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I have a Dell Dimension 8400 with two 250gb Maxtor hard drives in a RAID array. I will call the two hard drives in the machine 0 & 2; those were the positions given to them by the RAID application. One of the drives (0) started to fail (as confirmed by error codes returned during diagnostic tests). After consultation with Dell tech support, Dell shipped me a new Maxtor Maxline III 250 gb hard drive. When it arrived, I removed 0 and replaced it with the new drive (N). After installing Windows XP Media Edition, the RAID utility told me I was missing a hard drive, but both N & 2 were visible in “My Computer. I chose not to create a new RAID volume because I was afraid it would overwrite the information I had on drive 2. I then connected the old hard drive (0) to the pc via an external USB cable. Windows recognized the new hardware and I went to access it so I could transfer my settings, files, etc. before sending the drive back to Dell. Windows told me the drive was not formatted, would I like to format it now? I answered “No so as not to lose the data on it.

I then physically removed N and reinstalled 0 to try to copy the data I needed to 2 or to DVD. The computer then wouldn’t boot, telling me there were no bootable drives. I put the new drive back in, but haven’t booted up the computer.

Why is my old hard drive being recognized as “unformatted? I connected it via USB to my laptop and got the same message. How do I get my info off of “0 before I send it back to Dell? And is all the info on “2 gone as well since I installed XP to N while 2 was still there? Right now, I can’t seem to use my computer with the new drive or the old one.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,


Bill

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Last Post by nizzy1115
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What kind of raid array do you have set up. Is it a raid 0 which is for speed where it strips a file across both hard drives so it can access it faster. Or do you have raid 1 which is redundancy, it saves everything to one drive and mirrors it across to the other incase of a hard drive failure.

If you have raid 0 for speed, all your information is at a loss because half of every file is missing and that is useless to the computer. If you have raid 1 that is a different story, and it should not be gone.

Let us know which you have.

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I forgot to add this. A way to know which you had is if you had 500gb available you had raid 0, and if you had 250 available you had raid 1.

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In that case, I had RAID 0.


So, then am I sol?

I know all the info is still on drive "0" since it never actually failed, I just can't seem to access it. Drive "2" has me worried...did I overwrite the other half of all my files when I installed XP on "N", or is it safe since 2 and N were not installed as an array? If it the data is still there, what do you recommend to try to retrieve it? I've seen "Raid Reconstuctor" and "Unerase" spoken well of, but I don't have any experience with either.

Thanks for your reply,

Bill

I forgot to add this. A way to know which you had is if you had 500gb available you had raid 0, and if you had 250 available you had raid 1.

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Yeah, sorry to say it, but you are sol.

There is no way possible to recover files even off of the good hard drive. So you will have to format both drives, and reinstall windows.

Here is what i recomend though. Since you have already faced the situation where one of your drives failed and you lost everything, why chance it again. When you reinstall windows, choose for a raid 1 setup. You can always add a 3rd hard drive if you need the extra storage. But this way, in a raid 1, if one hard drive fails, when you stick in a new one, it will rebuild all the data back to the new one all by itself, and you will not lose anything. You will see a tiny bit of performance gone, but i think you may agree that it is not worth having to get everything you lost back again. Hope this helps :)

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It turns out I wasn't sol after all; I bought a program called RecoverSoft Media Tools Professional ($400) that not only recovered the data, it rebuilt my RAID array. I am running True Image right now to clone the entire thing to a spanking new hard drive.

The software wasn't cheap, but it was cheaper than the $2000 the data recovery services wanted.

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate you taking the time to help me,

Bill

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I am truely shocked at how this could have worked on a raid 0 "striped" array. Can anyone explain to me how its possible?

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