RAID Rebuild

This guide provides a high-level overview of steps required to rebuild a failed RAID. Sometimes, the term "RAID rebuild" refers to the process of the redundancy regeneration in RAID 5. We are however discussing general aspects of RAID data recovery.

So, if you discovered that RAID has failed then act according to the following plan:

  1. Determine and secure the current array state. Label the disks, cables, ports, controller configuration (all the information you can find out - read more at this RAID Recovery Guide).
  2. Disconnect the array member disks and connect them to the controller which is capable of working with separate disks. It can be either a non-RAID controller or a RAID-controller in single drive mode.
  3. Launch ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery and recover the array parameters.
  4. If the controller and RAID monitoring software allow you to build the array without initializing it, then try to build the array in this mode according to the parameters determined by ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery. Be very careful if you attempt this, because if you rebuild RAID 5 with wrong disk order you will lose data; on top of that, a controller can initialize the array with zeros.
  5. In case of a hardware RAID, you can write the array to the disk using the corresponding feature of ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery and then try to mount the disk in whatever operating system was used. If you have not got the disk large enough then you can build a temporary array and write data on it. Anyway, never write any data to the member disks of the original array.
  6. If you have a software RAID - created by LDM or mdraid, you need a data recovery software. Here there are two options:
    • Create an array image file and load it to the data recovery tool.
    • Somehow load the recovered array parameters to data recovery software, bypassing the image part.
  7. Once data is saved and checked (always open at least several large files to be sure that data is reconstructed properly), you can rebuild the original RAID and copy data back.
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