File Recovery from Deleted RAID 5 Partitions

Just last weekend, we re-formatted an old server after deleting and recreating the old partitions. Is there a tool (preferrably free) with which I can retrieve files from the raided volume? At the moment, we already have the Domino engine running on this re-installed server.
NyelugoAsked:
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m203hconCommented:
was this software are hardware raid ?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
How did you "delete" and recreate the partitions, and how did you "reformat".   Please be as specific as possible.  

Did the RAID go through a process that took a few seconds, or did it take minutes or hours to come back?    Did you change the number of disk drives, or reorder them?  
If you just deleted and recreated and it only took a few seconds, and the order of the disks never changed, then it is highly recoverable.

If, however, it went through a formatting or initialization process, then it may or may not be recoverable ... it depends on whether the formatting rebuilt XOR parity, or it zeroed out every byte.
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NyelugoAuthor Commented:
Hi dlethe, this was a hardware raid.
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NyelugoAuthor Commented:
Hi dlethe, I'd used the IBM Server Guide CD to delete and re-partition the volume. The raiding took just a few minutes and same for each of the new partitions. Before the process, I had 3 partitons; I created 2 during the process.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Hmm, if you had said a few seconds, then the data would be there.  A few minutes (from time you pressed return to when it said it was done) indicates that it probably kicked off some sort if initialization, especially if the drives are old and relatively small.

If you *really* need the data and are a do-it-yourself guy, plug the disks into a non-raid controller, and get a binary editor (use od and dd if AIX, ) to look at the raw data and find a partition header.

What O/S was the partition running?
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NyelugoAuthor Commented:
Ok, the partition was running Win 2k3 SP2
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NyelugoAuthor Commented:
Actually, the raiding was not modified; only the partitions were deleted and then recreated (2 partitions in-place of 3). Each of the partitions took less than a minute to appear as complete. Hope this helps.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Oh, then that is very different.  Just google partition recovery software.  There is a lot of it out there.  Any one will do.  I am partial to a commercial product by runtime.org called getdataback.  Free to download, you pay $$$ to recover.  You may have damage beyond the partition, so best you spend $100 or so and do it right.  
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NyelugoAuthor Commented:
Ok. Does it matter that I've already re-installed new software on these new partitions?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
The data is recoverable if the partition did not change size.  Imagine a barrier that disappeared that separates the 2 partitions.  If the barrier disappears but the marker does not move (partition stays the same size) then data is recoverable, because nothing happened to the  other part of the disk where the deleted partition was.  If the partition of the original was decreased, you are also ok, but it is more difficult because you have to find the new starting point.

If, however, the old partition was increased in size ... then your data is gone but some can probably be recovered via the software I suggested.
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