RAID Recovery from a RAID 5 Array

RAID 5 offers one drive of redundancy in exchange for a small amount of data, but even a well-maintained RAID 5 array won’t protect your data 100%.

RAID – which stands for a redundant array of independent disks – takes two or more hard disk drives and combines them into a single unit, coordinated by the RAID controller. There are multiple RAID levels that offer various advantages, including speed, capacity, and data redundancy. Some RAID levels are straightforward, like RAID 0, which is RAID in its purest form. Other, more advanced RAID levels, like RAID 5, require a bit more detail.  

A RAID 5 array requires at least three hard disk drives, and consists of block-level striping with distributed parity, offering good performance and good redundancy. RAID 5 is the most cost-effective RAID level that provides the user with these benefits. Data is striped across all the drives in the array - similar to RAID 0 – but it also stores parity data to aid with data recovery. Around a third of the total storage space is required to store the parity data in the event that the array needs to be rebuilt. So, it would seem that RAID 5 is a pretty failsafe RAID level. Why, then, do users still lose their data?

Unfortunately, despite the existence of parity data, RAID 5 isn’t a logical backup – meaning there is no second copy of your data unless you back it up. The user also has no protection against human error, like accidental file deletion, or the failure of a drive. Mechanical hard disk drives can fail for all sorts of reasons. The array itself could get dropped, resulting in a multiple head crashes, or a sudden power surge could fry the internal circuitry. Multiple drive failure is the most common cause of users in our data recovery lab requiring RAID data recovery.

Our RAID recovery service is straightforward. You can either bring your array into one of our offices, or send it to us via courier. Our RAID recovery team will then examine the system to ascertain what damage has occurred and whether any data is recoverable. A no-obligation quote will be provided along with a list of recoverable files, leaving it up to you to either accept or decline.

RAID Recovery