Success with lots of TBCS help
A few months ago I faced the lousy task of repairing a small business church network damaged by an Ethernet lightning hit between buildings. The network components and motherboard of their main email and content computer were trashed. I bought a nice new EdiMax wireless router, new EdiMax access points and a Zyxel managed-switch to repair and reconfigure the network. This part of the repair was easy.
I assumed computer content was a lesser problem since as we had ongoing daily backups using an Asus Windows Home Server. NOT! This backup server also failed to restart and its motherboard was fried through the Ethernet connector by the same lightning strike. I pulled the SCSI hard drive from the server for data recovery but alas it failed to spin or be recognized on another computer. Now what?
I asked for suggestions from my TBCS club buddies and Howard Gray sent me a link for PCB Solutions. They replace the printed circuit board of a failed hard disc drive for $50. I emailed them my problem and they promptly answered. They believed their repair would fix this drive.
To proceed I needed a Torx driver to remove the printed circuit board hard drive. I went to our TBCS Clubhouse on a repair day and Dave Fredrick loaned me his Torx set that accomplished this. I packed-up the small board and sent it off to PCB Solutions in British Columbia (Canada) with the $49.99 fee and a $7 shipping and customs declaration. A few weeks passed and a new board was returned. Again I used Dave’s Torx set at the clubhouse to reinstall the board and brought the drive home (not wanting anyone to see my anguish if this did not work).
My grandson Will left me his “gamer” computer with two SCSI drive bays built into its top. I plugged-in the repaired drive and started the computer with Linux Mint and viola, I could actually see the repaired drive. I nosed about this drive’s folders and found lots of small DAT and index files, but no recognizable names I could identify. I took a break and tried a Google search for “recovering data from a Windows Home Server.” The files I needed were in an apparently empty folder in hidden format. Now I turned on hidden from Mint’s file manager and viola! I immediately copied all recognizable files to the Mint internal drive. Later I copied these files and returned them to a new Windows church server.
So I thank Howard, Dave, and Harley who all offered valuable help and my grandson Will who played an unknown role in resurrecting important lost files. PCB offered a perfect service to restore data at a reasonable cost.
So… did I learn a lesson? I hope so. The Windows Home Server was pretty but violated my own backup rules of keeping files on two computers in the same building on the same network. These computers share too much in common to be independently backed up. Microsoft since has removed their Windows Home Server from support as it was based on WinXP.