Raid 5 Failure, It's a doozie

I have (had) a Raid 5 array in vista x64. I have a DFI p45 t2rs with an ich10r southbridge. DFI supplies a utility to automate overclocking, i would usually prefer to do that myself, but i figured i'd give it a go. BIG mistake. It not only changed clock speeds and voltages but turned Raid functions off. Windows booted up since its drive was not on the array, and immediately noticed 3 new hard drives and "initialized" them. i rebooted, turned raid back on and it only sees one of the drives as a member drive. the other 2 are listed as being non raid drives. there doesn't seem to be a way to re-add them, which sucks, because if i can't it means i've lost 2tb of data.

When windows initiallized the drives i think what it did was rewrite some of the mbr to prepare them for use which is why they do not look like raid drives to ich10r anymore. What i'm hoping is that someone here has a way to re-write the correct info back in to the mbr so i can recover my data. The data's intact, i just can't see any of it because the array's double degraded.
Another option i'd be open to is a suggestion for a recovery suite that can read raid 5.

Here're the specifics on my machine
dfi p45 t2rs
4 (3 in the raid array) seagate 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB
intel e8400

Thanks in advance to anyone with an idea.
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More about raid failure doozie
  1. The question is what was in those blocks that might have been overwritten. Guaranteed they aren't simply MBR's, but data that tells the Intel controller what the RAID array looks like, which is why it no longer recognizes them. That data is dependent on the specifics of the array(s) and the vendor controller. (No manufacturers publish that data AFAICT.)

    I suggest looking at RAID recovery tools ASAP; e.g.:

    p.s. Software RAID (i.e., Intel Matrix RAID) really needs a stable system and a UPS (with proper shutdown) to be reliable. Or invest in a hardware RAID card with a BBU. Or a separate backup. Or expect to similar problems in the future.
  2. Sorry don't know much about this kinda stuff, but it may be worth carefully checking your BIOS settings...

    I have a BFG mainboard, and also ran into trouble whilst tweaking BIOS to overclock. Ended up having to reset the BIOS, which therefore 'forgot' that I'd used a BFG/nVidia utility to set up a RAID0. Fortunately(?!) this was my OS disc, so I couldn't get past POST until I realised the cause of the problem - I needed to change some BIOS settings for the SATA ports in order that they could be recognised as being in a RAID array...

    May be too late for you, if OS has already overwriten stuff, but worth a shot incase it can also automatically fix itself?!
  3. Thanks for your input guys, i'm going to try one of those recovery tools as soon as i get a hold of a destination drive that's large enough to hold the data...
  4. endorphines said:
    Thanks for your input guys, i'm going to try one of those recovery tools as soon as i get a hold of a destination drive that's large enough to hold the data...

    I suggest you backup your data before any attempt to recover it. RAID systems are quite complicated to recover and you can damage your data if you do not know -exactly- what you are doing.

    If the data is important to you, you should probably turn to a professional RAID data recovery company. RAID Recovery Online can even recover your RAID remotely - no need to deliver your disks anywhere.
  5. In case you're still looking for help, you can contact for remote raid 5 recovery solutions, 24/7. Goodluck.
  6. Thats why RAID and a backup are two separate things, and one cannot replace the other.
  7. I had the exact thing happen to me too. This is easy to recover from if you have the stripe size of your RAID array and have not disconnected or jumbled your disks. You might still be able to get this from intel MATRIX manager. The only thing you need to download is TestDisk from This utility will help you recover your partition(s).

    1. Remove all disks from the RAID either in the RAID bios or Matrix Manager. (its scary but you have to).
    2. Rebuild your array using the EXACT same settings as before.
    3. Run TestDisk as recover the partition(s) (instructions provided on their website).
    4. Reboot.
    5. Enjoy your files again at a very slow rate while your array verifies itself. Might take a day or so with 3 TB of space to check out.

    If you dont have your RAID data, you will need to be very careful with the environment you run TestDisk in. If you boot into windows your array will start the initialize process which is harmless if you have the correct stripe size/drive order, but it is completely destructive if you do not. A linux boot disk with TestDisk included or some other partition recovery software should be ok.

    AS others have stated, dont overclock a computer with a RAID. I have had a double disk failure once from some sort of system instability and recovered from it. When I first built my computer I had a voltage problem with my memory, this caused quite a few errors with my RAID too, and I needed a lot of rebuilds. Once that was resolved it has been smoothe sailing. Also, after all these problems, I decided to be careful and store my most important data on an external disk that is not connected to my computer. Everything else I store on my RAID can be recovered one way or another.
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