I've been ready the forums for quite a few days now and there's evidently a bunch of smart people out there so I hope I may get some desperately need help and direction.
I do a lot of photo editing and was having XP Pro problems and thought to myself why not reinstall the operating system and that will repair my problems. AH, a little knowledge is dangerous which is the same frame of mind that caused me to go the Raid0 route. Anyway I wasn't paying proper attention during the reinstall and now have a new (to my surprise) E drive that the computer boots to and can't get to my C drive where my Photos are. I guess I partioned one of the Raid0 250G drives from C to E? I need help. How can I get my photographs backs!
I plan to purchase another internal harddrive equal in size of the current Raid0 setup, format it and use that to aid in getting the information from off the two 250G drives if possible. What program would you guy's recommend I purchase to do this (Ya can tell I'm no pistol so ease of use is important) and possibly repair the damage I've caused.
Another question: if I can return the original Raid0 setup into operational condition then I could use the newly purchased 500G harddrive for backup right? What would be the best setup for this?
Sorry if its painful reading this guy's, I was born before color TV and carpet and really need some of your advise.
This is not a good situation you have created. Maybe someone with more recovery experience will chime in with an idea, but if you did indeed break the array, formatted and installed Windows on one of the resulting 2 disks, your data is pretty much gone for all practical purposes. RAID 0 splits the data byte per byte in half across the 2 drives, by formatting the one drive and installing Windows on it, you pretty much killed half of everything you had on the array.
RAID0, as you have just discovered, is the very, very worst place in the world to put anything you do not want to lose. The absolute worst. That is why when you did all that reading back when you set it up, so many people warned you, and talked about having a good backup in place if you are running RAID0. Everyone probably mentioned the bad thing about RAID0 is a hard drive can go bad, and then someone else says they have been running RAID0 for years and never had a drive fail.
This is the typical argument about RAID.
Well, that is not the problem in my experience.
In my experience, what usually kills a RAID 0 array is something exactly like you just explained. Had you not reinstalled Windows, you could have entered the RAID BIOS, reestablished the array, and see if it will boot, maybe you would able to maybe do a repair install of Windows on it.
You could contact a drive recovery service to see if they can help, but it is expensive, and you cannot be guaranteed they will be able to recovery everything, if anything at all. In the meantime, if you do decide to do this, every single thing you do on the PC will only make it worse. So if you are going this route, take the 2 drives out right now.
I am very sorry, but it really does not look good at all.
If you reformatted one of the RAID 0 member hard disks, then the info is gone forever. RAID 0 should never be used to store important data, particularly if you don't perform regular backups. Important files should always be backed up.