RAID Recovery™
Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays
Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays
Last updated: May 06, 2024

RAID Disaster Data Recovery

RAID disaster recovery refers to the tools and techniques employed to recover data from a RAID array when there are failed drives on the array. PC users and IT experts prefer RAID storage because it offers more benefits over single-drive storage, but RAID storage is not totally formidable against data loss scenarios – yes, some RAID levels may offer redundancy, but it’s limited.

Preparing ahead for RAID disaster recovery is advised for anyone using RAID storage technology. Of course, making regular differential or incremental backups is part of the “preparing ahead” tips you should take seriously. Nevertheless, there are quite a number of tools for recovering data and files from a RAID drive. This article explains everything you should know about recovering files from RAID levels.

Understanding RAID

RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into one or more logical units for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both. There are several different levels of RAID, each designed to provide different balances of performance, data redundancy, and storage capacity. Here’s a brief overview of the most commonly used RAID levels:

RAID Levels – What Exactly Are They?

Firstly, RAID is the acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks; it is a storage technology that allows for the combination of multiple individual hard drives (HDDs or SSDs) to form an “array” with the aim of achieving more storage, data resilience & redundancy, or faster read & write speeds.

RAID Levels refer to the different types of RAID setups, each offering unique advantages, and of course, disadvantages too. Commonly used RAID levels are RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10. These RAID levels store data in different manners and offer different benefits, which makes them perfect for specific use cases. RAID levels can be set up as software or hardware RAID.

RAID 0 offers data striping in bits and does not offer any sort of redundancy, which means if a drive fails in the array, the entire data it stores would be gone. On the other hand, RAID 1 offers data mirroring across all member drives, which means that until the last drive in the array fails, you can still access your complete files and data from the RAID.

But, RAID 5 & 6 are a bit different; while they offer data stripping, they include dedicated drives for storing parity information. For example, RAID 5 integrates one parity drive, so, if one of the data drives fails in RAID 5, once the drive is replaced with a good one, the RAID will automatically rebuild itself and no data would be lost. However, if two drives fail at once, all files will be lost.

In RAID 6, two parity drives are used, which means the array can survive two simultaneous drive failures. If there are more than two simultaneous drive failures, the RAID will lose all data it stores.

Having said all this, while RAID may offer data redundancy to an extent, it is neither sureproof nor failsafe, so, playing for RAID disaster recovery scenarios should always be a top priority to anyone using this storage pattern.

RAID Data Recovery Techniques in the Face of Disaster

Hardware RAID Disaster Recovery

Hardware RAID setups are identified as such because an external RAID controller was used to create the RAID array. When a hardware RAID fails, it’s either the disks or the controller that went bad (the two may go bad at the same time). However, when this scenario occurs, it is important to check and diagnose the RAID controller while also checking the disks.

If the RAID controller goes bad, you need to buy a controller with the same specs and features as the damaged one to rebuild the array. Similarly, if it was a disk that went bad, you must replace the bad disk(s) and rebuild the array. Data can be recovered from the failed RAID disk(s) using a professional RAID recovery software.

Software RAID Disaster Recovery

In software RAIDs, data recovery can be done using software programs. This type of RAID setup is identified as such because no external RAID controller was used, instead, the RAID level was created off the host system’s “hardware,” majorly the motherboard and CPU.

Setting up software RAID doesn’t make any RAID level better or worse; if you set up a software RAID 1, it’ll offer the same benefits and challenges as it would have done if you used a hardware RAID controller. When a software RAID fails, it’s mainly the RAID hard drive that needs to be replaced (if it has failed).

Common RAID Disaster Scenarios

Disk Failure Disaster Recovery

If one disk in the array is showing “offline” status in your RAID monitoring program, it could be that the drive has failed. In this case, you will need to replace the drive. In RAID 5 and 6, once you replace a failed drive, the RAID will rebuild automatically and no data will be lost. For other RAID levels, you have to recover your data manually, and also rebuild the array manually.

Controller Failure Disaster Recovery

For hardware RAID users, if the hardware controller fails, you need to replace it with the same controller and rebuild the array manually. Also, there are “redundant controllers” that may offer some level of data protection in times of disaster.

Multiple Disk Failure Disaster Recovery

Depending on the RAID level you have running, multiple simultaneous drive failures will lead to complete data loss. Only RAID 1 can survive multiple drive failures – as long as there’s still one good drive, the RAID will keep working fine. If you lost your data due to multiple drive failures, you can get the data back using a professional RAID recovery program.

RAID Database Disaster Recovery in the Event of a Disaster

Implementing RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) as part of a disaster recovery plan for databases can significantly enhance data availability and resilience in the face of hardware failures. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how RAID can be effectively utilized for disaster recovery in database environments:

1. Understanding RAID's Role in Disaster Recovery

RAID is primarily used to protect against data loss due to disk failure. It is not a standalone solution for disaster recovery but is often a critical component within a broader disaster recovery strategy that may include backups, replication, and failover systems. RAID configurations can ensure that if one or more disks fail, the system can either continue to operate without interruption or quickly recover with minimal data loss.

2. Choosing the Right RAID Level

Selecting the appropriate RAID level depends on the specific requirements for performance, data redundancy, and storage capacity:

  • RAID 1 (Mirroring): Best for applications requiring high data availability. It mirrors data on two or more disks, providing excellent fault tolerance. If a disk fails, the mirrored disk can immediately take over without data loss.
  • RAID 5 and RAID 6 (Striping with Parity/Dual Parity): Suitable for balancing performance with redundancy. These levels distribute data and parity blocks across all disks in the array, allowing the system to reconstruct lost data in the event of a disk failure. RAID 6 offers additional protection by handling the failure of two disks simultaneously.
  • RAID 10 (Mirroring and Striping): Offers high performance and redundancy by combining the features of RAID 0 and RAID 1. It is particularly effective for databases that require both fast read/write operations and high availability.

3. Implementing RAID in Database Systems

  • Hardware vs. Software RAID: Hardware RAID, managed by a dedicated RAID controller card, typically offers better performance and additional features like battery-backed cache. Software RAID, controlled by the operating system, is more flexible and easier to configure but might consume more CPU resources.
  • Disk Selection: Use enterprise-grade disks designed for 24/7 operation and RAID environments. These disks typically have better endurance and error correction features compared to standard consumer disks.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: Regularly monitor RAID arrays for disk failures and degradation. Most RAID controllers offer tools to notify administrators of issues and help manage the rebuilding process.

4. Integrating RAID with Other Disaster Recovery Techniques

  • Regular Backups: RAID does not replace the need for backups. Regularly scheduled backups are crucial to recover from data corruption, user errors, or catastrophic events like fire or flooding.
  • Off-site Replication: For complete disaster recovery, replicate data to an off-site location. This can be done through database replication features or third-party tools, ensuring data availability even if the primary site is completely lost.
  • Testing Disaster Recovery Plans: Regularly test the disaster recovery plan to ensure that all components, including RAID arrays, work as expected in a simulated disaster scenario.
Tipdata recovery from RAID


In conclusion, RAID, as an integral part of disaster recovery strategies, offers significant enhancements in data availability and resilience against hardware malfunctions. While RAID provides various levels of data protection and system performance, it is crucial to remember that it does not wholly eliminate the risk of data loss. Effective use of RAID requires careful planning, including selecting the appropriate RAID level, implementing robust monitoring and maintenance protocols, and integrating RAID configurations with other disaster recovery measures such as regular backups and off-site data replication. These practices ensure that even in the event of multiple drive failures or controller malfunctions, data integrity and system operations can be maintained or quickly restored. Therefore, organizations must not only rely on RAID technology for disaster recovery but also regularly review and test their overall disaster recovery plans to address any potential threats effectively. This comprehensive approach guarantees the highest level of data protection and operational continuity in today's data-driven environments.


  • Is it possible to recover data from RAID?

    However, you cannot directly access or recover data from RAID hard drives. To retrieve lost data, you must first reconstruct or rebuild the RAID configuration, which users often find challenging. Fortunately, numerous third-party data recovery software options are available that can help simplify this process.

  • What is the difference between RAID and data recovery?

    RAID data recovery involves the retrieval or restoration of data from a RAID array that has suffered data loss or malfunction. RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a technology that enhances performance and fault tolerance by utilizing multiple hard drives either separately or in combination.

Related articles

FREE DOWNLOADVer 6.20, WinBUY NOWFrom $249

Please rate this article.
51 reviews