With Sandy and some of the new questions popping up like this one:

All servers flooded by salt water, is it possible to recover data from multi-platter drives?

It seems like we may want to setup a standard data recovery question that lists potential things to do in the event of a data recovery scenario. By default all questions like this tend to solicit lots of debate and ideas as to what can be done.

Should we setup a new canonical answer regarding data recovery and then mark all others as duplicates?

2 Answers 2


I would troll around for a good data recovery question that's already been thoroughly answered and make that one the canonical example. We've answered the question more than once in the past

It gets a bit more complicated with Data Recovery as sometimes it's physical damage where other times it's accidental erasure, and the process for tape versus HD may be a little different (more you can try with tapes before shipping them off), so maybe something like the Capacity Planning question that then links to physical versus digital questions might be sensible...

  • @BrentPabst ...in fact the one you linked to is a good candidate to be canonized.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 17:09
  • Agreed, can you change it over as such? However, I do like @HopelessN00b's idea as well in terms of maybe converting the question into a more generic DR capacity. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 18:56
  • A generic DR post is huge -- we can cover individual aspects like "how do I deal with my wrecked hard drives" Q&A style, but doing a generic DR post is really more blog territory than main site...
    – voretaq7
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 19:15
  • Yea, after thinking about it some more I agree. I think the one brought up today covers the DR after a natural disaster scenario for HDD issues. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 19:50
  • It looks like the question I mentioned has gotten a lot of community support. What is the canonization process? Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 13:46

I've actually thought about this on and off for a while, and I think the better approach would be like what was done recently with the spam question - broaden it a bit to basically an I lost a bunch of data, what do I do? question. That way we can hit the issue of taking backups in the first place, and leave actual data recovery techniques as the last or second-to-last resort they really ought to be.

I even thought about doing it answer your own question Q&A style after the last wave of my RAID array crashed, what do I do? questions, but I never got around to doing anything about it for some reason.

Anyway, I think that if one of the mods were to do like @ChrisS did with the spam canonical, it would go over best. I'd do it myself, but I'm not really sure if that's a good idea coming from just a user, or if it would get hammered for being a duplicate of the countless other questions out three or what have you, so I'm a bit gun-shy on it.

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