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Recover data from crashed server which had RAID V configured

Posted on 2011-02-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Background:
We have an out-of-life server, Dell 1600SC, the motherboard of which burnt out and its not booting. The server has 4 SCSI hard disks with RAID V configured and I presume the hard disks must be in good condition. Dell Technical Support have said that the motherboard can't be replaced now as they don't stock it any more.

Problem:
I have some important data in the hard disks which needs to be recovered. With the server not repairable. What other options do I have to recover the data?

Probable solutions being explored:
1.  Checked with data recovery service providers, they say they can do it but it will be very expensive. (This will be a last option)
2. Can get the server motherboard repaired from other sources in market perhaps. (Haven't explored it yet. wonder if it is advisable)
3. Am enquiring from friends and acquaintances who might have a spare compatible Dell server where I can plug in the SCSI drives and recover data.

Am I missing out anything? Are there is other easier solution to access the hard disks?

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Question by:anuragtuti
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34986825
Was the RAID running on embedded RAID controller or was it true RAID controller? If the last then is the controller alive?
Also you could try to use RAID reconstructor to try build virtual RAID: http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm
Another possible way is (if RAID controller is alive) to connect it to another server or workstation - there take backup of the RAID configuration or directly copy out the data off the RAID.
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PowerEdgeTech earned 1000 total points
ID: 34987681
2. This would be the advisable and recommended thing to do to ensure you get the correct access to the data.  Third-party suppliers often contract through Dell to order and stock original Dell parts.  If you find one that still has some in stock, why not?  The good suppliers will provide a warranty for these parts, even if it is just long enough to ensure it is not DOA.

3. This can work too - plugging the drives directly into, say, a PowerEdge 2600, 2850, etc. and access them as kind of a "slave" drive, but as you put the drives on similar (but still different) controllers, you risk the subtle differences possibly interfering with your efforts to recover the data.

Moving the controller itself to another system may be another good solution - you wouldn't have to worry about controller differences, but you would have to worry about powering and connecting the drives.
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