RAID Data Recovery – How It Works

April 16, 2018

Ever Wonder What They’re Really Thinking?

RAID data recovery is probably one of the most complex processes any data recovery firm can perform. More often than not, the problems are compounded by the actions of the client prior to sending the drives in for recovery. Many users feel that it is important to try and recover the data themselves or repair the array through various system utilities, and this may be fine if the data is not critical. However, it has been our experience that when you have a RAID failure that has resolved in substantial data loss, more often than not, somebody's job is on the line if that data is not recovered. The largest piece of advise this article can provide in the event of a RAID failure: LEAVE IT ALONE.

IT professionals have a lot of pressure placed on them when a catastrophic system failure occurs. It is their job to make sure that all systems are up and running. Many times, out of panic, troubleshooting processes are initiated in order to correct the problem. Often times these processes only make a bad situation even worse, and in many instances they can render the data unrecoverable. Let's keep in mind what this data can consist of in an average corporate environment. You are probably dealing with information that cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor and resources to create. Much of the data probably can not be duplicated. The intellectual value alone could have been in the many millions of dollars. Corporate executives really do not care to hear about how the failure occurred, or what unbelievable string of events led up to the server crashing. They do not care to hear the technical jargon as you try to explain to them what happened, and hope they understand that it was not your fault. They only want to know one thing … "Why was this data not backed up, and how can we get it back?"

Instead of taking chances on your own, call a data recovery professional. RAID data recovery can be expensive, but in most cases it is much less costly than trying to recreate the data that has been lost. There is a set procedure that most data recovery professionals follow when it comes to performing any recovery work. These procedures are followed and expanded upon when dealing with a RAID recovery. The first step of any RAID recovery is to make sure all of the drives are functional. In order to properly complete the recovery it is essential that all drives are fully functional (this is especially true with a RAID 0). This may involve taking any physically damaged drives into the clean room, in order to make the necessary repairs so that they function normally again. Once that is completed the next step is to make complete, sector-by-sector clones of every drive. This is not "Ghosting", but a very low-level process that allows the recovery technician to work around bad sectors, and have complete control over how the drive functions. During the cloning process, the original source drive that you sent in, is generally put in a "write protect" mode so that no data can be written to the drive. This insures that the original source data is not altered in any way.

Once the cloning process is complete, the original drives you sent in are set off to the side and are no longer touched. The actual recovery process is performed on the cloned copies, so nothing that is done during recovery can make the situation worse. After the drives are cloned, they will be loaded into an emmulator and destriped. Destriping is like taking the scattered pieces of a puzzle and putting them together neatly. Simply stated, destriping is taking the data scattered among the multiple drives that make up array and placing it onto a single destination drive. From there we have a single drive in which we can complete what we would consider to be a "normal" recovery. We can complete this process even at the multi-terrabyte level. If the damage to the stripe is not too severe, in most cases a complete rebuild of the directory structure and all associated data can be completed.

As mentioned earlier, RAID data recovery can be expensive. Depending on the company you contact the prices can vary considerably. Typically a RAID recovery can be priced anywhere from $ 800 to $ 3,000 per drive. A number of factors influence the cost, such as RAID type, file system, total size, situation of failure, etc. Many times attempt fees and assessment fees are charged if the data is unrecoverable. This is understandable due to the amount of time and resources required to perform a single RAID recovery. However, in most cases the costs involved in recovering the data are not even 1% of the data's overall value. If you are reading this article and you have not suffered a RAID failure, what are you waiting for? Back up your data NOW.


  • Terry C. April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Voted down because you DIDN'T TALK in a VIDEO!!! I HATE you idiots that make a VIDEO and DON'T TALK in it!!!

  • Rohan Surse April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I have created recovery media for hp laptop through hp recovery manager app.App verified the usb and said recovery is successful. But usb drive not showing any files its empty but showing 14 gb used space. IS RECOVERY MEDIA PROPERLY MADE AND WILL WORK?

  • endri gjoka April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks Bro

  • Ashish Mandal April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm


  • Zachary Rosch April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    mmm my laptop does not have one titled "factory image". I have C: D: HP_TOOLS(F:) and system reserved.

  • Dirk Overbeeke April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    My laptop keeps booting in to the recovery partition after i did this ,how to get the windows partition activ?

  • jessykakers April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    my partition was erased before i got it what do i do i have a hp 15-f272wm

  • gearhead133 April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Worked great for me, thanks

  • Dispencer April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    it Do Not Says Factory_IMAGE
    it is Just D:

  • Elsie Adams April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    the hp logo shows but after there's a black screen and nothing happens after

  • miriam Diaz April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    me either it didnt work

  • Rick Walters April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    This doesnt work either.. What can i do to fully recover my laptop

  • Miles 〈〈Tails〉〉 Prower April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    This dosnt help, I cant start my computer to that screen, the recovory process goes 98 precent then stops

  • The Layman April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Everything was on cue until disk management, The word Factory does not appear so I think you forgot to give all the data needed. Please advise

  • Larry Washington April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    can some one help me all i'm getting is the HP logo on my lap top

  • Riduan Ghanie April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks you really help a lot 🙂

  • Valo April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    It broke my computer it says BOOYMGR is missing and I don't have the disc

  • 為Raptor. April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Hello I had Win 7, I wanted to I test Win8 habs made and now when I win 7 change I always fail and will always Grafikfehler displayed and I had standard programs on it that I have not, you can have help me a laptop HP Pavilion g6 🙁

  • Bri G. April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Recovery no longer works on my HP, I think I deleted some files one day and messed it up. the partition is marked active but nothing happens when I try f11 on start up.

  • zack Lototzky April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I'm fucking pissed at this shit it wont fucking work

  • Noriza Mary April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I think I did this wrong I did what you show on your screen but I press the wrong back up system from wanted now my HP laptop is say windows failed to start have to f1 system information
                                                                                                                        f2 system diagnostics
                                                                                                                        f9 boot device options
                                                                                                                        f10 bios setup
                                                                                                                        f11 system recovery
                                                                                                                         enter -cantinue startup 
        but you see I have  pick f9 but my up and down keys don't work well and it sends me back to the same menu please anyone help me here's my gmail first I could not click recovery then not log in now this I blam myself for this 

  • Tom Mahony April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Perfect.  Thank you!

  • slickrichie April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    You are a legend! Saved me having to do 6 hours work for a friends laptop!!

  • ReaKtz April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    +TheJuicyEagle  i accetentaly deleted some files i didnt mean to know my computer is messed when i followed the video i could not find it just im to dumb to see it or what is the case?

  • Nina & Florian Gerl April 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    YESS!! That works! Thank you man! You have saved my day!!! But please type faster next time 😉

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