Over the years, Sr. IT Consultant, Mike Oster, has seen quite a few “IT Miracles.” Some seemingly small. Others not so small. One of his very first experiences with such a miracle was a frantic call from a client whose laptop would no longer boot. While the client was fully aware there was no backup in place for her laptop, she still expressed the need to retrieve absolutely “mission critical” data from the failed device. Mike, of course, prepared the client for the worst, while remaining positive—all the while knowing in his heart that the client’s data was likely never going to be recovered. After hanging up, Mike jumped in his car and headed over to his client’s office. Once he got his hands on the laptop, he was able to confirm the dreaded click, click, click, of a failed hard drive.
This all occurred at a time when full-on mechanical failures of hard drives was not only common but considered inevitable by most IT professionals. Knowing full well the data on this drive was potentially gone forever, he continued to give his client hope, letting her know he would take the failed hard drive with him and continue to attempt to retrieve her data. Once back in the office, Mike proceeded to wrap the hard drive in an anti-static bag and place it in the freezer. Yep, you heard that right…the freezer. This was a trick back in the day, you could place a drive in the freezer, causing the various metal parts to contract, effectively “tightening up” the internal components of the drive. After a few rounds in the freezer he was eventually able to get all of the client’s data off of that drive. The client still tells the story of the IT Miracle pulled off that day.
This story could just as easily have had a very different ending. The fact that any data was recoverable from that drive was indeed a miracle!
IT Radix’s history is full of similar stories of such IT Miracles: Repairing a client’s corrupt PowerPoint presentation at midnight because there was not a backup, moving an entire email server to the cloud when the in-house server failed, and even moving client servers from their office to ours on a Saturday when the client’s office was not expected to get power restored for several days. The list goes on…
Bear in mind, your disaster recovery plan should NOT include the need to pull a rabbit out of a hat. All data—no matter where it resides—needs to be backed up if it is critical to your business. All potential disaster scenarios need to be considered. Having a backup or disaster recovery plan that only includes the server or does not account for things like utility failures is not helpful if any of these events have the potential to cripple your business.
Don’t depend on an IT miracle being part of your disaster recovery plan.
First published in our November 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter