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Winternals Software provides timesaving repair and recovery tools

Meredith B. Derby, Assistant News Editor

For many e-businesses, predicting which of their customers might end their business relationships with them was impossible until I-Impact's analytic system was developed. However, when even I-impact couldn't forecast its own Web server problems and needed somewhere to turn, an IT manager there found Winternals Software's Administrator's Pak.

Sharon Leibel, who works at the Petach Tikva, Israel-based engineering office at I-Impact, regularly oversees the use of the Administrator Pak, which works to restore crashed Windows 2000/NT systems. Due to the positive results the product has provided over the past year, Leibel said he has become something of a hero in the eyes of his staff and clients.

"Hero is an understatement. People are calling me a magician," he said of how he has used the products within the Administrator's Pak, specifically ERD Commander 2000, successfully. ERD Commander's repair procedure let him save the data from a crashed NT server to another partition, or disk, and then reinstall the operating system on the server. He is then able to restore the data to the original disk. "I revive many servers that nobody knows how to replace," he said.

Leibel said he has saved many databases that way. Because the San Francisco-headquartered I-Impact has customers from around the globe, it is not easy to retrieve the data from them if it is lost. Losing the data he said, "is not so nice. It's not professional."

For the I-Impact engineers

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to travel to the United States or Canada from Israel to get their customer's information again is also not a good practice, he said. Obviously, I-Impact needed a foolproof solution, which they found in Administrator Pak.

"It's just something that I use so often that I don't know any other way to save systems," Leibel said. "Most of the times, it has given us the only option to save data." He said ERD Commander and Disk Commander, another Administrator Pak product, would be among the few things he would want to have if he was stranded on a desert island. He is also so impressed with ERD Commander that he carries it around on a floppy disk so he can use it in a jam.

Leibel discussed what life was like before I-Impact purchased the Administrator Pak: "Many times you know what to do, but when you see it, it's frustrating because you can't boot up the system" in order to fix the problem. Now, using ERD Commander, I-Impact is able to boot after the data is saved on another drive, he said.

Recently, Leibel had a client who had only 200 kilobytes of data saved in a text file on a local disk when his registry got corrupted. "In two hours I revived the system using ERD Commander. I moved the data to another partition that wasn't damaged and then reinstalled the OS and got back all the data." Though a small amount of data was saved, this is one easy example of how Leibel uses the Administrator Pak.

Austin, TX-based Winternals software offering "is the only option to revive the systems, and fix it without the need to format it and install all the software and databases, which can take a few days of work most of the time," Leibel said. Now, he can tell a client he knows what the problem is, how he will fix it and, most importantly, for example, that they won't lose their 20 gigabyte SQL Database.

Leibel has also used Winternals Disk Commander, NTRecover and Remote Recover, other products in the Administrator Pak lineup. There are six products total in the Administrator Pak. The other two are: Locksmith and Monitoring Tools.

An example of when Leibel used NT Recover is a situation where one of I-Impact's Solution Engineers' laptops, which has 30 gigabytes of storage as well as SQL Server installed on it -- this kind of laptop is essentially a mini-server -- wouldn't boot up. Leibel said he could not use ERD Commander because there is only one partition in this kind of computer. Instead, he used NT Recover to move the data via a serial cable to another computer and then recover it.

Though Leibel may be referred to as a hero, he said nothing would have been possible without Winternals' product. "Of course, you need to be professional and know what to fix. It's like having a screwdriver -- you need to know how to use it. It won't fix a thing by itself."

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