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...

well, good luck with the recovery. It may take a while, but like you said, you'll probably get most of it back.

Also, I'm not sure if you or your clients are aware of this, but if you are installing Upgrade copies of Vista... then they cannot go back to the copy of XP that it was installed over, or install that copy on another PC as part of the Vista activation process INVALIDATES the orig. XP key.

coius's picture
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I wasn't updating

I was installing on a different drive. It was doing a clean install. I learned a LONG time ago, not to ever do updates

Jon
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It's kinda legally murky, but

It's kinda legally murky, but it is apparently possible to use a Vista upgrade CD to install a clean OS on a blank drive. Just install Vista as a demo system from the upgrade CD and don't put in the activation code, then restart and start the Vista install again, install and put in the code and it'll take it to a full system. I'd only recommend this if you don't want to blow away your current XP install just to try Vista, and would otherwise be stuck with a deactivated XP and a bad Vista experience.

coius's picture
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I'm not using a Vista upgrade CD

i have a full (legal) Burned DVD from that I downloaded from MSDNAA website (through my school program) that contains Business (Not Business N!) It is the full version, not an upgrade. I was not attempting an upgrade, i was installing it on a spare Hard drive (80GB) and was going to set up something in it (can't run it on VPC Yet...) and when going to install, it proceeded to wipe all my drives, including the RAID sets (they were hardware, not software RAID)
It did all that disaster withing 10 seconds, and with my tower on the floor, i would not have been able to turn it off in that time. So, turning it off (unplugging the cord) was not an option, even if I held in the power button, it would have taken 10 seconds also.
I have about 200GB right now of the data resurrected, the problem is that Encrypted files is not able to be recovered. Also, the RAID sets are proving to be a bit difficult to get stuff off of it. I have been using different programs to extract (run three in "look for" mode, not recovery) and am doing this on Windows 2k on an extra 20GB Drive. I got ~200GB of external FW Storage that I am backing stuff up onto now.

Again, if anyone says what I did as illegal, it was not. It was through my MSDNAA license I hold with my College.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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not you...

...from reading the thread, it seems like one of the several possible things suggessted is of questionable legality. I have not seen anything that would imply that what you were doing was such. I have not seen anyone question your integrity but I can appreciate why you would want to make it clear for the putposes of defending your bsiness' integrity.

Good luck on your endeavor to recover.

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wow...

that sucks that it spread its way through the rest of your raid. You seem to be having decent luck in recovering though, which is good. I also didnt see anyone question the legality of what you were doing.

I would suggest that if you do have MSDN access that you file a bug report about this... because it really is not ideal behavior... as I am SURE that you would attest to.

Jon
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Yes, I wasn't accusing Coius

Yes, I wasn't accusing Coius of anything, but merely suggesting a method to run Vista upgrade without killing a current XP license and then running into a problem such as this and being totally hosed by not having the original XP to fall back on. I think de-validating the XP license is a bad move because it can easily lock someone into Vista even if it fails to work properly.

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FYI, I have recovered whole d

FYI, I have recovered whole drives with WinUndelete after a format. The free version won't let you recover anything but will show you what it can recover, and can create "image" files that you can farm off onto a fresh, clean external hard drive or something. I think the price is $40. I bought it once to recover client data as well and it paid for itself instantly.

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