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The Challenges of Recovering Data from RAID Hard Drives

The Challenges of Recovering Data from RAID Hard Drives
The Challenges of recovering data from RAID hard disk drives.


A 'Redundant Array of Independent Drives' or 'Redundant Array of Inexspensive Disks' is a popular data storage technique today for IT Storage Professionals people working with several hard drives at once. RAID is a data storage scheme which divides or replicates data among the hard drives used, and is thus capable of offering higher data reliability and shorter response times than other schemes. This system has been in use for some time in applications that are considered non-critical.

The reason for the use of the scheme within non-critical elements of a business is that unfortunately, when one drive in a RAID system fails all of the data stored on the entire array may also be corrupted, or simply rendered inaccessible. For a business without knowledgeable support, this can be devastating. The first challenge to any recovery effort will be the reinstatement of data on not just one, but all of the drives involved in the system. The higher the level, the more complex the data recovery process becomes.

Each piece of data on each drive is important, and a recovery system that ensures complete recovery is key.

When it comes to the actual recovery process, the person using a RAID scheme has a few options. Someone trained in the implementation of RAID and its applications could recover the data from the drive, as long as the data required is on the drive involved at the time of the failure. Odds are the user will have to call for help; that means two choices.

First of all, you could contact the manufacturers support department. It is likely that they will be able to get your system up and running again, but like many support systems the recovery of your data is only a secondary objective. Basically, the manufacturer will assume that you have backed up your important data in a suitable fashion and the support staff are trained to operate under this assumption. The manufacturer cannot be expected to take responsibility for your data stored on its product.

The second option, and the best one open to the user, is to call in the services of a company that is trained in all manner of data recovery methods, and specifically one that has experience with all the levels of RAID storage. This service can be hard to find, since recovery issues and systems requirements are quite specific, but there are times when it pays to seek out the experts.

RAID schemes may be more reliable when it comes to data management, but in the event of a failure the challenges loom large. Getting the data from each system involved and ensuring that data recovery are at the heart of a support system are two of the most critical issues that a user of a RAID system will face in a failure, and its important to find individuals who can handle the challenge.

Many software solutions promise that you can recover data on your own, but data recovery is often not possible when there has been internal damage.

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Broken arrays Physically or Logically Damaged Drives within the Array Missing Volume Tables Corrupted RAID Configurations Lost container Volume Corruption Multiple Disk Failure Controller Failure Server Configuration Lost Missing Container RAID Container Crash Raid Addition of incompatible drives RAID array or volumes that won't mount after a server crash Multiple drive failure (or multiple drives go offline) Rebuild failure RAID1 RAID0 RAID5 Exchange Program Failure Exchange Boot Problems Information stores are above 16Gb Limit Running Out of Disk Space Hard Drive Corruptions Within The Main Exchange Files Partition Table Errors Transaction Logs Filling Up Diskspace Jet Errors File Size Over 16Gb Limit ESE97 Error Codes Remote Access Service (RAS) Errors Malicious Deletion of Data CRC error Hard drive is clicking or ticking Hard drive beeps Primary Hard Disk not found. Press F1 to Continue Master Boot Record Not Found JET_errRecordNotFound JET_errKeyDuplicate Illegal duplicate key JET_errReadVerifyFailure Read verification error 4294966278 Unable to mount database Corruption in Database Corrupt or improper database backups Accidental Deletion of virtual drive, used for hosting database (edb, stm) Human Error Cannot boot ipod Invalid partition table entries Invalid sector Cannot find file or program Invalid command.com CRC error ipod is clicking or ticking IPOD beeps Cannot access because a disk error occurred The disk cannot be accessed Segment Loader Error No such volume Bad file name Not a Macintosh disk Bad master directory block Drive not installed Directory not found Not an HFS volume Cannot access because a disk error occurred. This disk is unreadable by this computer. Do you want to initialise the disk? The disk cannot be accessed because a disk error occurred Segment Loader Error No such volume Bad file name