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Recovering the data from my raid 1 array, failed raid controller

About a week ago I noticed, that on startup my raid controller said that the status of my raid 1 array was "critical", saying that it could only detect one of the drives.

I tried to disconnect them one at a time and would get the same message both times, but after having booted into Win10 the drive was detected normally.

Long story short:
I ended up accidentally resetting my bios settings to default, not realizing that the settings for the onboard raid controller were part of the "normal bios settings" because after all, the raid controller had a different menu before the bios page (which should make it pretty obvious that I'm a total noob when it comes to raid storage).

So now when my PC boots up, the raid controller "status okay" but does not realize that I have two drives that used to be a raid 1 array.

I already disconnected one of the drives permanently so as to not screw up everything accidentally.

When I now boot up, my one remaining connected raid 1 drive is of course not recognized by the OS and when I go into the windows partitioning menu it says "GPT Protective Partition". This means, of course, that using software like "ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery" is out of the question, since it doesn't see my raid 1 drive either.

I found http://www.disk-partition.com/gpt-mbr/gpt-protective-partition.html which told me to download their demo software and convert the GPT partition to MBR.

The question is:
Is this this the right thing to do or will that mess with the data left on the drive?
Will doing that and using some other software like "ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery" solve my problem?
If not - what else should I do and/or how screwed am I?

Sorry for the long read.
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about recovering data raid array failed raid controller
  1. If the status of your RAID controller was critical, it suggests that one drive was offline for an undetermined amount of time. You are best to set both drives aside, replace them and then look to recover the data afterwards. The steps that any data recovery professional would take are as follows:

    1. get a full sector-by-sector of each drive
    2. scan each clone separately with a data recovery program
    3. save the recovered data out to a new healthy destination drive

    Good luck!
  2. +1, avoid any potential commands or actions that might grenade your data!

    However have you tried booting up your system via an Ubuntu bootable disk or usb? Since you "broke" the mirror, theoretically you should be able to read the contents of the drive, thus you may have better luck via that route.
    You may need to mount the drive within Ubuntu but I would not initiate any other commands if prompted i.e. convert the partition etc.
  3. elmo2006 said:
    However have you tried booting up your system via an Ubuntu bootable disk or usb?

    That's a pretty good idea, I didn't think of that... I'll probably try it later tonight and report back to you guys.

    However I don't see why in principle I should have better luck reading from the HDD using linux drivers than using windows?
  4. DR_Luke said:

    1. get a full sector-by-sector of each drive
    2. scan each clone separately with a data recovery program
    3. save the recovered data out to a new healthy destination drive

    Well I did a thorough search using the AOMEI demo software and it came up with this:
    https://s18.postimg.org/xbqmir7gp/image.png
    https://s18.postimg.org/mq6r6r155/image.png

    As you can see it only found a 7.8 GB Fat32 Partition, some Bootpartitions and 2 Ext2 Partitions, both about 487MB in size...
    However, there should be about 450 GB of data there. Am I doing something wrong or does that mean the data is actually gone? I should also mention, that the drive I searched was the one which the raid controller said it couldn't detect, I'm going to try again later with the other drive I disconnected but I imagine the result should be the same.

    What about that GPT to MBR conversion thing? Do you think that would be advisable and/or "safe" to try?
  5. I've been doing data recovery since the 90's and I have never heard of AOMEI software, which suggests to me that it is probably garbage. What is the RAID controller you are using, by the way? I just assumed it was the on-board RAID, which means that there shouldn't be any Linux EXT partitions on the drive unless you installed Linux on your drive.
  6. DR_Luke said:
    I've been doing data recovery since the 90's and I have never heard of AOMEI software, which suggests to me that it is probably garbage. What is the RAID controller you are using, by the way? I just assumed it was the on-board RAID, which means that there shouldn't be any Linux EXT partitions on the drive unless you installed Linux on your drive.

    I was indeed using my on-board RAID controller which for the GA-990FXA-UD3 rev. 4.0 I have is the Marvell 88SE9172 chip.
    I tried setting up a dual boot for Linux mint and Windows 10 some time ago but deleted linux again (although there still seem to be some boot files left).

    What other software would you recommend instead that is preferably free or at least cheap? I've heard of and tried testdisk as well, which pretty much gave me the same answer I believe.
    The AOMEI software I mentioned was from the link I provided in the OP.
    http://www.disk-partition.com/gpt-mbr/gpt-protective-partition.html
  7. Best answer
    rafitxl22 said:

    I was indeed using my on-board RAID controller which for the GA-990FXA-UD3 rev. 4.0 I have is the Marvell 88SE9172 chip.
    I tried setting up a dual boot for Linux mint and Windows 10 some time ago but deleted linux again (although there still seem to be some boot files left).

    What other software would you recommend instead that is preferably free or at least cheap? I've heard of and tried testdisk as well, which pretty much gave me the same answer I believe.
    The AOMEI software I mentioned was from the link I provided in the OP.
    http://www.disk-partition.com/gpt-mbr/gpt-protective-partition.html

    You might want to try R-Studio (https://www.recoveryforce.com/r-studio will get you there) which most professional data recovery labs use (a more expensive version). You should be able to set the scan to only look for NTFS and exclude EXT and other false positive file systems so that you get a less confusing result. It costs about $80, but you can download and run the trial version to see if it finds what you are looking for before paying for it. Other commercial data recovery programs you might want to try are FileScavenger, UFSExplorer or GetDataBack.
  8. DR_Luke said:
    You might want to try R-Studio (https://www.recoveryforce.com/r-studio will get you there) which most professional data recovery labs use (a more expensive version). You should be able to set the scan to only look for NTFS and exclude EXT and other false positive file systems so that you get a less confusing result. It costs about $80, but you can download and run the trial version to see if it finds what you are looking for before paying for it. Other commercial data recovery programs you might want to try are FileScavenger, UFSExplorer or GetDataBack.

    HOLY MOLY! I downloaded the demo version of R-Studio and it found ALL of my files in less than no time, right on start!
    Sweet Jesus.

    I am going to check out some of the other commercial programs you suggested as well and see which of them also detects the files and I am probably just going to buy the cheapest one.

    But I guess you could consider my problem solved!

    Thanks a lot, you really saved my bacon man.
  9. +1 on R-Stuido. Actually using that software right now to clone a failing hard drive to another since it has the ability to skip bad sectors. and for 80 bucks you can't beat the price.
  10. drtweak said:
    +1 on R-Stuido. Actually using that software right now to clone a failing hard drive to another since it has the ability to skip bad sectors. and for 80 bucks you can't beat the price.

    As good as R-Studio is for file system recoveries, it is not very good for imaging failing drives...unless we are only talking about a handful of sectors. I don't believe that it can grab from a drive at an individual sector level and is limited by blocks. So, a single unreadable sector will result in an entire block of sectors not being read. If you want to image your failing hard drive with software, I suggest you use a free linux program, GNU ddrescue which both handles bad sectors and keeps a log so you can stop and restart without having to start from the beginning. A simple guide on how to use ddrescue can be found at https://www.recoveryforce.com/ddrescue

    Good luck.
  11. DR_Luke said:
    drtweak said:
    +1 on R-Stuido. Actually using that software right now to clone a failing hard drive to another since it has the ability to skip bad sectors. and for 80 bucks you can't beat the price.

    As good as R-Studio is for file system recoveries, it is not very good for imaging failing drives...unless we are only talking about a handful of sectors. I don't believe that it can grab from a drive at an individual sector level and is limited by blocks. So, a single unreadable sector will result in an entire block of sectors not being read. If you want to image your failing hard drive with software, I suggest you use a free linux program, GNU ddrescue which both handles bad sectors and keeps a log so you can stop and restart without having to start from the beginning. A simple guide on how to use ddrescue can be found at https://www.recoveryforce.com/ddrescue

    Good luck.


    I use DDRescue as well but mainly for really failing/clicking drives because of that feature. I have cloned drives with R-Studio with hundreds of bad sectors and not had any issues booting back up off the cloned drive (So long as the clonded drive itself was still able to boot)
  12. drtweak said:

    I use DDRescue as well but mainly for really failing/clicking drives because of that feature. I have cloned drives with R-Studio with hundreds of bad sectors and not had any issues booting back up off the cloned drive (So long as the clonded drive itself was still able to boot)

    That is your choice. I'm just trying to give you some advice to improve your recovery results. RapidSpar made a video that does a great job showing the limitations of software imaging programs, for your reference. https://youtu.be/Prb239fvxxE
  13. DR_Luke said:
    drtweak said:

    I use DDRescue as well but mainly for really failing/clicking drives because of that feature. I have cloned drives with R-Studio with hundreds of bad sectors and not had any issues booting back up off the cloned drive (So long as the clonded drive itself was still able to boot)

    That is your choice. I'm just trying to give you some advice to improve your recovery results. RapidSpar made a video that does a great job showing the limitations of software imaging programs, for your reference. https://youtu.be/Prb239fvxxE


    That actually looks like one damn useful device. But for $2K? Yea can't afford that!
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