How to recover files from a damaged RAID

RAID recoveryAs good computer experts we have created a RAID array using two or more disks together or by inserting the disks inside a NAS, so that we can save all our personal files in redundancy and recover them quickly in case of errors or in case of sudden failures.

Unfortunately once tied up the disks in a RAID are not easily accessible: we will be able to access it only using the device that created the RAID, making it somewhat difficult to recover the files stored inside in case of problems. Fortunately, gods are available programs dedicated to the recovery of file custodians in RAID, which we can use whenever necessary. In this guide we will show you all the steps to take to recover files from a damaged RAID, so you don’t lose even a personal file.

How to recover files from a RAID

In order to effectively recover files from a damaged RAID or one of the surviving RAID components, we will have to use a powerful paid program (available with a limited free trial) the only one able to easily access all types of RAIDwhatever the condition of the disc. Obviously, we will first have to move the disk where the files are present to a working fixed PC, using a SATA cable or a suitable HDD case. If we have never heard of RAID, we recommend that you read the guide How to combine multiple discs into one.

How to connect the disk to recover

If we have a SATA mechanical disk, extract it from the server, NAS, or PC where it was used for the RAID and connect it to another desktop PC with Windows 10 operating system, using a SATA cable, a SATA USB adapter, or an HDD case. 3.5 inch.

SATA

Once the disk is connected we will have to act quickly, particularly if it is damaged or with some blocked sectors: these errors can amplify and damage the disk over time, so every lost minute could make it impossible to recover files or reduce the number of files that can be recovered. If we have a 2.5-inch RAID disk to recover, we recommend using one of the HDD cases seen in the guide How to connect drives to PC via USB: SATA adapters, cases, and docking stations.

How to recover files from RAID

After connecting the disk we avoid formatting it or proceeding with any recovery system provided by Windows 10 and immediately download the program Recovery Explorer RAID, accessible from the official website.

Recovery software

On the program page, we click on Free Download and start installing the software on our computer to which the RAID disk to be recovered is connected. Before proceeding with the purchase of the license we open Recovery Explorer RAID and, in the screen that will appear (it may take a few minutes), we press on the RAID disk from which we want to recover the files on the left side.

Explorer RAID

If the RAID disk does not appear, press down on Start Scan to start a search for all compatible disks and partitions. After selecting the disk or partition to access (we usually recognize it as the largest partition or partition Span The Mirror) press the button at the bottom right Explore; after a few minutes, we will have access to the entire RAID file system, with the various folders arranged in a tree and all the files inside them.

Now it is possible to proceed with the recovery of the files: we open the path of the folder or folders where our personal files are present, press on them with the right mouse button, and choose to Save this object; if we want to save the folder directly, press the right button on it and choose the item Save this object. In the new window, we choose the path where to save the recovered files (any folder on the PC we are using) and we continue until all the material is recovered. We obviously avoid using the same folders as the RAID, so as to avoid further damage or accidental deletion.

With the free version of the program, we can recover all files with a maximum size of 800KB: if we all have very small files this version might be enough to recover files from a damaged RAID. If we have even just one file larger than 800KB we will have to purchase the user license for the program: currently, it is possible to buy a user license for € 79.95 directly from the official website.

Conclusions

Of all the programs we have tried for recovering files from a crashed or damaged RAID Recovery Explorer RAID is without a doubt the best choice: it is the only one able to rebuild the RAID even without having to use the starting device and to show all the folders inside in a few minutes, even in case of bad sectors or errors in the file system (in this case some files may not be recovered, especially if present on damaged areas). This program allows you to extract small files for free (great for testing their potential) and, by paying a license, we will have a fast and practical tool to recover files from a RAID without having to pay for a data extraction laboratory in the room. white (much more expensive than the 80 € needed for this program).

If the program in question does not have access to the RAID or file recovery seems compromised, we can try as a last resort some of the recovery programs reported in our guides File recovery from broken disk or dead computer The How to recover deleted files on PC from a hard drive or SSD. If you have also had a similar experience, we strongly recommend that you save very important documents on the cloud, using for example OneDrive as seen in the article How many things is Microsoft OneDrive and how it works.

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