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Vista Deleted my RAID

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June 3, 2007 10:46:11 PM

I thought i would try out Vista so i took an old 80GB hard drive out of another PC and put it in to my new one. I have 2x 250GB SATA hard drives running in RAID 0 with XP on them. I unplugged both of these to make sure that Vista didn't overwrite them. I got Vista installed without too much bother on the 80GB drive. When i got to Vista I realised that i needed a driver for my modem. I turned the PC off and reconnected my RAID drives. Booted into XP without any problem and downloaded a few drivers. Went back to the Vista drive and everything was working fine. I could browse the XP RAID disc from within Vista and everthing seemed to be going fine. I think it was when i installed the motherboard drivers which included a RAID driver for Vista that things went wrong. Upon restarting at the end of the installation the found new hardware thing came up in the corner of the screen, for only one of my 250GB drives. I didn't pay much attention to it and it said it had installed correctly. But it has removed the hard drive from my RAID array so now i have one drive in the array and one not. I can't boot into XP. If i try to recreate the array it will delete all the information. How can i put the 2 drives back together or failing that copy the information of them. Neither of the 2 drives show up in My Computer now (I am working of the 80GB hard drive) So any recovery would have to take place in the Pre Windows startup stage.

I am using a Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 motherboard.

This link shows the 2 hard drives with the missing hard drive being on Port 2.

http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/9717/untitledpj4.jpg

More about : vista deleted raid

June 3, 2007 11:38:52 PM

You can destripe the two drives (copy the information off them into an .img file) using Runtime.org's RAID Reconstructor. To do so, you'll need a 500GB or larger HD to hold the image, and a bootable Windows installation (probably wipe Vista and install XP on your 80GB drive). Both of your drives that were used in the RAID will have to be visible as devices in device manager (they don't have to have valid partitions on them or mount, but they have to be visible).

After the .img file is created, then you can recover all the files out of it using Runtime.org's GetDataBack for NTFS.
June 4, 2007 9:50:54 PM

Thanks, i'm ordering a 500GB hard drive now to try and sort this out.
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June 8, 2007 7:50:23 PM

I have tried running the getbackdata NTFS version to see if there are any files still on the drives. When scanning the drive that fell out of the raid array files show up on it, but with the other drive still in the array nothing shows up. This may just be because it is in the array.

Therefore will running the Raid Reconstructor do any good?

Is there any way to move the 2nd drive out of the raid so that files can be seen on it. When i attempt to do it in the BIOS is says all files will be deleted on it.
June 8, 2007 9:32:10 PM

You can't run GetDataBack on only one drive of the RAID. One drive of the RAID only contains half of the information.

You must run RAID Reconstructor first to create an image of the RAID (this operation is called destriping). After the image is created, then you run GetDataBack on the destriped image to retrieve your files.
June 8, 2007 10:11:44 PM

Yes i know, but if i try just running the get data back on both drives at the start, its says only one of them has anything on it. So will spending $99 for Raid Reconstructor be a waste if get data back can't find anything on the other drive at this stage?

I understand what you have said i just don't want to spend $99 if the Reconstructor can't access one of the drives.
June 8, 2007 11:06:15 PM

Quote:

I understand what you have said i just don't want to spend $99 if the Reconstructor can't access one of the drives.


I'm sure you can find it with a $99 instant discount if you're willing to look in certain nooks and crannies of the internet :D . Actually, yes, I'm certain you can because I just checked.
June 8, 2007 11:07:09 PM

RAID Reconstructor works at the block level, and has no knowledge of files. It's job is to put all the sectors associated with the RAID logical disk together on one physical disk.

GetDataBack and Windows both will not see any partition or file system on the second drive because the headers for such structures probably aren't there. They exist only the first drive, but they hold references to sectors on the second drive.

As far as RAID Reconstructor accessing the second drive, as long as it appears in the BIOS and appears in Disk Management (even if it looks blank), RAID Reconstructor can access it and read the sectors.

I can't recommend one way or the other that you purchase RAID Reconstructor and GetDataBack, as I can't guarantee (and no one else can either) that they will recover anything. However, I can tell you two factual things:

1. I've used RAID Reconstructor and GetDataBack before to recover a broken RAID 0. It worked for me.

2. A professional data recovery company will charge you several times what RAID Reconstructor and GetDataBack will cost you, and will also not guarantee that they can recover anything.

There is one more option, but it would require more hard drives and some ingenuity:

- Use Linux or some other free software to image both RAID drives to two other physical drives.
- Put the copies into the machine, hook them up, and delete the RAID and recreate it in the RAID BIOS utility. Occasionally, RAID controllers will redefine the RAID without touching the file system that exists, and the drives may then be accessible with all data intact. Or, even if the RAID controller does erase the file system headers, frequently what is erased is only the partition table or file system boot sector. In this case, once the RAID is redefined, GetDataBack alone can be used to recover the data without having to use RAID Reconstructor.

I definitely recommend trying that on copies of the drives, because if the RAID BIOS erases critical file system data when you redefine a RAID array, it will make eventual recovery all the more difficult. However, the technique has the advantage of being free if you have the spare drives available.
June 8, 2007 11:13:23 PM

Quote:

I understand what you have said i just don't want to spend $99 if the Reconstructor can't access one of the drives.


I'm sure you can find it with a $99 instant discount if you're willing to look in certain nooks and crannies of the internet :D . Actually, yes, I'm certain you can because I just checked.

Well you must be better than me cause i searched for hours and didn't come up with any that worked.
June 8, 2007 11:49:17 PM

Cant you just rebuild the array from the BIOS? I did this once a few years back and didn't loose anything.
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