RAID Data Recovery – Software & Hardware

RAID Data Recovery

RAID Data Recovery
RAID Data Recovery

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Data recovery from RAID drives may seem difficult. However, it can be much simplified with the correct RAID recovery tool.

Recover data from RAID arrays with software that has been
relied on by IT professionals and forensic specialists for 18 years.

What is RAID?

The advanced storage system known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) combines two or more disks to offer fault tolerance, increased data security, and quick read/write performance.

However, in order to recover data from a RAID configuration, including its architecture characteristics, it is necessary to rebuild the RAID hard drive. The identification of the RAID array is crucial for the RAID recovery procedure.

To extract and restore data from one or more RAID disks and storage components, it combines automatic and manual data recovery procedures. Both software- and hardware-based RAID can use RAID data recovery.

You may choose the RAID data recovery program that best meets your needs by reviewing the top 6 options in this post along with its features, benefits, and drawbacks.

What Is RAID Recovery?

Data recovery software is often designed to retrieve information from a file system on a variety of storage media, such as hard disks and portable storage. Files and folders are what you can obtain after data recovery.

However, in order to recover data from a RAID configuration, including its architecture characteristics, it is necessary to rebuild the RAID hard drive. The identification of the RAID array is crucial for the RAID recovery procedure.

To extract and restore data from one or more RAID disks and storage components, it combines automatic and manual data recovery procedures. Both software- and hardware-based RAID can use RAID data recovery.

Since the RAID storage design employs a distinct and sophisticated way of storing and extracting data, RAID data recovery is distinct from typical data recovery procedures. Any RAID level, including RAID 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10, can have its data recovered. The need for recovery is typically brought on by technical mistakes like:

Rebuilding all RAID storage arrays to their original or last known good settings and configuration is typically required for RAID recovery. To effectively retrieve data, the person or software must be aware of the RAID setup at the hardware, software, and firmware levels. The RAID recovery technique requires correctly identifying the RAID array.

RAID hardware

Hardware RAID stands for a hardware-based system. The hardware has been built and configured to support the RAID method. Either a RAID card or the motherboard itself might be used to carry it out.

Separate disks are employed in this technology, but the system treats them as one disk. The number of utilised disks and the degree of RAID will determine the RAID drive’s final capacity.

Because parity takes up a lot of space and makes data recovery much easier than at lower levels, the higher the RAID number, the lower the disk’s effective capacity will typically be.

The resultant capacity will be higher than when they would be utilized in a RAID 6 drive, for instance, if the same number of disks with the same capacity are used in RAID 0.

RAID Software

RAID drives are not required to be initially set up as a RAID drive with software RAID, as the name suggests, is created by software. To better control every piece of hardware in a computer system, there exist programs like the Device Manager. Now that software and programming are so advanced, we are able to use them to control how hardware functions.

Allocating space on many disks to create a virtual RAID drive creates a software RAID.

A hardware controller is advised even though RAID 5 can be accomplished in software. These controllers frequently employ additional cache memory to increase writing performance.

All joined spaces will then be recognized by the computer as a single disk or drive. All of the components of a software RAID will function as one during computer operations.

Outstanding Features:

  1. Restored files and folders are exported to local or remote locations (including FTP)
  2. Virtual drives can be mounted as local disks accessible by Windows Explorer etc
  3. Windows restrictions are bypassed by the recovery process
  4. Unicode filenames and multi-level folders are supported
  5. Create disk images
  6. Recovers files from corrupted RAID 0, RAID 1, 0+1, 1+0, 1E, RAID 4, RAID 5, 50, 5EE, 5R, RAID 6, RAID 60 and JBOD
  7. Performs file recovery from RAID-enabled motherboard from NVidia, Intel, or VIA.
  8. Partition Recovery are here!
  9. Support of LVM Thin Provision
  10. Support of ZFS with RAIDZ, RAIDZ2
  11. Support of NTFS, ReFS with Deduplication
  12. Support of ReFS Reader, Uneraser and Recovery
  13. Runs on all versions of Windows 7-11, Windows 2003-2019 Server
  14. Restores data from Apple, Linux, NAS, UNIX RAID
  15. Recovers files from Microsoft software RAID (Dynamic Disks), including JBOD (span), RAID 0, 1, and 5.
  16. Designed to recover software and hardware RAID
  17. Manual and automated recovery options. Automated recovery includes a step-by-step recovery wizard.
  18. Recovers files from RAID connected to a dedicated RAID controller like Adaptec, HP, Dell, MegaRAID, Silicon RAID Controllers, and DDF-compatible devices. ZFS with RAIDZ and RAIDZ2 are also supported.
  19. All features of DiskInternal’s Types of RAID

A RAID system has two or more parallel-operating disks. These can be hard drives, but an increasing number of people are using SSD technology instead (Solid State Drives). There are various RAID levels, each of which is best suited for a certain circumstance. An industry association or standardization body does not standardize these. This explains why businesses occasionally create their own distinctive numbers and implementations.

The following RAID levels are covered in this article:

Either a driver or a separate controller card (a hardware RAID controller) can include the software necessary to carry out RAID functionality and manage the disks. Software RAID functionality is present in some Windows versions, including Windows Server 2012 and Mac OS X. Although more expensive than pure software RAID controllers, hardware RAID controllers perform better, especially with RAID 5 and 6.

SATA, SCSI, IDE, or FC are just a few of the interfaces that RAID systems can be employed with (fiber channel.) While some systems include a FireWire or SCSI interface for the host system, others employ SATA disks inside.

JBOD, which stands for Just a Bunch of Disks, is a designation for disks in a storage system that is occasionally used. This indicates that those disks function as stand-alone disks without using a particular RAID level. For drives that house swap files or spooling data, this is frequently done.

An overview of the most prevalent RAID levels is provided below:

RAID level 0 – Striping

RAID level 0 - Striping
RAID level 0 – Striping

In a RAID 0 system, data is divided into blocks and written across all of the array’s devices. This provides better I/O speed by employing many drives (at least 2) concurrently. Using numerous controllers, ideally one per disk, can improve this speed even more.

The benefits of RAID 0 include excellent performance in both read and write operations. The overhead of parity controls does not exist.

Advantages of RAID 0

  • The technology is simple to use;
  • The entire storage capacity is utilized;
  • There is no overhead.

Disadvantages of RAID 0

  • RAID 0’s drawbacks include the fact that it is not fault-tolerant. The RAID 0 array’s data is lost if even one drive fails. For systems that are mission-critical, it shouldn’t be used.

Perfect Use

For non-critical data storage that must be read/written quickly, such as on an image retouching or video editing station, RAID 0 is the best option.

Consider mounting one drive in the folder path of the second drive if you wish to utilize RAID 0 solely to combine the storage capacity of two drives into a single volume. This has the benefit that a single drive failure has no bearing on the data on the second disk or SSD drive and is supported by Linux, OS X, as well as Windows.

RAID Level 1 – Mirroring

RAID Level 1 - Mirroring
RAID Level 1 – Mirroring

By writing data to a mirror drive in addition to the data drive (or collection of data drives), data are saved twice (or set of drives). In the event of a drive failure, the controller continues to operate and retrieve data using either the data drive or the mirror drive. For a RAID 1, you require a minimum of 2 drives.

Advantages of RAID 1

  • Great read and write speeds that are on par with single disk performance.
  • If a drive fails, data only has to be copied to the backup drive; it is not necessary to recreate the data.
  • The RAID 1 technology is pretty straightforward.

Disadvantages of RAID 1

  • The disadvantage is that while all data is written twice, the effective storage capacity is just half that of the overall drive capacity.
  • Hot swapping of a failing drive is not always possible with software RAID 1 solutions.

Therefore, replacing the faulty drive requires shutting down the computer to which it is linked.

This could not be appropriate for servers that are being accessed concurrently by multiple users. Typically, these systems employ hardware controllers that facilitate hot swapping.

Perfect Use

For example, mission-critical storage for accounting systems is best served by RAID-1. It is also appropriate for small systems with just two data drives.

RAID level 5 – Parity-based striping

The most popular secure RAID level is RAID 5. At least three drives are needed, however up to sixteen can be used. A parity checksum of all the block data is copied to one device, and data blocks are striped across the drives.

As seen in the drawing below, the parity data are distributed over all drives rather than being written to a single fixed disk. If one of the other data blocks’ data is no longer available, the computer can recalculate it using the parity data.

In other words, a RAID 5 array may survive a single disk failure without losing data or the ability to access data. Although software can be used to implement RAID 5, a hardware controller is advised. On these controllers, additional cache memory is frequently employed to increase write performance.

Advantages of RAID 5

  • Read data transactions are extremely quick, whereas write data transactions are a little slower (due to the parity that has to be calculated).
  • If a drive malfunctions, you may still access all of your data while a replacement drive is being installed and the storage controller is rebuilding the data on the replacement drive.

Disadvantages of RAID 5

  • Drive failures affect throughput, however this is still tolerable.
  • This technology is sophisticated. Depending on the load on the array and the speed of the controller, rebuilding the data when a 4TB disk fails and needs to be replaced could take a day or more. Data are lost forever if another disk fails at that time.

Perfect Use

A good all-around solution, RAID 5 combines effective storage with top-notch security and passable performance. It is perfect for file and application servers with few data drives.

RAID level 6 Striping with double parity

Similar to RAID 5, RAID 6 writes the parity data to two disks.

That means it needs at least 4 drives and is capable of handling 2 drives failing at once. Of course, there are extremely little odds that two drives will fail simultaneously.

It takes hours or even more than a day to rebuild the swapped drive in a RAID 5 system, however, if a drive dies and is replaced by a new drive. During that time, if another drive fails, you still lose all of your data. Even that second failure will not destroy the RAID array when using RAID 6.

Advantages of RAID 6

  • Like with RAID 5, read data transactions are very fast.
  • If two drives fail, you still have access to all data, even while the failed drives are being replaced. So RAID 6 is more secure than RAID 5.

Disadvantages of RAID 6

  • Write data transactions are slower than RAID 5 due to the additional parity data that have to be calculated. In one report I read the write performance was 20% lower.
  • Drive failures have an effect on throughput, although this is still acceptable.
  • This is complex technology. Rebuilding an array in which one drive failed can take a long time.

Perfect use

A good all-around system, RAID 6 combines effective storage with top-notch security and passable performance. In file and application servers that use numerous big disks for data storage, it is preferred over RAID 5.

 RAID level 10 – combining RAID 1 & RAID 0

RAID level 10 – combining RAID 1 & RAID 0
RAID level 10 – combining RAID 1 & RAID 0

The advantages (and disadvantages) of RAID 0 and RAID 1 can be combined into a single system. This RAID setup is nested or hybrid. By mirroring all data on secondary drives and applying striping across each pair of disks to speed up data transfers, it improves security.

Benefits of RAID 10 Copying all the data from the remaining mirror to a new drive is all that is required for a rebuild in the event that one of the disks in a RAID 10 configuration fails. For drives with 1 TB of storage, this might finish in as little as 30 minutes.

Combining RAID 1 & RAID 0

Advantages of RAID 10

•        If a disk in a RAID 10 configuration malfunctions, the rebuild process can be completed extremely quickly because all that is required is copying the data from the remaining mirror to a new drive. For drives with 1 TB of storage, this might finish in as little as 30 minutes.

Disadvantages of RAID 10

  • Mirroring uses half of the storage space, making it more expensive than huge RAID 5 or RAID 6 arrays to provide redundancy.

What about RAID levels 2, 3, 4 and 7?

There are these levels, although they are not very prevalent (RAID 3 is essentially like RAID 5 but with the parity data always written to the same drive). This is only a brief overview of RAID systems.

RAID is no substitute for back-ups!

Except for RAID 0, all RAID levels provide protection from a single drive failure. Even when two drives fail simultaneously, a RAID 6 system still functions. You still need to back up the data kept on a RAID system for total security.

  • Back-ups can be kept off-site at a different location. This can come in handy if a natural disaster or fire destroys your workplace
  • That back-up will come in handy if all drives fail simultaneously because of a power spike.
  • It is a safeguard when the storage system gets stolen.
  • The most important reason to back-up multiple generations of data is user error. If someone accidentally deletes some important data and this goes unnoticed for several hours, days, or weeks, a good set of back-ups ensure you can still retrieve those files.

What people are also asking

What is RAID Recovery?

The practice of recovering and restoring data from a RAID storage architecture or infrastructure is known as RAID data recovery. To extract and restore data from one or more RAID disks and storage components, it combines automatic and manual data recovery procedures.

How do I recover a failed RAID?

6 Steps to Rebuild a Failed RAID Array

  1. Prepare the array. Determine and secure the current state of an array; label the drives, wires, cables, ports, controller configuration, etc.
  2. Connect it to the Controller.
  3. Recover Array Parameters.
  4. Rebuild New Array.
  5. Write Data to New Array.
  6. Copy Data Back.

Can you recover data from a RAID drive?

The data is lost when a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) array malfunctions or becomes corrupted, rendering the RAID volume unusable. However, you cannot access or retrieve data on RAID hard drives separately, unlike standard drives. To recover lost data, you must rebuild or recreate the RAID configuration.

How do I recover a failed RAID?

For single-user systems running lengthy record applications, RAID 3 performs well. Block-level striping and parity are used in RAID 5 data recovery and RAID 6 data recovery. RAID 5 distributes the blocks across the disks as opposed to producing a single strip for every drive.

How long does a RAID rebuild take?

RAID Disk Failure Calculator from Memset

Disk Size (GB) Rebuild Time Time between disk failures
250 6 hours, 56 minutes 1 month, 2 weeks
500 13 hours, 53 minutes 1 month, 2 weeks
1000 1 day, 3 hours 1 month, 2 weeks

How can I recover data from a broken RAID 5?


  1. Run the iprconfig utility by typing iprconfig .
  2. Select Work with disk unit recovery.
  3. Select Rebuild disk unit data.
  4. Select the disks you want to rebuild, then press Enter.
  5. To rebuild data, press Enter. If you do not want to rebuild data, type q to cancel

What occurs if a RAID card malfunctions?

What occurs if the RAID controller fails? The data is not affected but cannot be accessed if the RAID controller fails. Even if the magnetic platters of the hard disk are unharmed, a failing RAID controller could prevent you from accessing your data. But it all depends on the RAID level.

How do I access data from a RAID drive?

Step-by-step RAID recovery process

  1. Make a copy of all drives.
  2. Run diagnostics on all drives.
  3. Analyze the metadata on each RAID drive.
  4. Reproduce the physical RAID.
  5. Use filesystem to locate data.
  6. Extract and test sample files.
  7. Extract all available data from the RAID array.

Can you recover data from RAID 0?

Since RAID 0 arrays lack redundancy, any data that was stored on a failed member disk is permanently lost. You can attempt to recover files if you have data from the other member disks. Only files less than (N-1)*(block size) can be retrieved, though.

How do you fix a broken RAID array?

Recover from a broken RAID array

  1. Install GRUB on remaining hard drive. Prior to the removal of the failed hard drive, it is imperative to double-check GRUB has been installed on the remaining drive.
  2. Recreate the partition structure of the failed drive.
  3. Rebuild the partition table.
  4. Recreate Swap partition.

What occurs in RAID 5 if two drives fail?

In a RAID 5 disk array, if a second disk fails, the entire array likewise fails and the data is unavailable. In a RAID level 5 disk array, if a second disk fails, you must replace the failed disks before deleting and rebuilding the disk array.

How do I restore RAID configuration?

  1. To restore a RAID configuration saved on disks to a defined controller, type the following command: raidconfig restore config -c= controller_id.
  2. If you have a Linux system, reboot to complete the restore operation.