Difficulty in Data Recovery of RAID 5 Volume

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In today’s world computers are an integral part of any business whether it is Fortune 500, large corporates or even small to midsize businesses. Every business depends so heavily on computers and laptops to perform their day to day activities that this dependency on computer makes their digital information i.e. data so important that nobody can think of losing it. Hence arise need to take backups and have disaster recovery plan in place, which can be used in case of any catastrophes.

There are many technologies available in market to choose from to help you in your way out to successfully recover any data loss in any disaster. One of many plans to combat disaster is to have RAID 5 (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). RAID 5 can be hardware or software based. You need to have at least three hard drives of same capacity to form RAID 5 volume.

Advantages of having RAID 5 volume is its fault tolerance and read-write efficiency. Here you have for example 12 MB of file needs to be written on RAID 5 Volume, 6 MB + 6 MB will be simultaneously written on any two hard disks and 6 MB of additional parity information be written to third hard drive. So clearly as described above the disadvantage being reduced capacity of data storage, to be exact 33.333%.

Fault tolerant is only when one drive fails, but if more than one drive fails of RAID 5 volume, you are in big trouble. RAID 5 stores all your files in equal parts on different disks which makes recovering very difficult in case more than one drive fails or develop bad sectors. Software based recovery is only possible when your failed hard drives respond to basic disk commands. Creating images of your drive and properly labeling them of their sequence in array is highly advisable in case you send it by courier to any data recovery services company. This way you can be rest assured that your data is safe in case you lose original drives in transit.

If you decide on recovering data yourself you need to have dumb SCSI controller for you SAS drive, so that you could attach your each disk one by one to create their images. Once images are ready you can purchase any RAID recovery software which is having option to use image files and thereby reconstructing RAID volume out of it. There you need to specify many parameters like start sector, drive order, block size and direction of rotation.

If you care for your data and it is of any importance to you do not take “DO IT MYSELF” approach and sought immediate professional help as data recovery of RAID 5 volume is very tricky and requires expertise on RAID 5 Recovery.

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