Recovering broken SATA Raid 0 Array drives

Posted on 2006-06-12
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Dear All,

We have a server with two SATA drives set up as a raid 0 hard drive. One of them has just failed, and managed to scribble over the ntoskrnl file so it can no longer boot. Windows Server 2003 refuses to fix the problem because it doesn't detect the drive any more, despite the fact the machine otherwise clearly attempts to boot from them.

We have got some fairly good recovery software, included Raid Reconstructor (any other advice on good recovery software would be appreciated by the way), but the real concern is getting the drives installed into another machine and configured in a way that would allow access to the drives _without_ needing to reformat them.

Questions aside from general help (which would always be appreciated) are as follows:

a) Is the windows XP workstation machine likely to try and format them if we attempt to set them up as raid 0?
b) If not, is the machine likely to pick up the previous raid 0 configuration and actually find the files on the drives?
c) Is there anything we should be trying to do to increase the chance of accurately recovering the data?

Thanks in advance to all help given.

Best Regards,
- Graham
Question by:topazg
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 16884606

If the RAID setup was through a controller, windows does not really deal with the setup. When adding them to a different controller, make sure not to initialize the array.

If the drive died, the data on the drives is gone.

There are different last ditch efforts to put the drive in the fridge and then hope that it will be enough to get the drive working long enough to get the data.  There are also suggestions to replace the controller board.

All these apply if you know what went wrong with the drive.  

add a drive to a different system and see whether it is seen in the bios, run Manufacturer low level tests w/o write.  This will hepl determine whether the issue is with corruption of the raid or a HW issue with the drive.

RAID 0 is bad.
RAID 0 for a Boot drive is really bad.

Author Comment

ID: 16885461
Thanks, we have now tried these solutions and managed to run RAID Reconstructor and OO DiskRecover on the machines, and have managed to reclaim all of the non-critical (which is backed up anyway) information we were hoping to retrieve.

When rebuilt, I have a feeling we will buy 2 new drives (one replacement, one new one) and go with RAID 5 - either that or we will just have two totally separate physical drives and not use an array at all.

Thanks for your prompt response and advice!

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