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I have a machine running Windows XP SP3 with a RAID 0 (2x 500GB). A few days ago, a message appeared in Windows saying one of the drives had a problem, but it ran a test (with Windows RAID Manager, or something like that) and it said it was fine. I believed it so it worked okay for a few more days.

Yesterday, my computer wouldn't boot, saying there was a disk on the RAID that had failed. My basic knowledge of RAID 0 told me "come on man, you know there's nothing to do", but I tried with a live CD:

On Ubuntu the drive is failing, nothing to do. WinPE (XP): the same thing. Windows 7: the RAID is there! The partitions are there, I can see the files (what a lucky guy I am), but I can't copy the files. Whenever I try, it does nothing. I've tried with GetDataBack - it sees the RAID volume, but not the partitions, and when I try to recover, it keeps on saying "Error 2 in HD123: during ReadLba" in every sector.

Do you think the fact that I can actually see the partition on Windows Explorer means there's hope? Anything I should try?

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Your data is split between the two drives in tiny chunks, so yes you can get data off the one drive, but it's unlikely to be meaningful. –  Sirex Jul 12 '11 at 8:59
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2 Answers 2

As above, RAID 0 provides zero redundancy and is meant to simply give you increased performance - you HAVE to use regular backups if the data on the RAID is important, as sooner or later it WILL fail and you WILL lose your data - just like standard disks really but with RAID 0 you have double the chance (as any one of the 2 drives failing has the same effect).

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RAID0 (block-level striping) divides data over multiple disks. Data on the working disk is still accessible, so if the critical parts of your partition happen to be on there, it's possible that you can still see your files. NTFS also keeps a backup of this area on a different portion of the logical disk, so you have double the chance of it being available.

Any reasonably large file (depending on the stripe size) however will always be divided over multiple disks, so will won't be able to read the file as a whole.

Unless you get the disk back into working condition, you're in trouble. The practical use of recovering data from the single drive is probably close to zero.

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I know I've already lost most of the info, but there are som particular files (small txt files ~30kb) I would like to recover. But I can't seem to find a way to browse the disk. I mean, i "can" see partitions on windows explorer, but as soon as I open a folder, it does nothing. Well it does: infinite loop. Must be some kind of software to access this disks right? Also, should i "undo" the raid array to recover partial data from one disk? –  Didac Punyet Jul 12 '11 at 8:12
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