Frequent Problems On RAID Servers

Graphical representation of a RAID 5 server array.

Graphical representation of a RAID 5 server array.

There are frequent problems that lead to loss of data. Experts specializing in RAID data recovery processes are usually successful when the failure has been caused by a variety of conditions that could include a mechanical or physical issue, or a logical problem. Server and RAID disk arrays offer better performance, more capacity, and redundancy when compared to a standard disk system. However, in the event that it fails, this efficient system can be complex and challenging to recover any lost or corrupted data. This is why many businesses hire professional data recovery services to retrieve their valuable information from the non-functioning media.

The first step that a professional data recovery team of specialists performs on the RAID disk array is to determine what failure occurred in the system’s RAID volume. If failure was caused on multiple disks, the team will need to provide a variety of services to get any failed disk restored to a readied state.

The data recovery specialists then perform a mirroring process where a disk image containing low-level binary content are copied out to secure location (usually another hard drive or server). This allows the retrieved data to be reassembled. To do this requires de-stripping of every extracted disk image. Next, every disk element will be correctly oriented to form the RAID volume.

This part of the process requires the skills of an experienced team of data recovery experts because every system manufacturer uses different rate settings to fine-tune their system. Very often, a complete file system repair is needed before mapping out the actual data location is possible.

Every recovery procedure involves a unique set of circumstances based on a particular RAID array. As an example, a RAID 0 is built with no fault tolerance, meaning that there can be a margin for error. Even the slightest mishap could render the lost or corrupted data files useless. Alternatively, a RAID 5 is actually a combination of three or more drives. The multiple drives allow for simpler recovery because the array can be easily rebuilt.

If the computer user performs the wrong action once a failure occurs, their actions could cause permanent damage with no chance of data retrieval. Because of that, it is important to take necessary steps to prevent permanent data loss.

If any unusual noises are heard from any of the hard drives then it’s important to shut the computer down immediately. Noises often indicate hard disk faults and switching the drives off is often the best thing to do.

Always avoid trying to fix the situation yourself. Data recovery from hard disks and servers is a complex task best left to hard disk drive experts. This is because any alteration might not be reversible, destroying the only potential chance of recovery of lost or corrupted data.

Data recovery technicians use “clean rooms” in a controlled environment whenever opening a hard drive. This avoids disturbing hardware settings, and prevents contaminants from settling on the media surface inside the drive.

Avoid freezing or shaking the hard disk as it can cause extensive permanent damage, making the data lost irretrievable.

Accurate failure details are beneficial as they help the data recovery company understand what critical data files need to be retrieved from the hard drive. This will help quickly identify the crucial information when beginning the data recovery process.

If the crucial data was lost due to a logical problem, the deleted file recovery specialist can examine the data sectors at a low level and strip out the drives to capture the information. This provides the opportunity to restore the files. In the event that the file system structures have been damaged or missing and rendered useless, the de-stripping process of a mirrored image can be used to reconstruct the information.