Being able to recover lost data is crucial for businesses of any size. The average end user may believe that data recovery is easy and uncomplicated, but in reality it's time-consuming and very difficult to achieve. If not performed precisely and in a timely fashion, the results could make a bad situation even worse.
|VINCENT A> RANDAZZESE
Assistant Technical Editor
When disaster strikes, businesses have many options. Purchasing one of the many data-recovery software solutions available or hiring the services of data-recovery specialists are just two possible choices.
CRN Test Center engineers evaluated a disaster-recovery software suite from Stellar Information Systems and a data-recovery service provided by DTI Data, both of which were able to retrieve data lost due to deletion and reformatting during testing.
STELLAR PHOENIX RECOVERY SUITE
Stellar Information Systems' Stellar Phoenix Recovery Suite successfully retrieved 3.16 Gbytes of missing data files. CRN Test Center engineers used a 10-Gbyte Western Digital hard drive containing 512 Mbytes of images, 674 Mbytes of database and presentation files, and 1.3 Gbytes of .wav files. The drive had been formatted under Microsoft Windows 98 SE and was reformatted with Windows XP, deleting the data.
The existing partition was deleted and re-created within the Windows XP setup screen.
Engineers chose to perform a clean install and selected NTFS as the file format. After the Windows XP installation was finished, the system was shut down and the hard drive was removed. The drive was then incorporated into another system as a slave drive.
The Stellar suite was installed on the new system, and the software was set to try and retrieve the missing files from the 10-Gbyte hard drive. Before starting a scan, the GUI presents two options: Users can either use the partition table for scanning or can search the logical drive. CRN Test Center engineers had more success scanning using the logical drive search. The software conducted a full scan of the newly attached hard drive, which took about 25 minutes. Once the software finished searching, a list of folders appeared.
Unfortunately, each folder had to be searched individually to locate the missing data. This process is tedious but necessary for thorough data recovery.
The GUI was a pleasure to use and allowed easy navigation within the software. The bottom portion of the GUI logs and describes each step the software is taking for quick access to system status and progress.
The software comes with a USB device that must be plugged into a USB port for the software to work, much the same as a car key in an ignition. The USB device contains proprietary data and branding information to protect the software from piracy.
Stellar Information Systems' three-year-old, multilevel channel program is based on a solution provider's sales and product range. The company offers sales, marketing and technical support as well as access to marketing and technical materials. Data- recovery tools and utilities can be downloaded from the company's Web site. The average reseller margin is 20 percent to 40 percent.
DTIDATA.COM DATA RECOVERY SERVICES
Companies can also choose to hire specialists to recover their data. Dtidata.com specializes in recovering logical as well as mechanically lost data.
The company also offers proprietary software products.
Dtidata.com's solutions start at $24 for home data recovery, to raw corporate recovery, which can cost thousands of dollars. The company will recover
data lost due to an accidental reformat, deletion, virus damage or mechanical miscues. For example, an IT employee investigating a malfunctioning hard drive notices a damaged chip on a hard-drive controller card. The solution may seem obvious: Replace the controller on the drive. If the problem is more severe, or if there are incompatibilities between the drive and the replacement controller card, this simple solution may not work. In that case, the technician uses a more in-depth approach. For instance, a chip that is noticeably damaged is probably not the only defective chip on the board. The board and the hard drive must be physically taken apart in a "class 100 clean room" to pinpoint and diagnose defects and to recover sensitive data. The drive can then be replaced. Dtidata.com offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Dtidata.com offers franchises to groups or individuals who demonstrate a background in computers, complete extensive data training at dtidata.com's laboratory and pay a franchise fee. The company also offers an affiliate and OEM program.
CHANNEL PROGRAM SNAPSHOTS
> STELLAR PHOENIX RECOVERY SUITE
COMPANY: Stellar Information Systems
DISTRIBUTORS: Custom Solutions, Excahnge Recovery Clinic, Req.net Software Spectrum
> DATA RECOVERY SERVICES
South Pasadena, Fla.
DISTRIBUTORS: Computer technology Consultants, Computootz, Intelligent Computer Solutions
Note: Vendors can earn up to five stars for technical merit and five for their channel program. If the average of these two scores is four stars or greater, the product earns CRN Test Center Recommended status.