SQL Databases – Hard drive killers!!

Just happened again today… A client brought us a hard drive for data recovery approximately 2.5 years old, they have been using it in their server to host a SQL database.  The server had been experiencing slower than usual performance in recent weeks and then 2 days ago the drive was not available to the server.

SQL, Structured Query Language, is a database programming language used to manage information in a relational database.  It is a widely used application that manages tens of thousands of websites across the world, customer relationship applications, and many other types of applications.  SQL databases are the underpinning of more applications than you might realize.

Database files are almost always contained in contiguous space on a hard drive, that is to say the entire file is one location.  Just like the carpet in your hallway, the sectors of a hard drive “wear away” in areas of more frequent traffic.  So, if you are constantly reading and writing information to your SQL database (or really, any kind of database) you are wearing down the ability of your hard drive to work in that area.  All this traffic can ultimately cause the hard drive to fail.  damaged platterThe real question is, can we recover your database?  It all depends on the severity of the failure.  If we get the drive before it is too bad we can usually get a good working copy of your database.  But, if the drive is left to run too long, the read/write heads can actually wear a concentric groove into the platter where your database used to live.


As I mentioned, this phenomenon is not limited to just SQL databases.  We just happen to see more drives with SQL databases than any other type of database. But, if you are using any kind of database or an application that uses an underlying database you could be at risk too.


The best way to prevent this type of hard drive failure from happening is to proactively replace your hard drive(s) on a regular basis, especially those containing databases.  If you can’t replace your hard drive proactively, using a database “aware” backup application will at least prevent you from losing too much work.

The ABC’s of data recovery

A – Always turn your computer off if you hear your harddrive making any kind of unusual noises; do not attempt to run your computer again as this may cause irreparable loss of data.

B – Be cautious of attempting to run any type of hard drive data recovery software; if your harddrive is experiencing a mechanical failure, this will likely hinder attempts at a successful recovery.

C – Call Data Recovery Link at 303-649-1181 as soon as possible to discuss your data recovery options. We can help you determine if your harddrive needs a professional data recovery service or if you are ok to continue running the drive.

hard drive platter

It’s bound to happen sooner or later, its the nature of all things mechanical. No matter what you do there is always a chance that your harddrive may crash; and when it does it is usually a veryinopportune time. At Data Recovery Link we have more than 20 years of industry experience. Our technicians are highly trained in most forms of software and hardware recoveries. With a success rate of over 95% and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, we can help you during this stressful time.

We offer a no cost evaluation for your data recovery and we will quote you a firm price so you know your cost up front. If we are not able to retrieve your data, there is no charge to you. Even if another company has tried and failed, we can often still recover your data.


Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net