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How can I recover data from a corrupt raid drive

Posted on 2006-05-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a w2k server that’s crashed. I’ve tried everything to restore the server but all has failed. An error message is displayed when chkdsk is run from the recovery console (58% complete)" More than 1 fatal error detected unable to recover from the problem".

So far, all of my attempts to recover the data using the back up software failed.
Yosemite…Tapeware support gives me 3 scenarios.
1.      Install the software on a W2K box to replicate the original environment
2.      Tapes might be corrupt.    (Maybe 1 or 2 tapes but all of them?)
3.      Use third party software to retrieve the data from the tapes

Easy Recovery Pro is what I’m currently using to retrieve data. If you know of a better software package please let know. Below are a few questions I need help on, your expertise is appreciated.

1. Is there a 3rd party software that might help me retrieve data from a travan 20 tape?
2. Is there a way to pull data from a corrupted drive in a raid setup?
3. How can I get windows to recognize the Seagate drive? i.e. CDROM... if its possible bypassing the backup software.
Question by:Landofoz
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Rick Hobbs
Rick Hobbs earned 600 total points
ID: 16722735
1. I know of no 3rd party tape recovery software.  You have to use a recovery service like OnTrack or similar.
2.The best way I know to recover data from a broken RAID array is Runtime RAID Reconstructor from runtime.org.
3. What Seagate drive?


Expert Comment

ID: 16723128

If recovering from the disk is your preferred option, then I'd recommend spinrite available for about $90 from www.grc.com.  I've never seen it fail :)


LVL 44

Accepted Solution

scrathcyboy earned 1200 total points
ID: 16723256
go to www.runtime.org and look at both tools -- the RAID recovery tool, and the program getdataback.

As long as checkdisk has not totally fouled up the drive and the FAT, these programs will restore everything.  Please never use checkdisk on a drive that is having problems, it does more damage than it does good.

BTW, also do NOT use spinrite.  It makes irreversible changes to your disk, like checkdisk does.  The utilities getdataback and RAID recovery tool make absolutely NO changes to the disk.  These are the only safe type of tools to use when your data is at risk -- NO changes to the disk at all, that is the ONLY way to be safe.
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

phototropic earned 200 total points
ID: 16723726
scrathcyboy is quite right - your chances of recovering crucial data from the damaged drive are reduced every time you attempt to use it in any way. My advice would be to remove the drive and not power it up again until you decide which recovery tool to use.
Info on Spinrite here:


"When it encounters a block which cannot be read, it repeatedly attempts to re-read it, and tries to determine the value of each byte. The data is then saved onto the same disk (after re-allocating the physical block) which is a potentially risky operation if the disk write head is not operating properly."

That will not help the recovery process of GetDataBack. The less you access the damaged drive, the better your chances o0f recovery.

Expert Comment

ID: 16741155
If you install a new drive on the server and install W2k on it, you can then install the corrupt drives as slave, or another raid set. You may be able to used your now booted server to access the drives through Windows. Even though they are corrupt (for booting) you may still be able to see enough of the data to recover some stuff.

Better than nothing?!?!?

Hope this helps
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 16741855
But bear in mind that if you use a data recovery tool such as GetDataBack (which IMHO is the best of the mid-price utilities), the less you use the corrupt drive, the better your chances of recovering data.
Mounting the corrupt drive as a slave in another machine and trying to access data will significantly reduce the xchances of a successful recovery with GetDataBack.
Details here:


Download it to another drive, mount the corrupt drive as a slave and run the software. If it recovers what you want, you pay for it and use it, if it doesn't, you don't.

Good luck!
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 16744764
Runtime.org has a RAID reconstructor utility, more suited to raid than getdataback, although that works too for the file system, but not for the raid.

Author Comment

ID: 16762975
The raid utility from runtime.org worked great. I was able to make an image from the damaged hard drives and use get data back to recover the software.

Thanks for all your feed back.

"a great help, it was"

Landof oz
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 16763305
Great, this raid reconstructor utility of theirs seems to be worth its weight in gold.  Glad it solved your problem.

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