IBM 3.5” HDD ST3300657SS Unbootable Server (VMware Image Recovery)

IBM 3.5” HDD ST3300657SS Unbootable Server (VMware Image Recovery)

2 June 2022 – Server IBM

Case description:

A customer contacted us to recover data for his server, it has three IBM 3.5” hard drives, ST3300657SS - 300GB. The server failed and stopped working on the weekend. The server was set up mainly for VMware. On Monday, the IT department realize the server was down and tried to boot up again, but failed to detect any VM, the system stated: “No VM files detected”. They are aware that one of the drives is already degraded before this, but it wasn’t back up and replaced yet. They’ve tried multiple times to startup the server but still failed. The server was set up with RAID 5, and it supposes to be able to tolerate one hard drive failing. Suspect it has more than 1 hard drive failure.

Action (Solution):

EHDR’s data recovery specialist proceeds to diagnose all three hard drives. The spindle motor spins up successfully but all three drives are inaccessible. After the assessment, it is confirmed that the read/write heads are faulty, and they must be replaced in the cleanroom before data recovery. All the drives will be cloned for data recovery, data recovery will be done on the cloned drive instead of the patient drive to avoid data loss in case anything goes wrong during the recovery, then the second or subsequent attempts will be available. EHDR reanalyzed and confirm the RAID structure and rebuilt the RAID for data extraction.

The Outcome

Data recovery was successful, and all the recovered data were recovered and transferred to a new hard drive. He checked the recovered data and was happy that all the VM images were recovered.


If you have an issue accessing your server, please feel free to contact us for a free assessment.

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