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RAID 0 Issues

I have an IBM system X3550 running 3 146 GIG SAS 10K Harddrives in a RAID 0 Config

This server is running ESXI 5.1 with three Virtual Servers

It appears that we lost one drive this AM.

Is there any way to recover the virtual servers off from this server??
Curtis Long
Curtis Long
5 Solutions
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's possible you could try, VMFS Recovery


but RAID 0 with a failed disk, the datastore could be corrupted, and beyond repair.
As RAID 0 offers no redundancy, you'd have to be very, very lucky to get anything back. Just get a new disk and use a redundant RAID next time, or at least run backups every couple of minutes...
Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
I have to get this out of the way...

RAID 0 is the worst possible scenario for any server, especially when used as a datastore for Virtuals.  Half of your data is stored on one drive, 1/2 on another drive.  1 drive loss is a failure.  If you are going to run a RAID 0 config, make sure you have a fool-proof backup plan.

That said, try ReclaiMe.
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If the data is worth $1000+ then just turn everything off and contact data recovery firms.  Many will give free estimates.  I strongly advise against running any brute-force recovery software, as they work by reading & rereading blocks and the software just can't possibly work properly in a RAID config, if it even works at all.

So your call .. pay $$$ and you have 95% of getting all or most of your data.  Or spend a few hundred on software that absolutely will cause some damage and prevent full recovery from a firm that takes the HDD apart and uses clean rooms to get data safely.
Running RAID0 on anything is a terrible idea, as the prospect of a catastrophic failure due to the lack of redundancy increaes in direct proportion to the number of drives in the array.

Deploying RAID0 on a server probably should be an indictable offence...
dlethe is right, once the failed drive is repaired professionally (which is very expensive since some of your data is on it) recovery is pretty straight forwards. There could be a head crash with oxide scraped off the platter in which case it's unrecoverable but more likely not.

Repairing the disk can be as simple as replacing the board with one from a good identical disk after transferring a ROM from one board to the other, I've done that in the past for people who said the cost of professional recovery exceeded the value of the data. I confess to be an amateur nowadays on disk repairs, they were a lot bigger when I was paid to do it as a living.

I wouldn't say using RAID 0 on **anything** is a bad idea, it's used for some data mining jobs, backup staging and other cases where the data can be recreated if it goes tits up. MS recommend it for Exchange data in big environments since it's held on multiple servers anyway so there are still redundant copies. I'd accept "almost anything" though.
@andyalder: Perhaps I should qualify my statement in the light of your comment. If it's in an environment where there's little or no redundancy, then it's a bad idea. The scenarios to which you refer are an exception because, as you rightly point out, those environments have redundancy anyway.

Unfortunately for HDM, his situation seems congruent with the former rather than the latter, hence his question in the first place.
Curtis LongAuthor Commented:
I agree.  RAID zero is not a good setup.  No need for any more beatings.....;-)

I THOUGHT this server was set with a RAID 5.  It was not.  

Unfortunate??  Yes.  
Stupid??  Probably.  
Changeable??  Nope.  

Going forward.  

Set the hard drives as individual drives on a new server.  
Add another Drive.  
Install Windows on the EXTRA drive.  
Use DriveImage XML from runtime.org to create an image of the failed drive.  (If you can get it to spin up.)  
Now create images for each of the other drives.

Use raid reconstructer from runtime.org to rebuild the RAID.  Now use VMFS recovery to copy your datastore.

Thanks for your comments and direction all!!

Curtis LongAuthor Commented:
Sorry Perarduaadastra!!  I meant to include in the point distribution.  Looks like I missed you.
No worries. I'll take the thought for the deed...
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