When your RAID fails, and it can, you are going to need to recover your data and get the array working again either using hardware solutions or specialized RAID recovery software. The problem is, a RAID array is not like a simple hard drive and there is more to take into consideration when you are attempting to do a RAID recovery.
For example, if you build the array without initializing it, you will need recovery software to know the parameters. If you don’t know those parameters, then you can deal with rebuilding a RAID 5 in the wrong disk order and that will cause you to lose all of your data.
On top of all of that, there is also the possibility that the RAID controller is going to initialize the array with zeroes. This is going to turn a simple RAID recovery from something easy into something much more difficult. You don’t want that to happen!
How can RAID fail?
RAID, like anything else to do with computers, can fail. There are a number of different ways that a RAID array can fail, including:
- Malfunctioning RAID array controller
- Missing RAID partition
- A power surge that corrupts the data on the drives
- An accidental data deletion of reformatting
- A virus attack
- An accidental reconfiguration of the entire RAID volume
- A mistake when doing a RAID rebuild
- A multiple disk failure while in an offline state that causes the loss of the RAID volume
- Wrong replacement of disk element on the volume
- Loss of RAID access after a system upgrade
- Loss of configuration settings
Any of these can happen, and when they do, you need to get things fixed as soon as possible. How can you do that? You can use RAID recovery software.
What does the RAID recovery software do?
Quite simply, this specialized software provides you with the ability to determine the parameters of the RAID array, as has already been mentioned. With those parameters, you can rebuild the array properly. The software allows for the writing of the array to the disk, creating an image file of the array and more. In many ways, using RAID recovery software will make the entire task of recovering the array much easier for you.
General steps in using RAID recovery software
If you have found RAID recovery software, which you can online from a wide variety of sources, then you can begin to recover your array. First, when choosing the product, you need to find the one that is of high quality, well-reviewed and is going to do exactly what you need it to. Don’t get cheap software that could cause more harm than good.
Now, with the software identified, do the following:
- Launch the application and recover the parameters of the array.
- Using those parameters, you can build the array without initializing it but be careful when doing this so you don’t erase all your data.
- If you are doing a hardware RAID recovery, you can use a feature on the recovery software to write the array to the disk. Then you mount the disk to the operating system.
- If you are doing a software RAID recovery, then you use the RAID recovery software to create an array image and load it using the data recovery tool in the software. Alternatively, you can load the recovered array parameters into the software directly, thereby bypassing the need for the image file.
Having good RAID recovery software in your arsenal of tools can make the task of rebuilding the array that much easier, especially because it usually means less stress and headaches for you!