Recover files on hard drive of server that wont boot


we have a Dell poweredge T410 server which has 4 hard drives (2 sets of Raid 1) and today it seemed to reboot itself and now wont load windows server 2003. I spoke to Dell and they said it looks like the issue is related to the Raid controllers - 2 of the hard drives are showing as foreign under the RAID configuation utility and looks like we need to clear the 2 foreign drives and re-import the configuation data. However before we proceed with this im concerned we may loose some date on the system drive (drive C)  - Dell also said this might happen. So what i would like to do if possible is recovery some key files (mainly the most recent SQL backup + log files). So intially I tried to boot of from a symantec system recovery 2011 bootable CD which has a program that allows you to browse the computers local hard drives & allows copying to an external USB hard drive.
However when I tried this the system drive (drive C:) does not show up, only drive E (extra  data) and the CD drive. Is there any way in which i can recover some data on drive C?, any programes that may help or is it likely the data lost on 1 or 2 of the drives.

Please help  
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Data loss might depend on which two drives went bad.  If you got lucky and the two drives are both on two different RAID setups (as you mentioned 2 sets of RAID 1) you should be able to take those two bad hard drives out and replace them with good drives and fix the RAID through RAID BIOS.  Since they are mirrored all your information should be ok.
kevin1983Author Commented:
Ok i guess i need to try and establish which raid each of the two drives belongs to. what about if i removed one of the hard drives from the server and installed in another server or desktop to see if i could access the drives? or would this cause more issues
You could always remove the drives and try to hook them up using a USB hard drive adapter to see if you can reach the files structure.  
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kevin1983Author Commented:
Do I need a USB hard drive enclosure bay to be able to do remove the drives and insert them into this?
There are many different ways you could hook it up.  There are usb cables, hard drive enclosure would work.  As you mentioned desktop or server would be able to same if you don't have the first two mentioned.  I would use a desktop before you connect the bad drive to another server.

There are also companies out there that can get data off of bad drives from RAIDs.

kevin1983Author Commented:
ok i dont have any usb enclosures, or USB i dont think (not sure what type of cable would be needed)

will likely try connecting drive to a desktop, thought other option would be to boot to unix of a bootable CD on  the server without installing the software, but maybe this wont make any difference as the symantec software couldnt see the drives

Hello kevin1983,

There is an solution that give results and this is a specialized software for this kind of problems.

One of the best solution is a Linux Parted Magic Live Boot CD.

You only need to download bootable ISO file that has about 175 MB and burn it on the CD like ISO image.

It has a really good abilities and can see the all hard drives if there is any possibility !!!

So, download this from:

Then boot from CD and choose default option to enter in this Linux operation system.

You will see there a hard disk icon on a taskbar and click on it. You will have two windows - one with all hard drives and the other where you have to press Mount button for every hard disk and then then red marks will transform into green. It is like in UNIX system.

Then you can click on hard disks and view a folder and copy any folder to external hard disk.




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kevin1983Author Commented:
Thanks for your help. I used the Boot live CD and recovered some key files, we still seem to have an issue with one hard drive not wanting to sync up in the RAID and looking into if its hardware fault with hard drive or something else such as raid controller card
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