General discussion


Disaster Recovery - Hurricane

By al.parker ·
Need hints to individuals who are trying to recovery their computers/pheripherials from water/dirt/pollution damage from hurricanes?

The hardware was receovered what's next?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

122 total posts (Page 7 of 13)   Prev   05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09   Next
Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

remove CMOS and RAID batteries

by warwizard In reply to motors, generators, pc bo ...

As a first step of recovery, the CMOS batteries and any RAID batteries should be removed from the hardware and the connections they were using checked for corrosion, if the CMOS battery socket is too corroded, you may as well forget it.
I used to manufacture PC boards, and yes we used water based washers for the boards. Some degreasers that had a hot solvent vapor were used as well, the cold board precipates the solvent from the vapor, and flushes the contaminments away, the contaminants stay in the pool and only pure solvent vapor contacts the boards. If you can locate a PC board maker, I'm sure you could get them to run your electronics thru their cleaners. Insurance if you have it, should be willing to pay the recovery costs assoiated with doing this.
A lot of people have suguested using compressed air, however you need to have an ionizer on the nozzle or the airstream will produce electro static discharges (ESD) which may destroy or degrade the electronics.

warwizard (Dell Server Support)

Collapse -

Disaster Recovery - Hurricane

by GeekTX In reply to Disaster Recovery - Hurri ...

Here in West Texas we have our share of fires .. with fires come firemen and lots of water. I have been successful in the past with recovering customer equipment from smoke, water, and debris with some simple items available in most cities.
First ... rinse everything with purified water thouroughly.
Second ... rinse again with purified water and denatured alcohol (50/50 mix)
Third ... use a cleaner such as Blue Shower (name may vary depending on brand ... get the generic) this can be purchased at most electronic supply stores.
Let the unit sit open with a fan blowing into it for several days.
Disconnect the power supply and test it first. Typically if it doesnt **** out when you give it power it might be ok. If it doesnt **** then reconnect it to the unit and try again without your hard drive attached. If that works then reconnect the hard drive.
Throw away the keyboard, mouse, and anything like printers, scanners, etc.
I wouldn't do anything with the monitor as there is to great a potential to hurt yourself and anyone in close proximity.
If nothing comes up you may be able to retrieve data from the hard drive and your only out ~$30 for supplies.
Hope it helps.

Collapse -

Discounted Data Recovery Services for Hurricane Victims

DTEC International has authorized the Washington DC Metro Eastern Forensic Office to accept damaged HDD and CD Media from consumers and corporations who suffered loss in the wake of the passing Hurricanes. This program will be announced in our October publication of our Newsletter and on our company web site. To contact DTEC and learn more about qualifying for this Discounted service please contact

Our discount service is designed to cover the cost of the materials we use to execute the recovery. In general we will analyze the media sent, provide a free assessment and probability of recovery, and provide a fee estimate. The normal estimate is between 80-90% off our standard service rates and are designed to assist the victims not take more from them but rather give something back. In most cases consumers will request personal data, pictures, etc...Corporate Customers and Government agencies will be looking for more extensive damage. We are here to help.

Possible financial assistance to those that qualify to assist in the offset of recovery fees.

DTEC has provided Data Recovery and Forensic digital recovery services for the past 11 years. With our network of Recovery professionals world wide and our local offices staffed in the USA we are committed to assisting those who have suffered from this tragic natural event.

Learn more about DTEC at
This message was posted under the authority of the DTEC Group by a member of DTEC International Upper Management Team.

Collapse -

My Real World Experience

by wdeckert In reply to Disaster Recovery - Hurri ...

Time is money! To get a commercial site up fast you must have a good plan. After a flood at one of our bank branch locations, we found that the workstation motherboards were fried because the machines were plugged in during the flood. Monitors, keyboards and mice were OK becuase they were above the water level. We replaced all workstations and a server, restored basic workstation configurations with Norton Ghost, then server data from Network Attached offsite storage. We partner with an excellent IBM, Novell, Symantec, Microsoft vendor and have a contract for Disaster Recovery. We had a plan, tested it, review it regularly, and it worked.
Costs? + or - $20,000. Results - Priceless!
Flood occured on a Thursday evening, cleanup took place Friday, equipment was replaced by late Monday, configured Tuesday, and the branch open on Wednesday of the following week.
Lessons learned: Keep workstations and servers off of the floor, keep backups off site or on NAS, have a plan, review and practice for a disaster before it happens, follow your plan when it is needed.

Collapse -

Hurricane Disaster Recovery

by alexit In reply to Disaster Recovery - Hurri ...

After Isabel 2 years ago I ended up tossing out the key boards and mice, and one monitor. For the 2 machines. I opened them up used a can of air to remove and debris, then used a spay bottle with clean water on the inside and dryed with a fan in a room with A/C and closed the door for 3 days. One machine powered on Ok but the other had a drive failure. After putting the drive in the freezer for about an hour I was able to recover the data. I am actually still using it on a machine my kids use for games.

Collapse -


by wdewey In reply to Hurricane Disaster Recove ...

Why did you put the drive in the freezer?

Collapse -

It's a fairly common

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Freezer

Thing to do for drives that are not working quite right to begin with if you can cool them down you should be able to get the data off them before they heat up and stop working.

Generally works quite well if you catch the drive soon enough but a total waste of time if the drive has been run until it fails but as you are not actually paying for the wasted time it's always worth a try.

Unless of course it has been submerged then all bets are off as the drive will have contaminated water in it.


Collapse -

by alexit In reply to Freezer

Because the machine had been powered on, creating friction in the platter. This causes expansion, cold in the freezer forces it to shrink, there for makes scratches abrasions smaller. The more time in the freezer the more time you have to then shut down and pull the drive and send it off for recovery.

Collapse -

I've restored a computer from a dumpster...

Well, I've restored people's computers before and recently aquired one that someone found in the dumpster. It was a mess. They did get it to turn on, miraculously, though. Here's some of my own computer clean up tips:

1. Use a toothbrush to get into the right places. Use a dry one to erode off caked gunk like dust, mud, etc. Then a vacuum cleaner to carefully vacuum off the dust.

2. Clean all circuit boards and motherboard with rubbing alcohol. This is what we used when I was doing electronic assembly, btw. This cleans and also dissapates quickly. I find this safer than plain water.

3. When working on monitors, be very careful! The components inside a monitor can carry dangerously high voltage! If a monitor needs cleaning, make sure it has been off and UNPLUGGED for AT LEAST 24 - 48 hours. Even if power has been off in the area, there's not telling if it was on briefly or not as utility companies try and restore power or test lines, etc. Unplug it anyway and wait a day or two before opening the case. Don't touch anything in the monitor with your bare hands or with metal objects.

4. Put everything together and attempt to power up. If anything does NOT power up, no fans, no power lights, then suspect the power supply. For PCs you can get them online most places that sell computer parts. For monitors, I'd toss it and get another monitor.

5. If it powers up but doesn't boot or boots but has other failures, be sure to double-check all cables and motherboard jumper settings.

6. Also clean the keyboard and mouse. These can be also disassembled and cleaned. For keyboards, I have used window cleaner, or rubbing alcohol. NEVER use BOTH. Wash the plastic parts in warm soapy water and leave dry COMPLETELY before assembling.

7. Any parts that just don't want to work even after cleaning, just toss and replace if you can.

Hope this helps...

Collapse -

RE: I've restored a computer from a dumpster...

by samdy8 In reply to I've restored a computer ...

I would be very carefull using the vacuum cleaner as this could create static and there for fry the electronic device that you are trying to save in the first place.

Back to Community Forum
122 total posts (Page 7 of 13)   Prev   05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums