Raid Data Recovery Maidenhead
RAID Server & Array Commonly Reported Failings:
What is a RAID server? A RAID server is a piece of hardware that allows multiple users the ability to save and read data from multiple drives at the same time across a network whilst the drives create mirror images of each other in order to (a) increase the access to the data across the network and (b) reduce the risk of data loss. It is therefore ironic that we here at Maidenhead Data Recovery are often to help recover data from RAID arrays that have developed problems above and beyond the norm. A RAID server can continue to operate if 1 or perhaps 2 of its drives fail at any given time and to this end the other drives in the array take up the slack and continue to make mirror images of the data as per usual. However should it be the case that more than 2 drives fail (and it can happen regardless of how unlikely it sounds) then the RAID array will become unable to store or read any data as a means of safeguarding the remaining drives. Firmware problems on drives in the array can also be among the reasons for failure as some RAID users may attempt to use a variety of different drives within an array in an attempt to save money or simply to reconstitute older drives. Although this can be done we do not advise it and recommend that where possible all the drives in a RAID server are of the same age i.e installed at the same time.
RAID Hard Drive & Array Mechanics in Need of Repair:
The mechanics inside a RAID server are intricate and many in number. Indeed if you consider the amount of components contained in a single hard drive and multiply it by the number of drives in the array you are some way to understanding that there are many more components that can fail than in an ordinary desktop PC or Mac. Common problems within a RAID server are platter failures, actuator arm breakages, read/write head failures and PCB damage; just as might be experienced in an ordinary single user PC. If you are experiencing hardware failure that is bringing your RAID device to a stop and therefore reducing productivity in the workplace contact us at Maidenhead Data Recovery where we can offer advice and guidance on how to repair the problem as well as how to ensure the best possible recovery of your data.
RAID Rebuild Dos & Don’ts:
One of the most common requests we find ourselves answering here at Maidenhead Data Recovery is that of why a RAID rebuild has been unsuccessful. We have answered the call for help from many professionals who have followed the instructions to the letter and have indeed carried out many successful rebuilds only to find that the latest one is proving tricky. RAID 5 rebuilds are a common bone of contention because all it takes is one component to be functioning at a substandard rate for the rebuild to fail. The same applies when a relatively simple ‘Hot Swap’ is attempted whilst the array is still running. Although many of the newer RAID devices offer this as a standard problems can still arise especially if the drive being inserted has been formatted on a different system or perhaps has been used elsewhere with underlying issues left undiscovered.
RAID Array Firmware Queries:
RAID arrays contain firmware just as a desktop PC or Mac would and problems can arise if the firmware governing how each of the drives function becomes corrupted or indeed ceases to function at all. A common problem with the firmware used to connect RAID devices is that it suffers a failure to be recognised and therefore any user trying to access data from another computer on the network is greeted with a message telling them that the RAID device is either not present or has failed. Using the F2 BIOS to ensure that the SCIS settings are adjusted to RAID is one of the first ways to make sure that firmware is the problem. Sometimes it can be the case that the BIOS has experienced a glitch and has reset itself, rendering the fact RAID was originally selected as moot. Again many of our clients have approached us after having reseated all of their RAID components such as memory, controller cards and the likes only to discover that the problem still exists. And often a firmware upgrade does nothing to cure the problem. Here at Maidenhead Data Recovery we have 15-years dealing with RAID and its subsequent firmware issues and contacting us is the first step to ensuring that all data is safely recovered in a format of your choosing before a rebuild can be attempted.
Faulty Partitions, Controllers and RAID Setups:
There are two kinds of RAID controller; the software controller and the hardware controller in the form of a controller card that is installed onto a PC motherboard to increase the number of storage devices accessible at any one time. Although most motherboards have the capability of dealing with more than one drive usually the maximum number of drives a motherboard in a PC can deal with comfortably is two. And to this end a controller card is necessary to increase that number to accommodate the number of drives in an array. Whilst software controllers are available for the most part hardware controller cards seem to be the chosen method and to this end if there is a controller failure it is likely to be hardware based. As a hard drive has firmware and a graphics card has firmware (indeed nearly all peripheral cards have their own firmware dictating how they operate) so too does a RAID controller card and if this firmware fails so naturally does the card’s ability to determine how and if the drives work with it. We at Maidenhead Data Recovery have answered the call to many clients suffering just this problem and are extremely knowledgable as to how to resolve controller card issues – in particular if the card requires replacing – as well as ensuring the most up-to-date recovery of your data is possible.