Data Recovery Software For Corrupted RAID Arrays
Has your RAID storage system crashed and it doesn’t work anymore? Have you lost data because of a RAID controller error or motherboard issues? Have several disks within your array failed and you can’t restore RAID automatically? Is a RAID rebuilding process frozen and your RAID crashed?
This program recovers data from non-operational RAID systems or from disks within such systems. It reads all the information about the controller, the motherboard or the software used to create a disk array. Our product can rebuild the crashed RAID and it lets you copy all critical information from there.
The integrated constructor wizard helps you recover a failing RAID in a step-by-step mode. You can use one of the presets or chose the required data in the damaged array, and RAID Recovery™ will collect the disks together to provide you with access to the data.
Why RAID gets damaged
Recover software or hardware RAID of any type: JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 50, RAID 6, RAID 60, etc.
Hard disk failure
Both hard disk types, HDD and SSD, have a limited operational life. Certainly, server-type NAS or SCSI disks can last longer than their SATA counterparts intended for home use only, but there is no such thing as a hard disk that works endlessly. For most RAID arrays, the day when one or two disks fail means loss of all information, from all disks within this array. Reliability of the entire array decreases with every disk which is added to it.
Accidental array rebuilding
Mistakes when replacing one of the disks within the storage system, accidental “rebuilding” of the array instead of “restoring” it, disconnecting and reconnecting the disks in a wrong order, incorrect RAID initialization or rebuild – any of these things will certainly result in the loss of information. After such errors, RAID can’t restore itself automatically.
A controller bug or failure
A controller is the element containing information of critical importance which is vital for building a disk array and gaining access to all of the files stored on the disks. A controller failure may both result in losing service data and cause several disks to fail. The most expensive controllers use an additional battery and non-volatile memory. Such elements improve the whole system’s reliability and are supposed to help save data even if a power interruption occurs.
A motherboard failure
Creating a RAID based on specific motherboard features is a cheaper (though less reliable) solution in comparison with buying an expensive controller. Motherboard failures, botched BIOS updates, low CMOS battery, power surges, disconnecting or reconnecting disks – all these things may cause your RAID to crash. As the entire system is very sensitive to all kinds of power issues, problems with your power supply unit may cause crashes as well.
A system crash
Software RAID systems based on the functionality offered by an operating system – Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, Ubuntu – depend largely on the health of that operating system. Upgrading your hardware, or updating other software may cause errors that prevent the computer from booting and make the data inside such array inaccessible.
Unlike hardware RAID systems, the software-based arrays are made of logical partitions rather than physical disks. Operations that involve formatting or removing partitions can easily destroy such array.
A virus attack
Both software and hardware solutions store information about the RAID structure on every disk within the array. A virus attack may not only damage system files and prevent the operating system from booting, but also modify the disk partition table or overwrite the disk area which stores data vitally important for the RAID to work properly. Any of these nasty things will make the array inoperable.
Usually, when there is an attempt to write information to a faulty sector, RAID will enter the data on such sector into a special table so that it doesn’t get used any longer, and will use a free sector for writing. However, everything changes when one of the disks within the array breaks down. To continue work, you need to replace the disk and rebuild the array. The process of automatic recovery reads all the data from the remaining disks to recreate the data from the missing disk. Such recovery can’t be accomplished when there is at least one bad sector.
Upgrading the storage system or other equipment
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers give you the opportunity to move to new hardware without having to rebuild your RAID. To prevent loss of data, you have to copy all of that from the old array, then create an array with the new hardware, and finally transfer the data to this new RAID. This procedure applies to situations when you are upgrading controllers, motherboards, hard disks – and even operating systems, if you prefer using a software-based RAID.
Initializing RAID without disks, and connecting a disk to another system
When one of the disks within the array is connected to another piece of equipment or computer, it may cause its service information to be overwritten. When such disk is reconnected to your RAID again, the system doesn’t start and it just fails.
Disks should be connected and disconnected only with the storage system powered off. If you attempt to start a computer with some of its disks missing, RAID will switch into an emergency mode, and reconnecting the disks to the array will not help to restore the situation back to normal.
What our product can do
RAID Recovery™ is a versatile solution to restore RAID systems to working condition and recover data lost after RAID crashes. You don’t have to be an advanced user, a software engineer, or a recovery expert to use this program effectively.
RAID Constructor Wizard
Restoring an inoperable RAID is quite a difficult task even for an engineer with a solid background in data recovery, but with our product, even novice users will have a chance.
Restoring RAID with system data
In fact, a lot of service information is written to the disks included into a RAID system: what disks make up the array, in what order they are connected to the controller, the RAID type, block size and the procedure of writing blocks, number of disk groups, and the data on the array size.
Having collected all the available information from the system and connected disks, the utility displays the automatically built arrays immediately, as soon as the program starts. In most cases, the program manages to restore RAID on the fly and suggests you to analyze the identified partitions and save any available data.
In this mode, the program asks you to give the number of disks within the array and specify the disks. After that, it searches through all possible combinations of these disks that can be used to build a RAID system.
For every valid combination, the program tries to find the file system structure – logical partitions, a directory tree and files. If typical file system elements are found, the utility suggests saving such configuration and using it to search and recover files.
This approach lets you restore a RAID even if you don’t know the block size, RAID type and rules of writing blocks to disks. However, processing all possible combinations for 6 and more disks may take a very long time.
Presets for popular system types
The program contains possible array combinations used by popular controller manufacturers, as well as patterns applied by software-based or combined RAID systems. Using the data on the hardware manufacturer, our utility can reduce both the number of combinations it needs to explore and the time required to find the right configuration.
Restoring any RAID in manual mode
With manual mode, you can create a storage system of any configuration. The program will ask you for RAID type, the disks it used to consist of, and their order, as well as for additional information such as parity group offset, parity delay, and block size. This mode is designed for professionals and lets you specify data about the crashed RAID in a fastest and most accurate way. Optional settings will be selected automatically by the system.
Our program supports disk arrays created both with the help of the features offered by the specific operating system or motherboard, and with specialized controllers / external storage solutions provided by various manufacturers.
Disk array types:
- JBOD – combining several disks sequentially into one larger logical one. When one disk is full, data will be written to another one. This array type is used to increase available space. It requires at least 2 (two) disks.
- RAID 0 – striping the data written to blocks across two disks or more. This array type is used to increase available space and gain faster access time. At least 2 (two) disks are required.
- RAID 1 – mirroring (copying) data to all disks within the array. This array type is designed to protect data from loss caused by disk failures. At least 2 (two) disks are required.
- RAID 10 (1 + 0). At least 4 (four) disks are required.
- RAID 1E (1 + 0 combined, striped mirroring). At least 3 (three) disks are required.
- RAID 5 – data striping with saving checksums (parity). It can restore itself automatically even if 2 (two) disks fail. The idea is to gain a disk performance boost, more disk space, and protect data against loss. At least 3 (three) disks are required.
- RAID 50 (5 + 0). At least 6 (six) disks are required.
- RAID 5E and 5EE (types similar to RAID 5, but with an extra hot spare drive sitting next to the array waiting for a drive to fail). The difference between 5EE and 5E is that the former array includes a hot spare drive that is actively used in the array operations. At least 4 (four) disks are required.
- RAID 6 – data striping with double parity. It can restore itself automatically even if 2 (two) disks fail. RID 6 is used to increase disk space, boost read and write speeds, and improve reliability over the level provided by RAID 5. At least 4 (four) disks are required.
- RAID 60 (6 + 0). At least 8 (eight) disks are required.
- RAID 2 combines two groups of disks, one containing data and the other containing error correcting code. It is based on Hamming code and is relevant for systems combining large numbers of disks. At least 3 (three) disks are required.
- RAID 3 is similar to RAID 5, but with one drive allocated to store drive parity information instead of striping parity across all drives. This, however, means more wear and tear for the parity drive. This level uses blocks of 1 (one) byte.
- RAID 4 – the successor of RAID 3, their difference being that now the block size can exceed 1 (one) byte.
RAID controller manufacturers:
- Silicon image;
Manufacturers offering motherboards with RAID support:
Where software-based RAID is possible:
Creating and scanning a disk image
When working with failing disks (which contain bad sectors), there are high chances to lose all data altogether while trying to read information from the disk. For safety reasons, it’s better to create a disk copy, as recovering RAID data is a long process that involves multiple operations to access the disk contents.
Our utility lets you create an image of any storage device / media or a separate logical partition. At any time later, you can open this image in the program and continue the process of rebuilding RAID and recovering its data. RAID Recovery™ supports both creating images in its own format (*.dsk), and handling the following image file types: *.hdd, *.vdi, *.vhd, *.vhdx, *.vmdk.
Recovering deleted files from RAID systems
Our program can recover accidentally deleted files from disk arrays, and any data lost after emptying the Recycle / Trash Bin in Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris systems. Scan a logical partition or the entire RAID, and it will show you the files it can find and recover.
You can view the file contents and make sure they can be recovered, and register the program only after you know what to expect. Finding the necessary files is much easier with the integrated filtering, sorting and search features.
Data recovery after formatting or deleting a partition within RAID
Our program can find deleted files even when the file system structure is shattered to pieces. Scanning the disk entirely, RAID Recovery™ finds the boot sector (and all of its copies), partition table, root directory, logs and information on the files deleted from, or existing on the disk.
Using all this data, the utility rebuilds the file and folder structure and then displays it as if it were a commonplace file manager. If all service information is erased, file contents can be recovered by running a signature search across the disk.
Recovering incomplete RAID sets
Usually, RAID systems are designed with the ability to restore themselves if one of the disks fails. Of all the variety, only RAID 6/60 can be rebuilt after two disks get out of order. Yet we often need to restore the missing information after two or more disks are lost, partially or completely.
Such a scenario means that most part of the file system data is gone, as well as a part of the data that makes up the contents of large files. Our utility will unite the data which remained intact on the disks within the array, and do it by calculating the missing parts with the use of special formulas from the parity blocks. The blocks with missing information will be replaced with empty ones, and this will let the program rebuild the array and restore the data.
When a RAID is restored, the file system structure needs to be read to enable data recovery. Our utility supports the following file systems:
- FAT/ExFAT. The file system commonly found in USB pen drives and memory cards on Windows / Apple / Linux / Android.
- NTFS. The frequently used file system for both system disks and common disks in Windows.
- ReFS. The file system found in Windows servers.
- APFS. The file system used by Apple devices with macOS High Sierra 10.13 and newer.
- HFS+. An outdated file system you can see on iMac, MacBook, MacMini, etc.
- Ext/ReiserFS/XFS. This one is used in Linux operating systems.
- UFS. This is the main file system for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris.
This utility is designed for Windows. To recover a disk with a different file system which is typical for another OS, you need to connect it to a Windows computer. Our program supports the following Windows operating systems for servers: Server 2019 / 2016 / 2012 / 2008 / 2003 / 2000 and workstations running Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP.
Questions and answers
👨💻 After a power failure, the NAS storage controller went dead. How can I bring my data back?
To recover data from a network storage, you need to take out the disks and connect them to the computer. After that, start the utility and select the disks that used to make up the RAID system.
The utility will analyze the disks to calculate the settings which were used to create that array. After recovering a damaged RAID, you can copy all data from there, and search for deleted files right inside the RAID array.
✔️ What RAID types can it recover?
Hetman RAID Recovery can restore hardware RAID systems of any type: JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 50, RAID 6, RAID 60, etc. It also supports RAID arrays created in Windows, macOS and Linux systems.
🆘 One of the disks within a RAID system is out of order, and I can’t access the array. How can I recover my data?
Hetman RAID Recovery can restore data both from healthy RAID systems, and from separate disks within such arrays. Even if some of the disks within the array are damaged and unreadable, this utility lets you read the information which still remains on the other disks.
⌛ If I pay for the program now, how long will it take before I receive my registration data?
It depends on the payment method you use. If you order online with your credit card or PayPal, you will receive the registration key immediately after payment.
What are the requirements for successful data recovery?
For successful recovery, you must stop using the storage device until the necessary files are fully restored.
If it is an external drive, memory card or flash drive, then connect it to the PC and analyze them using our program.
If the data is deleted as a result of formatting the system disk, resetting the operating system or reinstalling Windows, then stop further installation of the operating system and programs. Connect the drive to another computer and perform recovery operations.
Recovered files must be saved to a different drive.
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