Emergency RAID Recovery Services

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RAID 5 Reconfiguration Mistake

“When our RAID 5 array failed we called in an engineer, but when he couldn’t fix the problem we called DiskEng. Thanks for all our data from near total disaster.”

David Westbury, withheld, Heathrow London

We received a RAID array containing five 2TB Seagate drives from Heathrow in London at our laboratory in Oxford. An examination of the drives revealed that all the drives were in working condition. Our engineers secured sector-by-sector image copies of the drives with just one disk containing a dozen unreadable bad sectors.

A detailed examination of the secured images of the drives by our RAID recovery specialists revealed a RAID 5 array architecture, for which a virtual RAID array was created. When this virtual RAID array was analysed many errors were encountered, prompting a deeper analysis of the disk images.

When our RAID recovery specialists examined the data, it revealed that four of the disks were now configured as a separate RAID 5 array, despite the fifth disk being part of the array. It appears that the failed drive had removed and attempt to reconfigure and rebuild the smaller array across four had been done.

By using our in-house software, we were able to reconfigure the altered disks, such by combining the fifth disk, containing the original data and parity, a working virtual RAID 5 array could be create. An analysis of the reconfigured virtual RAID 5 array revealed a single 8TB NTFS data volume, containing 4.4TB of data files, which were recoverable.

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