RAID servers, despite their complicated nature, can fail as easily as simple hard drives. And when you need to recover RAID arrays from what looks like the abyss, there is a choice to be made. Fortunately, that choice is easy. With RAID data recovery, you really have only two real choices to retrieve your data: the slow, harsh, costly way, and the faster, complete way. It is your choice, and the following may help you make your decision.
How CriticalIs That Data?
When attempting to recover RAID arrays in the instance where more than a single drive has failed, the key to how to handle it is in the data itself. Are you running a RAID 0 array because it helps your system perform better when you’re playing Call Of Duty? Better to consider just rebuilding the RAID array from scratch. RAID repair rarely comes at low cost, as it is such a specialized task that many hard drive recovery professionals actually do not provide it. So if your server doesn’t really store anything absolutely crucial to your life, it may be better to just bite the bullet, buy some new hard drives and start over.
The other example scenario is that the busted RAID you’re using is running an Oracle database accessed by your company’s sales people thousands of times per day. Or using a CRM system that is critical when communicating with your customers. Situations like these are hand built for professional RAID data recovery shops because you simply cannot afford a “we’ll see what happens” solution. If your company’s very business operations are slowed dramatically because of a failed RAID system, do not bother trying to recover the RAID server yourself. It is time to call in a professional.
Each minute may seem like hours when a mission critical RAID server has failed. And in fact, when you multiply the number of stationary employees by those minutes, it may actually turn out to be hours. It’s never particularly difficult to find a RAID data recovery shop on the internet, of course, but if your recovery is ultra-important, consider web searches for “immediate RAID data recovery” or “overnight RAID recovery”. The industry does have a classic term for express-type services, which is typically known as “expedited”. However, only a handful of shops actually offer emergency RAID repair services that can have your repaired server returned to you within a single day or less. While the price of these “ultra-expedited” services are higher than standard, it may be worth it if your lost server is killing productivity for the company as a whole.
Quick Don’ts With RAID Data Recovery
In an emergency RAID failure situation, many IT administrators will do the best to repair or recover RAID systems themselves, which sometimes can help, and in others actually hurt the process. Here are a few examples:
Moving A RAID Drive Within The Array – Whether you’ve had a total double hard drive failure, or if only a single drive has busted in your array, please remember to not attempt to move the drive in any way. Keeping your array as is is important to recovering any lost data, and if you mess with drive order, you are the prime culprit in the data loss.
Are Your Connections Live? – Yes, it is a simple scenario, one that even the most basic support technician will remind you of, but it is a necessary one. Snug cable connections throughout the RAID system setup are necessary for proper function, and if something comes detached, a drive can “appear” to have failed. Don’t make the mistake of shipping out a server for a RAID repair when it’s perfectly functional!
CHKDSK, The Enemy Within – Yes, Windows has a simple disk checker known as CHKDSK that is ready and willing to help you find errors. Problem here is that CHKDSK was NOT created for RAID servers or complex hard drive setups. Save yourself some pain and bad overwrites by avoiding it altogether!
Whatever your difficulty, if you’re using a costly, professional platform, you will need professional solutions when an emergency occurs. When repairing RAID systems, don’t go cheap!