HW Raid would break or not?

I have a downed server (motherboard, PSU) and would like to extract the data off of one of the drives.  Currently, the two drives are in a raid 1 configuration off of an expansion card.

If I take one drive and plug it into another machine temporarily to copy data from it, but keep the downed server powered off, would I destroy the raid array or have problems in any other way when powering the old server backup when the replacement parts arrive??
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You should have no problems if you leave only 1 HDD on the old server. I would:
a. Remove 1 HDD from old,
b. Attach the removed HDD to a 2nd box (I suppose you have an identical RAID CTRL on the 2nd, right?),
c. Recover data from ths removed HDD,
d. When the old server is fine, turn it on with the single HDD. Make it boot and make sure it is running fine. Shut it down,
e. Add the removed HDD to the old server and turn it on. It should resync automatically.
Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
Usually all HW RAID controllers add a payload to disk to permit change disk controller in case of failure. I think that using same controller that have original server, on other machine and removing hard disk may work. But doing this, will break consistency between disks and need to regenerate them.

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As long as you write nothing to the disk while you are reading data from it, nothing should happen. If something does get changed, the array would start syncing again when you bootup the repaired server.

Sometimes it may be difficult to read the data from the disk though, as RAID controllers usually write metadata to the HD and that often makes the contents invisible when used in another PC without a similar controller. It is probably a much better idea to restore the data you need from your backups while you wait for the server parts, and maybe build a temporary replaced server for that period.
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tru504187211Author Commented:
In the machine I'd like to temporarily connect one of the drives to, there is no raid.
If the 2nd box does not have a RAID CTRL as the DOWN server (for example: you have only a SATA or SAS CTRL with no RAID capabilities) you could not be able to read the added HDD. If the expected downtime is short, I'd wait to get the server UP and running again without playing with the HDDs.
Hi tru504187211

I have done the same thing as you are asking (connected 1 drive from a raid set to a standalone PC) many times in the past with several different types of RAID controllers. It has worked for me and your RAID shouldn't be destroyed, BUT I would use caution.

Without knowing what sort of server or RAID controller you have:
1. If possible, try to identify which drive is the master and leave that connected (if it's SATA, remove the higher port number e.g. SATA1 instead of SATA0, etc.)
2. Don't modify any data on the disk if possible, but it shouldn't matter even if you wipe the drive, it should rebuild the RAID when you reconnect it)
3. No guarantees
4. I realise that this is probably too little too late, but: Always have a good backup.

I hope you get up and running quickly and good luck.

You may want to clone the disk to a another drive and work on the clone, if you want to play it safe.
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