Need help with hard drive data recovery please

26 replies
Found 17th Dec 2016
Hi all


Quick story about what happened.

I had 2x 1TB HDDs in raid 1 on my old PC. I moved to a new PC and moved to a different motherboard. I went into RAID and attempted to carry on the RAID 1 from the old motherboard to the new one. Whenever I set RAID 1 as active the hard drives didnt show up in windows and my PC wouldnt boot with the raid drives in. I stupidly went into the RAID config in bios and split the raid, thinking because its raid 1 the data should be present on both drives if I split them. Low and behold this wasnt the case and as soon as I split the raid the drives are seemingly empty. When i go back to the raid config and try to rebuild raid 1 it says data will be wiped off the drives.

Ive now got both drives in my system and both are empty. Ive tried using testdisk to recover data from one drive but after running for days its only found around 100GB of data (should be over 0.5TB at least worth of data IIRC). Ive downloaded several different trial programmes such as stellar phoeni, easeUS data recovery and Data rescue PC4 to try and do a preview of the files.

EaseUS has scanned the drive and found 2TB of lost data on a partition, data rescue has found around 500GB.

Whats my solution here? All I want to do is get my drive back to the way it was before I split the raid, i.e keeping folder names and file location all the same as it was before.

Is there a simpler solution here for me such as rebuilding the raid? or I am stuck with trying to manually recover the data and trying to locate what I can?

I really need some help please, this has been driving me nuts for months now.

TIA

26 Comments

Try UFS Explorer, that is what I used a couple of months ago to extract the data from an unreadable drive out of an old Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ box (2 disks, Raid:1/FlexRaid or something).

I did a dump of the entire disk in question with Testdisk and then opened the created disk image in UFS Explorer.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 17th Dec 2016

Original Poster

I tried using testdisk and it only found like 100gb of files that it put into 1000s of folders that didnt reaemble the data at all. Is that what its supposed to do?

Original Poster

I tried using testdisk and it only "recovered" 100gb of data and then put it into 1000s different folders that in the end didnt resemble my lost data. Is that normal?

This is why im not a fan of RAID arrays. You drastically increase the risk of data loss when using a RAID-0 array. Essentially you sacrifice reliability for performance.

I used GetDataBack once before, and it recovered around 95% of my data. It wasnt on an array though so i dont know how successful it will be in your scenario. Good luck!

Original Poster

118luke

This is why im not a fan of RAID arrays. You drastically increase the … This is why im not a fan of RAID arrays. You drastically increase the risk of data loss when using a RAID-0 array. Essentially you sacrifice reliability for performance.I used GetDataBack once before, and it recovered around 95% of my data. It wasnt on an array though so i dont know how successful it will be in your scenario. Good luck!



​If you read closely I said i used raid 1?

Original Poster

​If you read closely I said i used raid 1?

Original Poster

​If you read closely I said i used raid 1?

Ok sorry miss read that part.
Is there any reason you cant just put the drives back in your old PC, assuming you still have it?
Hopefully your new PC wont have screwed around with the RAID data on the drives.

bbfb123

...it put into 1000s of folders that didnt reaemble the data at all. Is … ...it put into 1000s of folders that didnt reaemble the data at all. Is that what its supposed to do?


That would be because Testdisk could not find the actual partition/file index.

When I tried using Testdisk for the actual recovery it scanned the drive for hours, before I finally gave up and cancelled it. Download the UFS Explorer Standard Recovery demo and point it at the drive, it will either mount the missing partition after a few seconds or not.

The main problem with raid has always been "data" corruption. In Raid:1 bogus data/partition information/etc gets instantly replicated to all drives in the array. Hence why everyone is always "shouting" that all raid arrays must be backed up separately, if the data is important.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 17th Dec 2016

You are screwed - unless you want to pay a lot of money to a disaster recovery firm.

Next time, dont RAID, just use something like Acronis to make an image of your main drive every week or so. It only saves the used sections, (and I think uses compression) so you can mirror a 1TB drive onto a 500GB drive with room to spare

This is why I don't use raid set ups ever! I manually backup each week, takes minutes and I am sure I have all my data secure. I hope you recover what you lost

Personally, I would download SystemRescueCD (A Linux recovery environment), make a bootable USB stick and see whether one of the Linux utils can recognise the file structures. There are tutorials on that page on how to use the tools.

RAID implementations are not always compatible between different RAID controllers, particularly if the controllers are from different manufacturers. RAID is not as troublesome as people make it out to be so long as it is understood that compatibility issues between different controllers occur. For this reason, I ALWAYS use Windows RAID since I know that this is controller independent and transferring drives from one machine to another ensures compatibility. I have had the same RAID setup with no issues for 10 years purely because I set up the RAID in Windows. Connecting controller-dependent RAID drives to a different controller can render the data unusable and unrecoverable.

As for recovering data, you have no chance with your new motherboard because the controller does not understand the way the drives' data is allocated with your previous controller. Your only hope is to use your old motherboard or another controller that is compatible with your old motherboard and recover the data that way, provided that the data is not corrupted beyond recognition with the controller of your new motherboard.
Edited by: "ElliottC" 17th Dec 2016

the problem here is not that the raid system failed its the user did not know how it works and has screwed it up by splitting the array.
Suggest returning just one drive to the original system and attempting to boot from it (if the array) was originally bootable, if it won't boot leave it there boot from a separate disk still in the original system and try data recovery from there.

ElliottC

RAID implementations are not always compatible between different RAID … RAID implementations are not always compatible between different RAID controllers, particularly if the controllers are from different manufacturers. RAID is not as troublesome as people make it out to be so long as it is understood that compatibility issues between different controllers occur. For this reason, I ALWAYS use Windows RAID since I know that this is controller independent and transferring drives from one machine to another ensures compatibility. I have had the same RAID setup with no issues for 10 years purely because I set up the RAID in Windows. Connecting controller-dependent RAID drives to a different controller can render the data unusable and unrecoverable.As for recovering data, you have no chance with your new motherboard because the controller does not understand the way the drives' data is allocated with your previous controller. Your only hope is to use your old motherboard or another controller that is compatible with your old motherboard and recover the data that way, provided that the data is not corrupted beyond recognition with the controller of your new motherboard.



The only sensible answer.

westy125

This is why I don't use raid set ups ever! I manually backup each week, … This is why I don't use raid set ups ever! I manually backup each week, takes minutes and I am sure I have all my data secure. I hope you recover what you lost



Using RAID has nothing to do with whether you backup or not. RAID is use to give you either disk redundancy or improved read/write performance depending on which RAID level you choose.

You should still backup data just the same as you would on a non RAID system.

myapps

The only sensible answer.



not quite, to a non tech person like the op that answer will infer to re-attach both drives, some raid systems when detecting certain configs will begin to format drives, you may note my answer actually states only attach one drive.

Original Poster

maddogb

not quite, to a non tech person like the op that answer will infer to … not quite, to a non tech person like the op that answer will infer to re-attach both drives, some raid systems when detecting certain configs will begin to format drives, you may note my answer actually states only attach one drive.



​Not wanting to aound rude but please dont call me none tech. I just made a stupid mistake i know how to build pcs, overclock components etc.

bbfb123

​Not wanting to aound rude but please dont call me none tech. I just m … ​Not wanting to aound rude but please dont call me none tech. I just made a stupid mistake i know how to build pcs, overclock components etc.



Also not wanting to sound rude, but both those actions can be performed quite safely by trained chimps without a clue as to what actual technical reasoning was behind them, a "tech" person may have made the mistake you did but he would not have made it worse by his following actions, you did.
and you are welcome...

Original Poster

Well your saying to put one hard drive in to try boot from it. Why do I wanna try that? Its not an OS hdd its just data.

You want help and bite the hand that offers suggestions. Nice going.
If it's been going on for months then do it manually and move on, life is too short.
Then get a cloud backup set up too.
Raid 1 isn't worth the time or the hassle, unless you run a server farm, an automated backup will suffice 99% of people

Cozworth806

You want help and bite the hand that offers suggestions. Nice going.If … You want help and bite the hand that offers suggestions. Nice going.If it's been going on for months then do it manually and move on, life is too short.Then get a cloud backup set up too.Raid 1 isn't worth the time or the hassle, unless you run a server farm, an automated backup will suffice 99% of people



RAID Isn't a backup...it's hardware redundancy

@OP you really need to connect one of those disks back onto the original motherboard with another OS disk to boot from...that's the only way you are likely to access the data again. open diskmgmt.msc and see if you can initialise and online the disk, If not then the partition table is probably knackered. If however the array controller on the motherboard doesn't even recognise the disk is part of an array you have realistically lost the data.

It's interesting that you say EaseUS software is seeing 2tb of data, are you sure they were RAID1 and not RAID0? as that sounds like it's seeing 2TB of striped data,,,which would explain why you can't see anything on 1 dusk...

bbfb123

Well your saying to put one hard drive in to try boot from it. Why do I … Well your saying to put one hard drive in to try boot from it. Why do I wanna try that? Its not an OS hdd its just data.



sorry u didn't do an actual reply so i didn't get notified of this.
Your statement "my PC wouldnt boot with the raid drives in" gave me the impression the array was originally bootable, i use bootable RAID 1 arrays on several machines as i can't afford for them to be down for any length of time.
So the reason i suggested one was some RAID code will automatically start initialising drives if it detects a broken array and a "clean" disk, using one drive will stop both being formatted if the code becomes confused.

So, what is the verdict? Did you try connecting one drive to the old system/try reading one of the disks in UFS Explorer, to see if it can find the missing partition?

I hate cliffhangers.
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 1st Jan

Original Poster

SUMMONER

So, what is the verdict? Did you try connecting one drive to the old … So, what is the verdict? Did you try connecting one drive to the old system/try reading one of the disks in UFS Explorer, to see if it can find the missing partition?I hate cliffhangers.



​I've scanned the drives and am in the process of selecting a programme to hopefully get my data back. Had stuff going on in RL so hard drive has been put to back of the queue.
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