How to Create a RAID 5 System With LVM Tool and Recover Data After Failures

In this guide, we’ll explore the methods applied to create a software LVM RAID in Linux. Also, we will show you a simple solution to recover any data lost from an LV RAID 5 system as a result of accidental removal or unexpected drive failure.

How to Create a RAID 5 System With LVM Tool and Recover Data After Failures

Introduction

LVM RAID is a method to create a logical volume (LV) which uses several physical disks to improve performance or fault tolerance. Within LVM, physical disks (abbreviated as PV, physical volumes) belong to one volume group (VG).

Although it is much safer to use MD RAID, if you really need to migrate from conventional disks to a RAID system without having to change their file systems, this method can be very useful.

Allocating information with blocks of logical volume data on physical disks is determined by a specific RAID type. Check the video link below for some basic information about various types of disk arrays.

Go to view
🐧 How to Recover Data from Linux-Based Software RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 🐧

🐧 How to Recover Data from Linux-Based Software RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 🐧

LVM RAID technology uses Device Mapper (DM) and Multiple Device (MD) drivers from Linux kernel.

DM is used to create and manage visible LVM devices, while MD is used to allocate data onto physical devices.

LVM creates hidden logical volumes (DM devices), kind of placed between the visible volumes (known as LV, logical volumes) and physical devices.

Now let’s see how to create a RAID 5 system with 5 hard disks combined into a single group of logical volumes.

How to Format Disks and Create a Virtual Group for LV RAID

Use the command lvcreate to create an LV RAID.

Type the command.

If there is no LVM (Logical Volume Manager) tool on your computer yet, install it first. Follow the link below to check our special video for details.

Go to view
🏆 Как восстановить данные удаленные с LVM разделов диска в Linux

🏆 Как восстановить данные удаленные с LVM разделов диска в Linux

Install the manager with the help of the command prompt tool in charge of interacting with the package management system. Type the following command: sudo apt install lvm2.

Install the Manager with the apt command.

Perform all actions from the superuser account. For this purpose, type the command sudo -i. It will remove the requirement to enter the password every time.

This simple step saves you the trouble of having to type the password.

After that, use the disk utility or Terminal to allocate the disk space. Just select the necessary file system type and start the process of formatting the drives.

Specify the name and set the file system.

With the Terminal, use a special system command fdisk /dev/sdb.

Type directions to format the drive.

Before the format process starts, make sure you have chosen the right drive, because this operation will make all data on the selected drive disappear (the operating system will erase it.

Specify the format settings by typing the following attributes, one by one:

  • n – to create a new partition,
  • p – to set the partition value as primary,
  • 1 – to assign a partition number.

After that, press the Enter key twice to agree with the size of the first and the last sector.

Enter all attributes.

Now let’s deal with LVM settings. Apply the following attributes, each in its own line:

  • t – to start the process of modifying the type of the new partition,
  • 8e – to set the value for LVM.
Setting a new value.

Make sure that the new partition is of the required type. In the command prompt, type the attribute p. The operating system will process your request and show the data in the form of a table. The device will be marked with the value sdb1 and have the system type Linux LVM. After that, record the changes with the attribute w. Repeat this procedure for all unformatted drives and allocate their disk space.

Check and record the new settings.

Our further actions will be intended to create a physical volume in the new partition. Type the command pvcreate /dev/sdb1.

Create a new volume.

Repeat the command for every drive, replacing the value sdb1 with the corresponding drive names (sdc1, sdd1, sde1, sdf1).

Perform all commands one by one.

Now combine all the drives into one group. In the command prompt, type vgcreate, listing the created disks. In our example, the command looks like this: vgcreate vg1 /dev/sdb1 dev/sdc1 dev/sdd1 dev/sde1 dev/sdf1. The attribute vg1 is the name of a new volume group.

Combine the drives into one group.

How to Create a Software LVM RAID 5

The process of creating a software RAID 5 suggests running a simple command in the Terminal:

lvcreate -n lvr5 –type raid5 -L 10G -i 4 vg1

An example of the command.

In our example, the command contains the following attributes:

  • -n – to assign a name to the volume.
  • –type raid5 – to set the array type.
  • -L – to set a size limit for the logical volume (in our example, its size is 10 GB).
  • -i – to indicate the number of devices involved to store user data. It doesn’t include an additional device to store parity blocks, though. The number you give should be 2 or more, because the minimum requirement for this array type is three disks.
  • vg1 – to tell the operating system where to take the required disk space from (specify a particular volume or an entire group).

After the command is performed successfully, the process of rebuilding a RAID 5 system in an LVM virtual group is over. The last step is to format the array and mount it. For RAID 5, we select the ext4 format. Type the command:

mkfs -t ext4 /dev/vg1/lvr5

Start the format process.

This command contains information on the file system we have selected – ext4, the group name – vg1, and the volume name lvr5.

Now mount the new disk array. Type the command mkdir /mnt/lvr5, and follow it with mount -t ext4 /dev/vg1/lvr5 /mnt/lvr5.

Mounting the array.

When these commands are performed, the selected volume will be mounted.

The selected volume is mounted.

How to Check the Status of an LVM RAID

Run the following command to check the LVM RAID status:

lvs -a -o name,copy_percent,devices vg1

Type the command to check the status.

Here you can view the information that includes data on the devices and groups involved.

The required data is displayed in the form of a table.

How to Recover Data Lost from an LVM Array

If you lost important data and it needs to be recovered, try a specialized recovery tool from Hetman Software. The product you need is Hetman RAID Recovery.

Recover data from damaged RAID arrays inaccessible from a computer.

This software solution supports recovery of lost files from almost all known RAID types. The program lets you recover the lost data easily and quickly, and it doesn’t require special skills or professional background. Unfortunately, it is impossible to install this tool onto a Linux computer. However, it can identify and interact with all main file systems which are used in Linux, Unix, MacOS, and Windows. Also, the program can find and fix various software logical errors which enables it to recover as many user files as possible.

When it is mission-critical to use Hetman RAID Recovery in Linux, here are the three methods to choose from. Start a virtual machine; install Windows as your second operating system, or connect the faulty drives to the computer where Windows is installed as the primary operating system.

As you start it, the program automatically finds and identifies properties of the LVM RAID and displays all the available information about the array.

Information about the array.

To learn more, right-click on the storage device and select Properties in the context menu. Otherwise, use the key shortcut Alt + Enter.

Go to the array properties menu.

In the RAID tab of the Properties window you can see various information about this array. For example, view the disks that make it up, their serial numbers, size and block order. This information will come in handy when you are going to build an array manually in the RAID Constructor. That is why it is important to memorize the RAID settings in some way while you are creating it.

Information about the selected array.

To have your data recovered, run a quick scan first. Right-click on the disk icon, and then select Open.

The management menu appears.

In the new recovery wizard window, check the option for Fast scan. After that, click Next.

Fast scan.

The program will analyze the storage device, identify lost data and display deleted files, labeling them with a red cross.

Deleted elements are displayed.

If the quick scan failed to identify the files you are looking for, try Full analysis.

Running a full analysis for your storage.

After that, select the elements you want to recover. Click on the Recovery button.

Select the elements to recover.

Specify a directory to save the recovered files. Click Recovery again.

Save the previously lost elements.

The files you have selected will be recovered and placed into the directory of your choice.

How to Recover Lost Information From an LV RAID, If Two Drives are Out of Order

Even with two drives down, Hetman RAID Recovery was able to identify the array type and provide all relevant information about it.

Two drives have failed.

After a quick scan, all the discovered elements are displayed in a separate window. However, most of them are damaged.

Most elements are damaged.

After running full analysis, the recovery wizard was able to display more healthy files.

Full analysis results.

Select the elements you need, then click Recovery.

The elements to save.

Now set the directory for saving the files, and click Recovery again.

Save the elements with your preferences.

All the selected files will be saved instantly according to the settings you prefer.

If the program couldn’t detect your RAID automatically, use the built-in specialized tool – RAID Constructor.

Start the Constructor app.

To use it, you need to know all the information about the array – and you can find the data in the Properties window of your RAID system.

Conclusion

LVM is one of the many Linux technologies to give you more flexibility in managing disk space. When combined with the RAID technology, it offers good protection against data loss and an easy way to store, manage and share data.

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices. Read more

Recommended For You