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I now have 2 failed external hard drives that won't mount. They are well past warranty. Opening one reveals two 3.5" HDDs...connected to the controller via SATA. (haven't opened other one so not sure about its connectors).

What I'd like to discover is if the power supply or controller have failed in which case I'd assume I could replace them?!? Or if one of the disks has failed in which case I could reformat the working disk to use as a spare perhaps in a separate enclosure.

I don't have much experience with RAID controllers so I'm wondering if anyone knows what would happen if I were to take the two HDDs from one failed enclosure and put them in a new RAID ready enclosure? Would they "automatically" just work? I assume they're RAID 0 unless manufacturers have some proprietary approach - One drive is from Fantom and the other from LaCie.

Any thoughts? Hate to throw 4 HDDs away...of which at least 2 must still be salvageable in some way...even if the data is not.

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The RAID controller in the box will dictate if they will work. If it was same make/model/version you might be fine. If not, chances are slim.

You can attach drives to a SATA contoller or in an external case (USB/FireWire, eSATA) and test once you have ruled out rebuilding the array. As you note, you may have some good drives that can be retasked.

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How can I determine what "make/model/version" RAID controller was used in each device? This doesn't appear to be something LaCie and/or Fantom make easy to discern. – Meltemi May 9 '11 at 16:43
You may be able to examine the chips on the board but beyond that, if unpublished by manufacturer, you are out of luck. If you can go ahead without recovering data, I would connect to a SATA card or grab an enclosure. Test the drives and use the good ones for something. – Dave M May 9 '11 at 19:11

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