Data Recovery Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Data Recovery from a Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is a software execution of a computing environment. An operating system can then be installed on it and run. One of the benefits of running a virtual machine is that the applications run on it cannot interfere with the main, host operating system. A virtual machine can also be switched between host servers in order to get the best out of the hardware’s resources. Finally, it can also be used to simplify backups, recovery from disasters and basic administration procedures.

However, virtual machines share some of the same problems as a physical host. One of these is that the file system can still become corrupted or data could be lost. The good news is that the data recovery techniques that work on a physical machine can also be used on a virtual one. One such technique is to use a recovery program like R-Studio. Depending on the license you hold for this program, there are slightly different methods to use for recovering data on a virtual machine. Make sure you are using virtualisation software that supports booting from ISO images.

You may have a local, network or technician license of R-Studio, but the method remains pretty similar throughout. Firstly, create the emergency ISO image. You should then set up the virtual machine to mount the ISO to a virtual disc. Then, start the virtual machine with this new disc as the start-up device. Remember, the boot order may need to be changed so that the disc is the first to boot. The computer will then load into the R-Studio program, allowing you to recover your lost data from the virtual machine.

Remember that when retrieving lost data you should back up all of your findings to a separate drive. R-Studio has network capabilities and this will allow you to store the files on the host machine. Alternatively, just attach another drive and move all the files over to that.

It is entirely possible to backup data that is stored on a virtual machine using tools like VMware. This can backup virtual machines that are managed by ESX or vCenter servers. It is compatible with visualisation features like HA, DRS, VMotion and VMotion. This means that no matter where the virtual machines are migrated to, the VMware recovery program will be able to find them and create backups. The program is nifty in that it performs incremental backups, will not duplicate data and compresses it in order to save space on the disk.

If you have suffered data loss on a virtual machine then you don’t need to panic. Although you need to take a few extra steps than you would on a standard machine, the chances of getting your data back remain solid. Just make sure you employ the use of a good recovery program. Some of them, like R-Studio, will even let you view your chances of recovery before you buy the program. Also, make sure you use something like VMware to ensure that your data is being backed up regularly.


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