raid 0 recovery
July 22, 2009 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to recover the files from a RAID 0 setup in a different computer?

On my old computer I had a raid 0 with two 50 gig drives, it was for gaming so I didnt really care about drive failure, i didnt have anything important on it. Now a few years later the mother board has died and now a couple of weeks later I realize I want some files from it. Im not sure what the controller was, it was a built-in one on the Soyo dragon mother board.

Is it possible to hook the drives up one at a time in an external enclosure and copy/get an image, of the two 50 gig drives and then just jam them together somehow and have the files back?

I'm looking for free solutions, because the files are not that important.

posted by Iax to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Typically you need to get a motherboard with the exact same type of RAID controller; there's not a lot of standardization between the on-disk formats of many "softraid" systems. If it had been RAID-1 (striping), you might be able to just plug the disk in and fudge with the partition table and read it, but with stripes it's a lot more complex.

The easiest way may be to try and locate the exact same motherboard on eBay or via some other used channel.

(Also: this is a reason why hardware RAID is no longer preferred by many people; pure software RAID doesn't generally have these recovery problems.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:38 PM on July 22, 2009

I saw that question, but it is not very helpful. It looks like all the answers were just don't use RAID0 for backup, which i already know.
posted by Iax at 2:53 PM on July 22, 2009

You're going to have a righteous bitch of a time getting this to work.

You'll need, at minimum, the exact same RAID controller. If you can get the same controller, it's usually just a matter of plugging them in and telling the RAID BIOS to pick up the array. This might work. But, it also might not. If it doesn't work trivially, then you're way up shit creek and your canoe's leaking.

To give you an idea of the generally perceived difficulty level here: a few years ago, I had a RAID0 array that I was very stupidly using for production work. I managed to trash it in software--i.e. I "destroyed" the data on it, not the physical drives.

I called up a data recovery outfit that came highly recommended for being both skillful and cheap. When I first called him up and started explaining the situation, he was like, "Sure, we can do that. Probably about $500 and maybe one week turnaround?"

Then I mentioned that it was in a RAID0 configuration on a Silicon Images motherboard controller.

The dude sort of hesitated and then mumbled, "Actually, if it's RAID0, you're probably looking at $8000 to $10000. I can maybe have it done in three or four weeks. We can knock a week, and maybe a couple grand, off that if you send us your motherboard along with the drives."
posted by Netzapper at 3:03 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Basically what Netzapper said. You need the same motherboard, possibly even the same REVISION of that motherboard, because there is a likelihood that when the manufacturer went to the next revision they also got a new version/vendor of the raid chip. There's also a possibility that the BIOS revision may (not as likely) have some affect on the RAID controller.

Otherwise you can look to recovery companies and pay an arm and a leg to have them do it professionally.

RAID0 is just fun like that.
posted by Nauip at 4:47 PM on July 22, 2009

Maybe look into runtime's RAID reconstructor?
posted by ijoyner at 5:31 PM on July 22, 2009

It would be worth your while if you're familiar with Linux at all to put the drives in another PC & boot from a LiveCD to see if dmraid can detect the RAID0 setup: it knows the signatures of a number of built-in cheap-ass motherboard RAID controllers (almost all of which off-load all the hard work to the main OS: very few are true hardware RAID).

Try the Ubuntu LiveCD, install dmraid if it isn't already installed (you can install extra packages into a running Live system booted off the CD so long as you have enough memory) and see how you get on...
posted by pharm at 1:58 AM on July 23, 2009

Any chance this was not Windows, and thus possibly done with software?

Linux and the *BSDs and Solaris can set up stripes and mirrors and whatnot with a software logical volume manager. (We do it all the time at $work with Solaris systems that lack onboard RAID controllers. Helps a lot in cases of a disk crash.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:13 AM on July 23, 2009

Ok, for anyone that searches this out. I got my data and it was actually pretty easy.

I first used an IDE to USB adaptor to hook one of the drives upto my computer.
Then I used runtimes GetDataBack for NTSF and made an image of that drive which I saved to my c:\ hardive. That took about an hour because the IDE to usb was sortof slow.
I did it again with the second drive.
I then I used runtimes RAID reconstructor on the two image 80 gig .img files I had just created.
It created a new virtual image .vim file. That only took a couple of minutes.
And finally I used runtimes Captain Nemo program to copy my files off of the virtual image .vim file.

posted by Iax at 10:56 PM on August 27, 2009

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