Data Recovery of RAID

RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a way of combining several hard drives to perform as one single drive. This system of combined disks offers fault tolerance and improved performance. The very structure of RAID implementations also reduce data loss potential by incorporating some type of built in data recovery in the system.

The most common are RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10. Each has an advantage of better performance but various drawbacks in cost and implementation.

RAID 0 the earliest implementation of RAID implements Disk Striping. The data is spread over several disks in an array. There is an improvement in performance but there is no fault tolerance if one hard drive fails all the data in the array may be lost.

From a data recovery prospective there is no built in data recovery option using a RAID 0 system.

RAID 1 uses a technique called disk mirroring in which duplicate data is written to at least 2 disks. This setup provides protection if one of the drives fail. If a drive does fail the data is still intact on the working drive. The system can continue to operate as a one drive system. The data on the failed drive may not need to be recovered.

From the data recovery prospective the system has a built in data recovery method in that there's a duplicate copy of the information on the mirror drive. RAID 5 is configured so data can be written across three or more drives in an array. In RAID 5 the information along with parity data is striped across all drives in the array. If one drive fails it will drop out and the other drives will continue to function as normal. When the failed drive is replaced the information is rebuilt using the parity data on the other drives.

From the data recovery prospective a failed drive can be replaced and data can easily be recovered.

RAID 10 works by a combination of both striping and mirroring several disks. This scheme means that it's mirroring to two or more disks at the same time as well as striping to several disk. This increases performance because data can be written to and retrieved from several disks at the same time. The mirroring preserves the data.

From a data recovery prospective RAID 10 is a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0. Data recovery is provided by the mirroring in RAID 1 and performance is improved by striping used in RAID 0 which alone doesn't provide any data recovery means.

Although RAID systems are pretty robust and rarely exhibit catastrophic failures there are failures that can occur. A failed RAID controller will generally cause failure or corruption across all drives in the array. There can also be an intermittent drive failure which may cause data corruption. There is also the possibility of human error in which an accidental reconfiguration or replacement of the RAID drives occurs.

In these type scenarios professional data recovery may be required. Don't attempt to recover data from a RAID on your own. If you make a mistake, you could potentially lose the data you're attempting to save and more. You should contact a RAID recovery service to restore your lost data.

RAID data recovery services generally target two types of damage. The first type is Logical damage which can usually be repaired using a software based solution. The software program attempts to analyze the data and determines how it should be correctly reassembled over the span of the disk array. RAID recovery software has the ability to automatically detect manufacturer default RAID settings. In actual use settings such as RAID controller type, array type, disk order and striping sequence may have been changed. Therefore most recovery software should only be used by experienced technicians.

A second type of failure is physical damage which could be intentional or mechanical such as when the hard drive disk is damaged by a read/write head strike. As an example one recovery method for such damage is attempting to replace the damaged disk surface to make the drive readable again.

When you require RAID data recovery services there are many choices. Check the service record of any potential candidate and contact past customers if possible. Some important things to look for are turnaround time, precise estimates and courteous customer service.

Costs will vary widely so try to find a provider that will give you a free estimate and quote before any work is done. Above all if you don't feel confident in the providers abilities find another one. Don't feel trapped into service by the provider. In this situation you don't need the extra stress and anxiety. With the help of a good data recovery service you'll most likely to get your data restored and learn something in the process.