Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Discussions on using the professional data recovery program R-STUDIO for RAID re-construction, NAS recovery, and recovery of various disk and volume managers: Windows storage spaces, Apple volumes, and Linux Logical Volume Manager.
taz
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Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by taz » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:56 pm

I have a 4x1TB Raid 5 array. One of the hard disks started showing a yellow warning sign, so I replaced it today and the array rebuilt was successful. However a couple of hours one of the other disks dropped out of the array, Windows 7 found it as a new hard disk, and after that the logical drives of the Raid 5 array disappeared! The array still seems to be there (as in photo) as for the missing disk that dropped out and shows under the array, I can only select it as a spare. Furthermore, in windows drive management the array and the dropped disk show as not initialized (as in photo). I don't know how this happened, but I suppose on one hand the array is there, so my data is still not gone, but if I initialize it, won't I be loosing all the data in the array? Are there any chances of recovering my data or bringing back the array online, what do I need to do this?

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taz
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by taz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:55 am

Today and without doing messing with the hard disks, one more disk dropped out of the array, however the 2 logical drives came back with their proper size, although empty and inaccesible because it says they are RAW...

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I am really hoping that there is a solution that can help me salvage my data...

Alt
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by Alt » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:48 am

Don't initialize the volume, as that will destroy the service information on the disks. That won't make data recovery impossible, but harder.
Use free ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery to find the RAID parameters, then create images of the disks (much recommended, but not necessary), them create a virtual RAID5 using the parameters obtained Basic RAID 4 and RAID 5 Operations, scan the volume, and see the results. You don't have to buy R-Studio unless you're sure that chances for success are high, and expect a very long operation, as your RAID is huge.

taz
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:43 pm

Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by taz » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:25 am

Thank you for your answer. I will definitely not be doing any initializing! :) Will this solution help restore the array to a healthy state, or help me access the data so that I copy them elsewhere?

Also, I read somewhere that you can go to the raid setup in the bios, reset all the array disks to non-member (without deleting the array), and then assign the same disks to a same raid array. Then run a partition recovery program and all will be back to normal... are you aware of this procedure?

As you understand although I know that the data is still there somewhere, I am very afraid that I might do something that will make the recovery even more difficult... :( I suppose the lesson here is never to trust onboard RAID?

Alt
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by Alt » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:15 am

taz wrote:Will this solution help restore the array to a healthy state, or help me access the data so that I copy them elsewhere?
It provides an access to the data to copy it to some other place.
taz wrote:Also, I read somewhere that you can go to the raid setup in the bios, reset all the array disks to non-member (without deleting the array), and then assign the same disks to a same raid array. Then run a partition recovery program and all will be back to normal... are you aware of this procedure?
It may help or may not, but this is surely a danger to the data on the disks.
taz wrote: I suppose the lesson here is never to trust onboard RAID?
No, the lesson is don't trust any RAID, RAIDs aren't for reliable data storage, they're for keeping your hardware working even if one disk failed. Regular data backup is the only really reliable solution for safe data storage.

taz
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by taz » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:43 pm

In your earlier message you said it is recommended to make images of the disks, I suppose if something goes wrong you just recreate the disks from the images and try again to fix the array... I do have additional storage to make such big images of the 1TB hard disks of the raid array, but with what application can this be done since I don't have the usual "access" to the array's hard disks? I hope you understand what I am trying to ask...

Alt
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by Alt » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:39 am

taz wrote:In your earlier message you said it is recommended to make images of the disks, I suppose if something goes wrong you just recreate the disks from the images and try again to fix the array... I do have additional storage to make such big images of the 1TB hard disks of the raid array, but with what application can this be done since I don't have the usual "access" to the array's hard disks? I hope you understand what I am trying to ask...
A little bit different, data is recovered from the images. If something goes wrong, the original data on the disks will still be intact. So, if you have enough disk space, create the images. You may use R-Studio to do so, even in the Demo mode. Images. As I understand, the disks are connected to the computer via on-board SATA ports? If yes, just image them as usual hard drives.

taz
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:43 pm

Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by taz » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:29 am

Alt wrote:
taz wrote:In your earlier message you said it is recommended to make images of the disks, I suppose if something goes wrong you just recreate the disks from the images and try again to fix the array... I do have additional storage to make such big images of the 1TB hard disks of the raid array, but with what application can this be done since I don't have the usual "access" to the array's hard disks? I hope you understand what I am trying to ask...
A little bit different, data is recovered from the images. If something goes wrong, the original data on the disks will still be intact. So, if you have enough disk space, create the images. You may use R-Studio to do so, even in the Demo mode. Images. As I understand, the disks are connected to the computer via on-board SATA ports? If yes, just image them as usual hard drives.
That sounds really advantageous, up until now I didn't know you can create images of array hard disks and play safely by creating a virtual raid array out of them, I will definitely follow this path that you recommend to start with (trying to muster courage to do it, the most valuable thing in my raid is 6 years worth of family photos, I don't care about my collection of music, movies or anything else in there, those can be replaced in time...)

I suppose these images can be created in a larger hard disk, correct? ie to put 2 or 3 1TB images together in a 3TB hard disk... doesn't have to be disk for disk, right?

Alt
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Re: Raid 5 array problem. Logical drives gone.

Post by Alt » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:12 am

You may use compressed images - that greatly saves required disk space. Image files are just files - you can store them as you like.

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