Corrupt data on RAID5 drive after Windows 2000 autochk


I have a windows 2000 desktop. The OS runs from an IDE drive, and I have 3 SATA drives setup with RAID5 for data storage.

Yesterday one of my RAID5 drives failed and I had to remove it from my PC. Before OS boot the nvidia mediashield software flagged the drive as 'degraded' but recognised the remaining 2 drives. Windows booted and I was able to see the RAID5 drive still and access the data. I know from past experience when the 3-drive RAID drops to 2 drives that you can access the data, but it is not a good idea to save to the drive, as the data will be corrupt when you rebuild the RAID back to 3 drives.

Anyway, it all seemed OK. I booted my PC again today, left the room and came back 5 minutes later to see the windows 200 chkdsk/autochk just finishing, and saw references to deleting orphan files on my RAID drive.

Now in Windows, I can see all the data but it is basically corrupt. An MP3 will play, but it skips and jumps. A video will play but it too will skip and has distortion in the picture, ISO files wont load because of they appear corrupt.

While i have loads of data, things like music I can re-rip from CD. However I have things like my digital photos from the last 4 years, which I dont have anywhere else. Some load, some dont (I know I should probably backup but that was why I setup RAID 5 in the first place).

I have read other articles on here about trying to undo the effects of chkdsk, but these relate to missing data. I kind of wish I was dealing with missing data because I have been able to successfully do this in the past.

I am currently running a full scan using EASUS Data Recovery (3hrs remaining) and will see if that can help ( but does anyone have any ideas how I can undo the effects of the chkdsk or fix the corrupt data somehow.

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Id hate to say it, but I think you're stuck. RAID 5 isnt supposed to be a backup solution, only a means to protect yourself from hard disk failures. As you've found out (the hard way), it doesnt help much when the issues are software based.

You could always take out the offending disk and replace it with a new identical disk and let the array rebuild, but Im not sure that will help iof the data is already corrupt.

In future, you might wanto either use Acronis True Image to backup to an external disk, or Mozy which is an online backup solution. Depends on how much data you need to backup and what your internet connection is like - I myself have both, backup everything (more than 250GB) to a spare 300GB disk, and backup the really important stuff to Mozy as well.

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linus101Author Commented:
i think your right, unfortunately. some data is ok but some is corrupt. i will certainly look into using RAID5 and a seperate backup for important data from now on.
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