Lost drive in raid 1 array, replaced, windows does not recognize

I recently loss one of the two drives in my data raid 1 array. I replaced the defective drive with a new one and recreated the array, using the good drive from the old array as the source to copy files from. I did not do an offline copy.

When I booted to windows, my d: was gone(this is the array). It wanted to initialize the disk and format it. It seems all my data is gone.

The whole point of doing a raid 1 array is to not lose your stuff when a drive goes bad. Why is it doing this?
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  1. My experience with RAID hardware and software is that they all have their little quirks and that it's essential to test your recovery procedures BEFORE you commit valuable data to them.

    All I can offer is the idea that if you have a couple of spare drives you might be able to recreate the problem using test data and figure out a way to solve it without putting your live data at any more risk than it is already...

    Otherwise, this is one of the scenarios for which you made backups of your data, right?
  2. The array was still available after the drive dropped from it, and I had already done a backup a couple of days ago. It just bothers me that I spend the time and money for a raid array, without any of the benefit.

    If I had allowed the offline copy to complete, would I have avoided the problem?
  3. chedderslam1976 said:
    If I had allowed the offline copy to complete, would I have avoided the problem?
    It's impossible to give a general answer because every different RAID system has it's own characteristics and limitations. This is the kind of testing I was talking about - learning what you can and can't in order to recover your data. If you have the time and if efforts to resurrect the data on your drive fail, then maybe it would be a good time to do some of that testing.
  4. Would it have made a difference if I had done an offline copy and let it complete before booting to windows?
  5. I'm confused. You replaced a bad HDD unit and had the RAID system re-create the array, using the good HDD as the source. Then you say you want to initialize and format the array? Surely if you could do that, you would wipe out all its data! I'm going to assume you did not mean that.

    I would try two steps here. First is, on a reboot, go back into the RAID Setup screens and see what it says about the array. If it indicates the array has been fully restored and the array condition is just fine, the trouble probably lies in Windows. But if the screens indicate a problem, use those tools to fix it there.

    Second step, assuming the RAID system claims to be OK, is to go into Windows Disk Manager and look closely at the block in the lower right pane that represents the array as a storage device. Check that it DOES have a letter name assigned to it - without that, Windows cannot use it. If it does not, RIGHT-click on the block and choose to Change its Name, then give it one. If by some chance Windows has already assigned the D: name to another device, change that one first to free up D: for use by the array. When you've finished changing, exit out of Disk Manager and reboot.
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