What Not to Do When Your RAID Fails

RAID management is no walk in the park. Even seasoned pros may stumble when asked whether they should use RAID 0 or RAID 5 for a given application, and when you bring nonstandard levels like Linux MD RAID 10 into play, all bets are off.

True, it’s nice to have options for how you configure your data redundancies. Nonetheless, the fact that there are so many ways to get things done makes emergency RAID data recovery one of the trickiest organizational challenges you’ll ever face.

The Troubles with RAID Architectures

Before you go trying your hand at emergency data recovery, stop. As well-meaning as they may be, your efforts might just make your RAID’s contents harder to restore or even completely unrecoverable.RAID failures can occur for diverse reasons. For instance, multiple older drives may suffer age-related mechanical failures en masse and ruin your entire RAID. In other cases, systems crash mid-write and cause irreparable holes. Numerous write holes could even lead to pervasive corruption across multiple sectors. In short, failures are often difficult to predict, and each requires its own unique repair strategy.

Why Hands-off Is the Best Policy

The real danger associated with failures lies in what you do afterwards. For instance, if one of the disks in your three-drive RAID 5 NAS fails, you’ll still theoretically be able to restore from the existing parity. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should try, however.There’s nothing to be lost by spinning down and calling in the experts. On the other hand, if you haven’t completely corrected whatever problem caused the initial failure, rebuilding now poses a huge risk. If one disk has failed, you have no hope of recovery should another follow suit, and if the problem lies in write issues, unrecoverable read errors or data transfer abnormalities that might crop up again later, your attempts to rebuild could result in the complete loss of your data.

So How Do I Rebuild Properly?
While techniques like adding hot spares to production-ready RAID 5 systems and storing database logs on separate volumes can improve your odds of a successful recovery, neither these solutions nor calling the manufacturer are guaranteed magic bullets. The best way to recover your database server or local array is to consult with a certified lab.

TTR Data Recovery’s No Data No Charge services are the perfect solution to most RAID failures. Regardless which RAID level you originally implemented or what kind of hardware you operate, the fact that we’re approved by major manufacturers and government agencies alike means you can rely on us to restore as much of your information as humanly possible. When you can take advantage of our ISO 5 Class 100 cleanrooms and ISO 9001 certified with one simple call, there’s no reason to risk your organizational livelihood by going it alone. Contact us now to get your essential media on the road to restoration.