How to recover data from a RAID array

RAID is the acronym of Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks: it is a technology that allows you to save the same information on multiple storage units, distributing the data in such a way as to improve the performance and security of the storage system. The RAID scheme is designed to increase the data redundancy and have multiple copies of the same data available. If a unit malfunctions, recover data it is usually possible automatically, without the loss of any information. Professionals and businesses use RAID technology to to protect your files not only on the server side but also on NAS and on many workstations.

With the expression RAID reconstruction we are referring to the procedure that allows you to restore the normal functioning of an array or a set of storage units combined together to set up a single storage system in order to improve its speed, reliability or overall capacity.

It is not uncommon, however, that in the event of damage to thearray RAID the reconstruction process is not successful. RAID recovery software helps to avoid any unforeseen events and eliminates the chances that any errors could result in the data loss.

Stellar Data Recovery is a versatile and flexible application that allows you to recover data regardless of the file system used and the type of drive in use. In the case of RAID arrays, Stellar Data Recovery automatically detects the RAID parameters even if the user provides inaccurate information.

What to do when there is a problem with your RAID array

When any problem occurs with your drive array, it is essential to immediately cease any ongoing activity. Furthermore, it is important to refrain from using the CHKDSK utility: it is not an all-weather suit and its use may, in some circumstances, not correct any errors on the drives of storage but even lead to data loss with irreparable damage.

Stellar Data Recovery Technician box

Before starting data recovery, you need to disconnect the drives that make up the RAID array and mark their sequence.

After connecting them to a Windows PC, for example via cable or via a special device box enclosure with adapter, you can use a like Stellar Data Recovery.

Recover your RAID configuration and data with Stellar Data Recovery

Differently from other software in its category, Stellar Data Recovery also offers RAID data recovery among its various options. By selecting All the data on the main application screen then clicking on Followingthe application shows the list of drives connected to the system in use.

RAID data recovery

Stellar Data Recovery rileva le RAID configurations and, at the bottom of the same window, also displays the box RAID recovery. With one click your Scanthe utility invites you to select the level set, for example RAID 0, RAID 5 or RAID 6.

RAID recovery and array recovery

The arrow keys available in the program interface allow you to reconstruct the correct order of the drives that make up the RAID array. The various volumes must appear in order in the box Move the hard drives up/down to correct the disk order.

In the box Select RAID parametersit is necessary to enter or select the information useful for the array reconstruction. These parameters depend on the specific RAID level used on the system: the box Select hard disk to search for lost volumes in RAID leave it to Stellar Data Recovery to look for the boot sector.

RAID rebuild with Stellar Data Recovery

The big advantage of Stellar Data Recovery is that the application is able to detect the correct parameters: in case of difficulty, just choose I do not know… in both drop-down menus and click on Rebuild RAID per recover data.

Guide for setting RAID parameters

Parameters like “stripe/block size” e “parity order/rotation” are crucial and affect how the data is organized and reconstructed within the array. These parameters are specific to the RAID levels they use striping e equalitysuch as RAID 5 and RAID 6:

  • Stripe Size (Block Size): This parameter defines the size of the data drives or blocks into which the data is divided before being distributed among the disk drives in the RAID array. For example, if stripe size is set to 64 KB, the data is divided into blocks of 64 KB each and then distributed among the disk drives. This size is also used when writing new data to the array. If, for example, a RAID 5 array has a stripe size of 64 KB and a total of 4 disk drives, for every 256 KB of data (64 KB x 4) the information is broken down into smaller blocks and distributed among the storage drives.
  • Parity Order: Specific to RAID 6 level, defines the order in which parity information is distributed among available disk drives. In a RAID 6, there is two parity information for each data group, and the parity order determines which disk drive contains parity. This affects the resiliency of the array if one or two hard drives fail.
  • Parity Rotation: In the context of RAID 6, parity rotation is the mechanism that alternates the location of parity information between disk drives in a cyclical manner. This helps spread the load of parity calculations across all disk drives and reduces the risk of simultaneous failure of drives containing parity.

What is meant by equality

The equality is a fundamental concept in RAID systems that is used to protect data and allow reconstruction in the event of a disk drive failure within the array. The value of parity represents a error checking based on the data stored on the other hard drives in the array. Its main purpose is to allow the system to identify and correct any errors in the data.

Virtual RAID array scan

As a final step, Stellar Data Recovery automatically creates a virtual RAID array, accessible in read only, in turn containing all the information recovered. To start data recovery, simply launch the scan of its contents.

RAID Data Recovery: Content Preview

After analyzing the virtual RAID, the Stellar program shows the list of all recoverable files and folders offering the possibility of accessing thepreview of the content. Without leaving the Stellar Data Recovery interface, you can therefore check what documents, photos, videos, audio contain and then choose to save them.

By default, the utility does one first quick scan. If you cannot find the files you are looking for, the advice is to start one immediately in-depth scan.

The approach chosen by Stellar is excellent because the application works on raw data without changing the RAID configuration. The RAID array is in fact a virtual volume accessible in read only.

What RAID modes exist

We said that the main goal of a RAID array is to provide data redundancy or improve system performance. There are several levels RAIDor modes, which offer various advantages:

  • RAID 0 (Striping): Creates a single large data storage unit using multiple disks. It provides a noticeable performance improvement in terms of read and write speeds, but does not offer data redundancy. If one of the disks is damaged, all data is lost. The striping breaks the data into smaller chunks, known as “stripes” or “stripes” then distributes these blocks among the different disk drives in the RAID array.
  • RAID 1 (Mirroring): This level involves storing data simultaneously on two identical disks. Provides complete redundancy: if one drive fails, data remains accessible through the other. The effective capacity of the system is exactly half of the total capacity available by adding the capacity of the two units.
  • RAID 5 (Striping with Parity): RAID 5 uses it striping to improve performance and also includes parity data distributed across disks. This provides partial redundancy, meaning that if a disk fails, the data can be rebuilt using the parity information. It is a level that offers a decent balance between performance and reliability.
  • RAID 6 (Dual Parity): Similar to RAID 5 mode, this level provides greater redundancy with two parity drives. This means that it can tolerate the simultaneous loss of two disks without any data loss.
  • RAID 10 (Striping and Mirroring): This level combines both striping the technique of mirroring. Data is split and written across pairs of disks, so you have both redundancy and high performance. Requires the use of at least four storage drives.
  • RAID 50 e RAID 60: It deals with…


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