RAID Failure, Need Advice for next steps

Hi, I had a catastrophic RAID failure and was hoping for some advice on next steps.

A couple of years ago, I purchased an Addonics mini-tower with a built-in hardware raid controller and filled it with hard drives and set it up as a RAID 1 array. I used this as my primary backup device for all of our home computers, and was quite happy for a while. It worked well and I thought I was pretty well protected against loss.

One day, the array failed to mount when I attached it to my laptop. I tried another computer and another, yet the array failed to mount.

When I called the manufacturer, they told me it was most likely either a bad eSATA cable or a bad eSATA to USB adapter. I replaced both, it didn't fix the problem.

Not knowing what the cause could be, I took one of the hard drives out, put it inside a drive enclosure and took a look. Most of the data was still on the drive, however, much of the data could not be opened or retrieved. I took out the other drives, and found the same problem with each of those.

When I called the manufacturer back, they told me that it might then be a problem with the disk controller -- that the disk controller could have failed, and corrupted the data on all the drives.

Egad! I had no idea that the RAID array I had set up thinking it would be so bulletproof has such an important single point of failure. Now, I'm in a worse position that I was before the array -- since some things I had put into the array for "safekeeping" was no longer on any computer or other backup.

Now I'm at a loss on what to do next. I'd like to still possess all of my backups, but I no longer trust that a RAID will keep my information safe. Is there a way I can set up a RAID with multiple disk controllers? I'm willing to put some money into a setup that will enable me to ensure that my information is safe, is there something safer than RAID?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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  1. Also, I purchased a new controller from Addonics and installed into the tower. The RAID will now mount, but I'm seeing the same problems I was before -- information appears to be there but cannot be opened or copied.

    I suppose I could replace all the hard drives and continue using the tower, but I don't think I could trust that box anymore...
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