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Random Missing or Deleted Folders on SBS 2003

I have a client that has reported several missing or deleted user data folders on their SBS 2003 server.  This just happened today.  They are small client with no onsite IT help.  Apparently sometime this afternoon data started missing.  Around the same time their wireless network went crazy (dropping connections).  I'm not sure if these problems are related - but that is the picture as I have it.  To complicate matters, they are on the west coast and I am on the East trying to help them.  To even make matters worse - their backups have been failing for who know how many weeks (I have my hands full!).  We ran chkdsk (with no options) and that did not return any disk problems.  My first priority is to recover the lost data and want to make sure any steps I take will not jeopardize recovering data later (e.g. writing over sectors where the lost data resides).  Any ideas?
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ATLHOMER
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ATLHOMER
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1 Solution
 
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
First step to recover lost data is to hope that the server was installed using the default settings... which would have Volume Shadow Copy enabled.

You cannot to this from the server, however, so you need to either use Remote Web Workplace and access a client workstation, or remote into the server and from there remote into a client workstation.

Then, you can use Windows Explorer to navigate to the parent folder of the missing files, right click and select PROPERTIES > Previous Versions.

COPY the previous version to another location to find the missing files so that they can then be copied back to the original place.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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ATLHOMERAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jeff - We will try this either tomorrow or on Monday (they are off for the weekend holiday).  I have some follow-up questions:
 1 - Have you heard of this random problem before?  In some cases it is a folder within a folder that is missing.
 2- If your suggestion works - is there any way to identify all the folders that were deleted- they will have to have a good memory to remember all the folder names
 3- I am very new to sbs2003.  I have some windows 2000 experience, but not an expert by any means.  Is there a way to verify that they enabled Volume Shadow Copy.

Thanks again...
Paul
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
1.  It's possible that someone dragged a folder into another... that's the most common thing I've seen... so the files may really not be lost.

2.  You can use a 3rd party tool to compare the contents of two directories.  WinDiff is a windows support tool that does this, but it's not very helpful sometime.

3.  To verify VSS, Open windows explorer on the server and right click on the C: drive > Properties > SHADOW COPIES TAB.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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ATLHOMERAuthor Commented:
Jeff - or others,

Unfortunatly they had VSS disabled -- doh!  I just found out that the server has a SCSI HD Array.  Is it possible that one of the drives in the Array has failed - thus the random data is missing.  If so - are there any tools to help identify that this is the problem?

Paul
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
If one of the drives is failing it wouldn't cause random files to be missing.  The concept of RAID arrays is that a drive CAN fail without data loss.  If there were such problems, they would be recorded in the System Event Log.

Your best bet now?  Use a file recovery program.  Even though it's been awhile it's still possible that the files are there.  The quickest and easiest is http://www.tune-up.com.  Download and install the free trial.  It's data recovery (tune-up undelete) is fully functional.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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ATLHOMERAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jeff -Turns out the users deleted the data by accident - they had created some kind of remote folder on their desktop and then deleted the folder(not knowing that it deleted the data on the server).  I was able to recover the data using Restorer2000.  I opted for that tool because it gave the option of restoring to a different location than then origial file.  

Paul
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Tune-up Utilities gives that option as well, by the way... you just need to designate that during the restore.  But glad you got it all handled!

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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