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Recovering info from RAID1

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So it appears both my hard drives in my RAID1 array are dead or having problems. One was down for a while, and I hadn't had a chance to purchase another drive. These were both running in my server, along with a 3rd hard drive for the OS.

The other day, I started getting delayed write errors, so I restarted my server. Then, the horror began. The drive wouldn't show up in Windows properly, and I was getting an "incomplete set" error in the raid bios. So I thought that rebuilding the array might fix it, as only one of the drives was supposedly having trouble. I did that, selected the source drive to rebuild from, and 2 days later, it was finally done.

Now, I've got a RAID array that is showing up under Windows Disk Management as healthy, and 100% free space. I've got a brand new drive on the way to replace the one I know is dying, but what are my options for data recovery off of the original drive(s)? It is a MUST that I get all of those files back! I just don't understand why they dissappeared in the first place...
post #2 of 12
Here is something to look into (if it is an Intel RAID). I found it over at Xtremesystems.org a few weeks ago:

Thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUGGER View Post
Just posting up some useful information for those who need to repair a broken raid on Intel chipsets.

Sometimes a drive can drop out of the raid set and get reset to "non-raid disk and when this happens it can be a nightmare and you can lose data if not handled properly.

Do not go into the CTRL-I raid utility to fix, this will destroy the data as it resets back to raid disk.

You need a few applications downloaded from the net from www.runtime.org.

You will need a PC that boots and has plenty of connectors for the raid drives you need to get data from.

Connect the drives and boot into windows with raid drives connected, do not enable raid for those drives, just connect and boot into windows.

Windows will go though its discovery and stuff, let it finish but dont go into the drive system manger panel in windows.

Download and run Raid Reconstructor and tell it what raid level you had and select what drives are from the raid set. If you had raid 5 it needs all but one drive to reconstruct the set or it can use all drives, it didnt seem to make a difference in speed. Once Raid Reconstructor runs it quick wizard to figure out stripe and block size it will then prompt you to start up Captain Nemo or Getmydataback NTFS. I used GMDB NTFS.

Raid Reconstructor then feeds its discovery map into GMDB and begins the rebuild process, it will scan the entire raid set for all data and display the directory structure. You can then copy the data from the damaged raid onto a hard disk or whatever you have to hold the data you want to recover.

When a disk drops from raid, the map information is lost and this is why you cannot just reset back to a raid disk. With the information from Raid Reconstructor it is possible to reset the drive back to raid when you pay for the $299 service. I am yet to go that route but I was successful in a raid 5 recovery of all data.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Did a quick google on Raid Reconstructor, here's what I found:
Quote:
Runtime's RAID Reconstructor will help you recover data from broken

RAID Level 5 Array consisting of 3 to 14 drives
RAID Level 0 Array (Striping) consisting of 2 to 14 drives
I'm guessing RAID 1 isn't included because it's supposed to be mirrored/redundant? If I just hooked one of the drives up to another machine, would it be possible to recover the data that way?

Right now, I'm running a Recover My Files scan, and most of the jpg files, etc are coming up as corrupt. Why would that be? I haven't overwritten the data with anything else...
post #4 of 12
I wish I had more experience with RAID data recovery. I've been fortunate so far (you better not have jinxed me now that I just typed that!) and havent really delved into that yet. Is it possible to run a DOS based HDD test on each drive without "breaking the RAID"?
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Not sure, but I think I already broke the raid, lol. That's my problem. I need to fix the raid now, which seems like it should be easy with RAID1.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtSpike View Post
Not sure, but I think I already broke the raid, lol. That's my problem. I need to fix the raid now, which seems like it should be easy with RAID1.
have you tried a new HDD paired with either of the drives? I'm kind of out of ideas, but I will do some research (I should learn how to do this anyways).
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post #7 of 12
Your RAID1 drives are identically mirrored to the sector, so if one drive went bad completely (hardware wise), the mirror should have an identical copy running.

If you have data corruption issues (like those caused by bad memory chips), then you will have corrupted data on both drives, however.

If one drive dies all of a sudden (say the controller dies), just take the bad drive out, and boot off the mirror drive. It should boot no issues.
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericeod View Post
have you tried a new HDD paired with either of the drives? I'm kind of out of ideas, but I will do some research (I should learn how to do this anyways).
Not yet, but I will when the new hard drive comes in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev1 View Post
Your RAID1 drives are identically mirrored to the sector, so if one drive went bad completely (hardware wise), the mirror should have an identical copy running.

If you have data corruption issues (like those caused by bad memory chips), then you will have corrupted data on both drives, however.

If one drive dies all of a sudden (say the controller dies), just take the bad drive out, and boot off the mirror drive. It should boot no issues.
Ok, I'll give that a try (just booting with one of the drives connected), but I'm doubtful that windows will recognize the drive without a format...
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Rev1 you were right!!! I am so happy right now, copying the files from the drive that's still working to another RAID1 array now! Thanks so much, Rep+!
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtSpike View Post
Rev1 you were right!!! I am so happy right now, copying the files from the drive that's still working to another RAID1 array now! Thanks so much, Rep+!
No problems I deal a lot with failed RAID-1 server drives at work, and this is the way to recover them with no problems and minimal downtime.. Glad I was able to help.
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