RAID Recovery™
Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays
Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays
Last updated: May 02, 2024

How to Repair a Failed RAID?

RAID storage might be different from single-drive storage in terms of storage space and redundancy, but just as you can have failed single-drive storage, you can also have failed RAID storage. RAID drives fail for the same reasons single-drive storage devices fail, and when this happens, you will need to repair or replace the failed RAID drive and also proceed to rebuild the array.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID), is a widely adopted modern storage technology that offers data redundancy and unique advantages depending on the array you set up. Also, you can set up hardware or software RAID: hardware RAID uses an external controller device, while software RAID depends on the host PC’s hardware resources. 

But, whether you set up hardware or software RAID, the chances of your RAID setup failing are almost the same for all RAID types. RAID fail when one or more drives in the array stop responding or the RAID controller goes bad (in hardware RAID). Making RAID recovery plans is advisable as that would be your bait in critical RAID failure situations.

How to Repair your RAID

Although some RAID levels offer high redundancy, you should set up regular backups for your RAID data. This way, you can easily recover the RAID data even when the worst scenario occurs. But, if you couldn’t make a backup of your RAID data before the array failed, try not to keep writing new data to the RAID to avoid overwriting the “lost” data. 

Note: The best way to detect a faulty RAID drive is by checking your RAID monitor software for disks with the “Offline” status. Disconnect the offline disk(s) and run a check to determine what went wrong – physical damage, logical volume error, or human error.

Steps to Repair/Rebuild a RAID Array

Repairing or rebuilding a RAID array using DiskInternals RAID Recovery involves several crucial steps. DiskInternals RAID Recovery is designed to help recover data from a failed or damaged RAID array, and it can also assist in rebuilding the array if the configuration is lost or corrupted. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

1. Download and Install DiskInternals RAID Recovery

  • Start by downloading DiskInternals RAID Recovery tool.
  • Install the software on a computer that can connect to the RAID drives. It’s best to perform this on a system other than the one where the RAID operates, to avoid further data loss.

2. Connect the RAID Drives

  • Ensure all RAID drives are connected to the computer. If the RAID was originally configured in a hardware RAID setup, you might need a compatible RAID controller.
  • For software RAID setups, simply connecting the drives to the motherboard or through external enclosures should suffice.

3. Launch DiskInternals RAID Recovery

  • Open the software. The user interface should guide you through the initial setup process.
  • The software may automatically detect the RAID type and configuration. If not, you’ll need to manually input the RAID parameters.

4. Scan the RAID Drives

  • Use the software to scan the RAID array. There are typically options for a quick scan and a full scan. Choose the full scan if the quick scan fails to find your files or if the RAID structure is severely damaged.
  • This process can take a considerable amount of time, especially for larger arrays or slower drives.

5. Review Found Data and Reconstruct RAID

  • Once the scan is complete, browse through the found data. DiskInternals RAID Recovery provides a way to preview files before recovery.
  • If you need to reconstruct the RAID, follow the software prompts to rebuild the RAID configuration. This is crucial if the RAID metadata is lost or corrupted.

6. Recover and Save Data

  • Select the files or entire partitions that you want to recover.
  • Choose a safe location to save the recovered data. It’s important to save the data to another drive that’s not part of the RAID array to prevent data overwriting.

7. Verify the Recovery

  • After the recovery process, verify the integrity of the recovered data by checking if the files open and operate as expected.
  • If the RAID array itself needs to be back in use, test the reconstructed RAID configuration thoroughly before putting it back into production.

8. Backup Your Data

  • Once recovery and verification are complete, consider implementing a robust backup strategy to avoid future data loss situations. Regular backups can significantly mitigate the impact of RAID failures.

Recovery by RAID Configuration Type

Recovering data from RAID arrays depends significantly on the type of RAID configuration, as each configuration has its own structure and level of redundancy. Here’s how you can approach recovery for different RAID configurations using DiskInternals RAID Recovery:

RAID 0 Recovery

RAID 0 (striping) has no redundancy, which means data recovery can be complex and may not always be successful. Recovery typically requires all drives in the array to be functioning:

  • Connect all drives to your PC or recovery workstation.
  • Launch DiskInternals RAID Recovery and select the RAID 0 configuration.
  • Scan for data. Use a full scan to try to reconstruct the striped data across the drives.
  • Recover data to another storage device. Ensure that the destination is not part of the RAID array.

RAID 1 Recovery

RAID 1 (mirroring) stores identical copies of data on two or more drives, which simplifies recovery if one drive fails:

  • Connect the functioning drives from the RAID 1 array.
  • Use DiskInternals RAID Recovery to scan the drive(s).
  • Since RAID 1 is a mirror, you should be able to recover nearly all data from any one of the drives.
  • Recover files to a different drive.

RAID 5 Recovery

RAID 5 uses block-level striping with parity, allowing recovery if one drive fails. The process becomes complicated if more than one drive fails:

  • Connect all the drives from the RAID 5 setup (if a single drive has failed, all others are needed).
  • Start DiskInternals RAID Recovery and configure it for RAID 5.
  • Perform a full scan to reconstruct the data using the parity information.
  • Recover the data to an external drive or another safe location.

RAID 6 Recovery

RAID 6 extends RAID 5 by adding another parity block, thus allowing recovery from the failure of two drives:

  • Ensure all functioning drives are connected (you can afford to lose up to two drives).
  • Set up the recovery tool for RAID 6.
  • Execute a full scan, which will use the dual parity to attempt a reconstruction of lost data.
  • Carry out data recovery to a separate, secure storage medium.

RAID 10 (0+1) Recovery

RAID 10 combines mirroring and striping, offering enhanced performance and redundancy. Recovery can be successful even if multiple drives fail, as long as no mirrored pair is completely lost:

  • Connect the RAID 10 drives to your computer.
  • Configure DiskInternals RAID Recovery for RAID 10.
  • Scan the drives. The software will need to figure out the striping and mirroring configuration.
  • Recover the files to a different drive to ensure data integrity.

In all cases, if the RAID controller is what failed and the drives are fine, simply reconnecting the drives to a functioning RAID controller or directly to a motherboard (for software RAID setups) might allow access to the data without needing intensive recovery procedures. If you encounter difficulties or if critical data is at risk, consider professional data recovery services as they offer specialized expertise and tools that enhance the chances of successful recovery.

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