R-Studio: Data Recovery over Network

Data recovery over network is one of R-Studio's most powerful and useful features. Typically, data recovery requires physical removal of hardware or local installation of a registered data recovery software package. With R-Studio network data recovery, you can forgo both of these requirements. Using a local computer with R-Studio installed and a remote computer with R-Studio Agent installed, you can perform a full data recovery on the target computer over a network connection.

The two programs interact over any network connection - be it a global corporate network, a small local area network, or simply an Ethernet cable connecting the two computers directly. Once connected, data from the remote computer can be recovered as if the disks were directly connected to the local machine. You can perform file recovery, disk imaging, and even data editing on the remote computer. Processing of large file sets of data can be done entirely on the remote computer, without pumping it through the network. For example, recovered files and disk images can be saved to a disk on the remote computer without transferring them to the local machine.

The R-Studio Network package was designed for frequent use of the data recovery over network feature set in corporate environments. But some degree of network data recovery capabilities can be used in the Demo version and with a single R-Studio license as well. The value of upgrading to an R-Studio Network license depends on your particular needs.

Data recovery over network is most effective in the following scenarios:

  1. When a computer is located in a remote or hard-to-access place, and the only way to access its files is to connect to it through a network.
  2. When a local computer has an uncommon hardware or software configuration, and it's hard or impossible to install R-Studio or to use R-Studio Emergency locally.
  3. When it's hard or impossible to remove a disk from a computer and connect it directly to a computer with R-Studio installed.

In all cases, the hardware of the target computer should be operational, and the operating system should be functioning and bootable. In cases where the computer isn't bootable, but the hardware is undamaged, R-Studio Agent Emergency can be used. R-Studio Agent Emergency allows you to access the hard drive of an unbootable computer, provided that there are no underlying physical hardware issues. For more information on performing network data recovery on an unbootable computer, see our article "Emergency Data Recovery over Network."; (For local emergency recovery, please read our article "Emergency File Recovery Using R-Studio Emergency").

Getting the Most Out of Your R-Studio Licenses
R-Studio and R-Studio Agent are available in several different licensing packages: R-Studio, R-Studio Network, and R-Studio Technician. These packages are designed to provide you with the proper number of R-Studio licenses while remaining affordable. For any of the R-Studio packages, you can apply your initial license fee toward an R-Studio Network or R-Studio Technician License if you decide to upgrade later.

R-Studio and R-Studio Agent are available for all major operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. R-Studio Agent Emergency works in a preboot environment regardless of the installed operating system.

Create Image Files Scan Disks and Preview Files Save Recovered Files Data Recovery over Network Transferable Licenses and Commercial Use
R-Studio Demo Version Yes Yes No No No
R-Studio (single license) Yes Yes Yes No No
R-Studio Network Yes Yes Yes Yes No
R-Studio Technician Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

R-STUDIO
The basic and most affordable R-Studio package is for a single, local copy of R-Studio.

The standalone R-Studio license makes the most financial sense for home users, one-off data recovery scenarios, or small businesses. Typically, the single R-Studio license is purchased to perform local data recovery operations on one machine. But if used in conjunction with a demo version of R-Studio Agent, you can perform a data recovery over network even if you haven't purchased an R-Studio Network license.

In demo mode, both R-Studio and R-Studio Agent allow you to perform all of the data recovery operations; the only limitation is that files over the size of 256KB cannot be saved over the network. To perform a complete data recovery, you can use your registered copy of R-Studio in conjunction with a demo version of R-Studio Agent installed on a remote computer. Using R-Studio, you can connect to the remote computer running R-Studio Agent in Demo mode and create a disk image of the remote computer and save it to an external drive attached to the remote computer. Then, you can transfer the disk image to the computer with the registered copy of R-Studio installed and perform a full data recovery on the disk image.

While this is not a true data recovery over network, this will allow you to recover data from a networked computer without purchasing an R-Studio Network license. Although creating and transferring a disk image is less convenient than recovering the files over the network, this approach is sufficient for occasional or isolated data recovery scenarios.

Note that the single R-Studio license does not allow you to perform commercial data recovery services using this method. You may only use R-Studio for your own home or business.

R-STUDIO NETWORK
The R-Studio Network license package is most beneficial in a corporate or enterprise environment. First, enterprise-level IT systems have more computers and servers, and therefore the risks of data loss are higher. Second, larger corporations often have computers and systems with uncommon hardware configurations or service agreements that make it technically or logistically difficult to access the hard drive inside the case. Third, corporate IT departments often administrate computers in multiple geographic locations, and data recovery may be required for machines in distant office locations.

These factors combined justify the additional investment in an R-Studio Network license. R-Studio Network will allow you to have a data recovery strategy in place before data loss occurs and will allow you to respond to each event quickly and effectively while minimizing (or eliminating) the amount of travel from site-to-site.

With the R-Studio Network package, you get five licenses for R-Studio Agent or R-Studio Agent Emergency in addition to the license for R-Studio. R-Studio Agent and R-Studio Agent Emergency licenses are non-transferable among machines. When you register a copy of R-Studio Agent on a computer, it binds to that device-you cannot uninstall it from that machine after recovering the data and then install it on another machine. You can, however, transfer licenses between R-Studio Agent, R-Studio Agent Portable, and R-Studio Agent Emergency on the same machine. For example, you can temporarily use R-Studio Emergency on an unbootable machine, and then later install a registered copy of R-Studio Agent on that machine once it's functional again.

The most effective way to use your five licenses is to pre-install R-Studio Agent on the most critical computers on your network. Computers that are physically or geographically difficult to access or that have unique hardware configurations are good candidates for a pre-installed copy of R-Studio Agent. This allows you to perform a full network data recovery on the machine without having to install new software on it, which risks overwriting unrecovered data.

The remaining licenses can be reserved for deployment on devices as needed, or installed on a computer designated for data recovery on the network. The target computers can be imaged using an unregistered copy of R-Studio and then the data can be analyzed and recovered using a registered copy on another machine.

Here are two examples of how the R-Studio Network licenses can be deployed:

Example 1. Servers and computers in a corporate network.


R-Studio is installed on a sysadmin workstation, for example. R-Studio Agents are pre-installed on the most critical servers; R-Studio Agent Portable can be used for the remaining computers. When data loss occurs, R-Studio immediately connects to the necessary computer, and a data recovery process begins. No need to install programs, reboot computers, etc. And, therefore, there is minimum risk of overwriting lost data.

The "How to Use R-Studio Network Package". article describes how R-Studio works in a corporate network in more detail.

Example 2. Network data recovery from a hard-to-access computer (regular and emergency recovery)


In some cases, the hard drive of a computer cannot be removed because the hardware cannot easily be physically accessed, or the computer may be under a service agreement where the PC case is sealed and cannot be accessed by the user. R-Studio Agent Portable can be run and registered on the target machine and R-Studio can connect to the computer to remotely recover the data without physically accessing its hardware.

Note that although R-Studio Network includes more licenses, it still may not be used to perform commercial data recovery services for customers. R-Studio Network may only be used for your own organization.

R-STUDIO TECHNICIAN
R-Studio Technician is designed for professional data recovery companies offering services to third-party clients. However, an R-Studio Technician license package can be beneficial for internal use as well. Unlike with R-Studio Network, R-Studio Technician licenses are transferrable among the computers within your organization, as long as the number of computers with registered copies installed simultaneously does not exceed the number of licenses purchased. This allows you to temporarily install registered copies on any machine inside or outside of your organization. This is particularly useful if you service a large number of computers or if you need to perform a data recovery over the Internet.

How Data Recovery over Network Works
To understand how data recovery network works in conjunction with the allowable licenses for each package, it helps to understand the overall process.

Data recovery over network using R-Studio is a three-step process:

  1. Start and configure R-Studio Agent on the remote computer.
  2. Establish a connection over the network between R-Studio and R-Studio Agent.
  3. Recover data from the remote computer as if R-Studio was installed on that computer.

Let's take a look at how this process actually works with R-Studio/R-Studio Agent. Throughout this process, you can use R-Studio Agent, R-Studio Agent Portable, or R-Studio Agent Emergency. We'll provide details for each application.

1. Start and configure R-Studio Agent on the remote computer.

Start R-Studio Agent, R-Studio Agent Portable, or R-Studio Agent Emergency

If you are using R-Studio Agent, do the following:

Install and run R-Studio Agent on the remote computer. When R-Studio Agent starts, its icon appears in the system tray:

When R-Studio Agent starts, it first asks you to enter a registration number. You may enter it or click the Demo button to continue. If you select the Demo mode, you can enter the registration number later from the computer that has R-Studio installed on it.

If you are using R-Studio Agent Portable, you will copy the executable to a flash memory device and run it on the remote computer. No installation is required. If the remote computer is unbootable, create an R-Studio Agent startup disk and start your computer with R-Studio Agent Emergency. (See R-Studio Help for more details: Starting a Computer with the R-Studio Agent Emergency Startup Disk).

Configure R-Studio Agent/R-Studio Agent Portable
If you are using R-Studio Agent or R-Studio Agent Portable:
Right-click the R-Studio Agent system tray icon and select Configure. Enter the password for this R-Studio Agent and the IP address of the computer on which R-Studio is installed:
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Then R-Studio Agent displays its main panel:
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Configure R-Studio Agent Emergency:
If you are using R-Studio Agent Emergency, you may need to enter the IP address and network mask.
If you use DHCP on your network, R-Studio Agent Emergency receives its IP address automatically. You will need this address to connect R-Studio to R-Studio Agent Emergency. If there is no DHCP, you must enter the IP address and network mask manually.

2. Establish a connection between R-Studio and R-Studio Agent over the network.

On the R-Studio main panel, click the Connect to Remote button. Select the computer on the network where R-Studio Agent is running:
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If you are connecting to R-Studio Agent Emergency, you must enter the IP address of that computer into the Computer field, leaving the Password field blank. If R-Studio Agent on the remote computer is running in Demo mode, a dialog box will appear asking you to enter a registration code for R-Studio Agent. You may enter the registration code to access the full data recovery feature set, or click the Demo button to continue running R-Studio Agent in Demo mode. In this mode, R-Studio can perform any action (file enumeration and preview, disk scanning, and so forth) except actual data recovery; the recovered files cannot be saved to a disk.

When R-Studio and R-Studio Agent are connected, the drives and disks of the remote computer appear on the R-Studio Drives panel:
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Note: If you are connecting R-Studio to R-Studio Agent Emergency, the Drives panel will have a different look:
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3. Recover data from the remote computer as if R-Studio was installed on that computer.

From the R-Studio computer, you can perform all hard disk recovery operations, such as file enumeration and file recovery:
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When the Recover dialog box appears, you may select whether you want to save recovered files on the local or remote computer. As a rule, you should never save recovered data to the same disk that the data is being recovered from. Writing new data to a disk risks overwriting files before they are recovered. However, if you have another healthy disk that is connected to the remote computer (for example, an external USB hard drive), saving recovered files to that disk can be very useful. Saving recovered files to a disk on the remote computer saves you from having to transfer large file sets over the network. It also helps protect personal information, since the data never has to leave the user's computer.

Preview files to estimate file recovery chances:
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Scan disks on the remote computer:
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View/edit objects, in case of disaster recovery, for example:
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To disconnect from the remote computer, select the remote computer on the Drives panel and click the Delete button.

Conclusion
Data recovery over network is one of R-Studio's most unique and most powerful features. The license packages that we offer are designed to provide the most affordable solution depending on the needs of your organization. While the R-Studio Network package was designed with data recovery over network in mind, the single R-Studio license can also be used in conjunction with the disk imaging capabilities of an R-Studio Agent installed in demo mode to perform a network data recovery. This lets organizations or individuals use R-Studio's to economically recover data on remote computers without upgrading to the R-Studio Network package. On the other end of the spectrum, the R-Studio Technician license can be useful for large corporations that need more flexibility when deploying R-Studio licenses for network data recovery.

We hope that this article helps you understand how you can use each license package to meet your needs. For more details on deploying R-Studio Network licenses, see our article "How to Use R-Studio Network Package."

Tips and Notes

  • R-Studio can simultaneously create a disk image and scan it, greatly reducing the time required for the following data recovery. R-Studio writes files with the disk image and its scan info to the same place, and they can be loaded simultaneously. This means that once you've imaged a disk, you don't have to scan it again, even if you open it on another computer. This saves you a significant amount of time, especially with larger disks.
  • Note that saving a disk image can require a large amount of storage space. When performing a data recovery over network, it may not be practical to save the disk image to the hard drive on the target machine. Not only is it likely that there won't be sufficient space, it's also bad practice to save recovered data onto the same disk that it's being recovered from, since it risks overwriting unrecovered data. For data recovery purposes, it's a good idea to invest in an external hard drive. You can connect the drive to the remote computer and save the disk image to it. You can even do this using the Demo mode of R-Studio Agent, allowing you to transfer the image to another computer with a registered copy of R-Studio for further analysis and data recovery.
  • Data recovery over network can be performed on practically any type of network. Network data recovery with R-Studio and R-Studio Agent works on complex global networks that utilize the internet or a VPN as well as simple setups, like connecting two computers via an Ethernet cable. As long as both machines can see each other on the network, remote data recovery is possible.
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