Recover data on RAID 0 config lost when CMOS batt died

Posted on 2008-06-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I recently was working on building a rig and the case was too small so I moved the DFI into the smaller case--same hard drives, same cpu, etc.  I just took out a tv tuner, modem, and sound card for the new system.  

In a simple case swap, it seems that the CMOS battery must have died because my settings were all reset and I think I lost my RAID controller setup as well.  I was running 2-160 SATAs in a RAID 0 and now with the system not seeing the RAID, I can't access my data.  The drives are still intact and have not been changed, but I want to know if I can reset up the controller w/o losing the data.  95% of the data is already backed up but I have some personal pics on the desktop I'd like to save it at all possible.  I don't have another 2 free drives so I don't know if that RAID Reconstructor would help here.  I'm taking as many suggestions as I can get before I have to break down and buy the software before knowing whether or not it'd help me.

If anyone can help me out, I'll greatly appreciate it.  Because I really want to recover my data, I'll assign this as a 500pt question.
Question by:richecker
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Wakeup earned 500 total points
ID: 21859875
Did you replace the CMOS Battery?
Is the raid controller on the motherboard?
Can you give us a little more information on the controllers and such?
If the Raid controller is on the motherboard then you need to make sure the Raid is turned back on in the bios.  If given a little more info on the type of board you have, we may be able to find the manual on the manufacturer's web site and walk you thru turning the Raid back on in the bios...?

If you already turned it on, does the raid controller see any drives? or configurations?!  If yes, what does it say/see?  and if you get any error messages etc....?
Worst case scenario put it all back into the DFI rig, and get it all reinstalled back in there and try to get it to be as original as possible.  Then maybe see if it can see it there. (should not need to do this.....butttt stranger things have happened, and you may need to put the tv tuner modem and sound back in never know...)

Author Comment

ID: 21860092
I didn't replace the CMOS battery.  I figure it was already dead and wiped the CMOS when the power was disconnected (basically had no other power than the battery for a few days).  The only thing I did was remove it and then clean everything out with a can of air.  Nothing abnormal.  I don't have the exact details other than it's the default hardware RAID controller that's with that the system.  I don't have the versions or anything at the moment because the rig is at home.  

I'll check if it's off in the BIOS which I think it would be at this point because of the reset.  Basically first time I powered up I had a CMOS Checksum Error F1 to reset and continue F10 to open BIOS.

I'll try and post any other information that I can as soon as I can get it.  In general thought, can you recover a raid config w/o wiping the drives?  
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 21860237
You did two things which are very dangerous with respect to data recovery: you used a motherboard RAID controller, and you set up a RAID-0 array.  When you use a motherboard RAID, any failure on the motherboard results in failure of the RAID.  Separate hardware RAID controllers, on the other hand, store the RAID information on both the controller and the hard drives, making recovery possible with a new controller or replacing a hard drive, depending on the type of problem.  A RAID-0 array doubles the probability that you will lose your data because a failure in either drive results in loss of the entire array.

RAID Reconstructor is my choice of recovery software because it does not write to the affected drives; every failed attempt that writes to the drives reduces the chance of recovery.  If the data is really important, get the extra drives and run RAID Reconstructor.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21862309
you can try setting up the RAID parameters on the new system to match what they were on the old, and see if it finds the RAID.  But if the on-board controllers are different, it is not to certain this will work.  If not, as Callandor said, use Raid reconstructor --

Author Comment

ID: 21874846
Just a follow up to say what fixed the problem.  Because the setting in the BIOS were reset, I went back in and re-enabled the raid and by miracle it took without a problem.  It was enough to get they system running and recover my data, but I am still having small issues that I intend to fix by re-doing the whole machine (RAID, format, etc).  

Thanks to everyone for the help.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21876637
Great glad that you were able to get the data at least most if not all back.

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