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Lost MFT on RAID 1. Now what?

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May 4, 2009 6:10:20 AM

Hey all.

So it seems that I have somehow managed to corrupt the NTFS MFT on my 500gig raid 1 array. I realize that this is generally very, very bad news. However I was browsing Lifehacker today and notice that the program "TestDisk" can recover a damaged NTFS by restoring from a backup that is automatically created on the drive. I could see how this would be great for just a single drive, the problem is that the RAID 1 array is two drives (duh, I suppose). So my question, which I suppose is somewhat specific to the program I am using, is if I managed to restore the NTFS on one of the drives where do I go next, or for that matter should I do that? I see two options. One is that I can then proceed to rebuild the array, however the I dont know if this will do me any good as both drives still technically have the data on them. Option 2 is two try and restore the other drive on the array the same way as the first and see if that "fixes it" (dont have high hopes there).

Input is appreciated.

Full system specs

Amd opteron 175 @2.6ghz
Asus A8N-E (nforce 4 chipset)
1x 160 gig seagate (OS drive)
1x 250 gig seagate drive (has windows 7 on it)
1x 500gig seagate/1x WD 500gig (paired up in a RAID 1 using the Nvidia RAID tool)
2 gig ddr1


And before someone asks, I do have a partial backup. That is to say the things that are irreplaceable (pictures I have taken, documents) are stored on another drive one the same computer (not great, I know). I am starting the process of moving all of that to DVD's however.

Thanks all.

More about : lost mft raid

May 4, 2009 6:37:51 AM

Does TestDisk see your Raid configuration as one drive or two separate? Usually after the RAID BIOS loads, most programs see the 2 drives as one (which should be the case). If it sees it as one, then try the recover there i guess. If it sees 2, then you should try disconnecting one drive, then apply the recovery on the master drive, connect the slave and rebuild the array.

Unfortunately i am not an expert in this situation, so take my advice after careful consideration. I would probably deal with this matter in this way though.

I hope i have helped somehow.

Good luck!
May 4, 2009 7:33:27 AM

Have you tried disconnecting the Seagate and see if the WD works and vice versa? I would try this first. If it doesn't work then do what darkquest said.
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May 4, 2009 8:31:41 AM

It sees it as two separate drives. I am about 99% certain that both drives are still functional but I like your idea darkguset.

I am running Photorec right now, which supposedly can get to files even without the MFT, but it is slowwww.
a b G Storage
May 4, 2009 9:14:18 AM

test both hdd's separately and see what the results say first and see what your dealing with

you may also be able to run chkdsk /r and force a dismount and see what happens

raid2raid is also another option - a free tool that sort of mounts the raid array in a read only mode to get data off but raid1 is different (isnt a raid like structure usually, just 1:1 between drives etc)
May 4, 2009 5:01:13 PM

Alright thanks. All of these suggestions are kind of pointing in a similar direction, so at least I have a way to approach this. Question though. I realize that in a raid 1 that you are basically mirroring two drives, but does that mean I could disable one of the drives and just focus on one of them for recovery purposes? To phrase what I am trying to ask another way, if the file system were healthy, and I were to pull one of the arrayed drives and stick it in another computer would I be able to see the stuff on it?
May 5, 2009 4:26:45 AM

someguyy said:
Alright thanks. All of these suggestions are kind of pointing in a similar direction, so at least I have a way to approach this. Question though. I realize that in a raid 1 that you are basically mirroring two drives, but does that mean I could disable one of the drives and just focus on one of them for recovery purposes? To phrase what I am trying to ask another way, if the file system were healthy, and I were to pull one of the arrayed drives and stick it in another computer would I be able to see the stuff on it?


In theory you should. That is what RAID 1 does; it mirrors one disk on the other in realtime. Hence if you were to remove any of the disks and stick it in another PC it should work fine.
!