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serious problem: USB 3 RAID box has killed mirrored disks


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#1 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:50 AM

Hi All,

 

I'm in serious trouble, and I need help.

 

Attached to my Windows 10 box, I've a USB 3 dual-bay hardware RAID enclosure that is set up in RAID 1 (mirrored drives) with two 8TB drives with about 4TB on them. 

 

Yesterday I restarted my PC and when it came back up, the drive did not show up. Testing on both the PC and a Mac (both drives in the RAID box and as separate drives in another USB enclosure) indicates that the data is inaccessible. The Mac wants to initialise the drives upon mounting, the PC gives this error when I click on the drive in Explorer:

 

"The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable." 

 

I bought this bloody enclosure so that I'd have dual drive redundancy, I didn't expect the box to kill both disks simultaneously (the chance of both disks failing simultaneously is pretty low, I blame the RAID enclosure).

 

Hardware background: 

 

The RAID enclosure is this box:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0185253EC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

(this is definitely not a covert ad: never buy this box, and I'd never trust "Orico" again. Read my review, plus this post).

 

Inside are dual Seagate 8TB Archive drives: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XS423SC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

This is my archive drive. I'm a filmmaker and photographer, my projects average 100-200GB, and when I finish a project, the entire project folder is copied to this archive RAID (the edited part of any project is sent to the client, and redundantly to a RAID 5 NAS). As of yesterday, the drive is holding about 4TB. 

 

The real problem is that my working drive (internal WD Black drives, also in RAID 1) is full, so I've been forced to store several active projects on the external 8TB RAID. Its loss could be devastating to me.

 

I'm afraid I'm not an expert in PC hardware issues, and I don't know where to start to try to solve this problem. 

 

Can anyone help? I'd be very grateful.

 

Chas


Edited by hamluis, 30 July 2016 - 04:06 PM.
Moved from External Hardware to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 technonymous

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:16 AM

Not sure exactly what went bonkers with your raid box that wiped out the raid 1 configuration. Did it come with any recovery software or documentation? I assume it's asking to rebuild the raid. That is something you don't want to do or you lose the drive data. You need to remove the drives and hook them up individually to your Windows pc and use free tools or buy some good recovery software. Windows may say it needs to reformat the drive don't. The final solution would be to send the drive to a recovery place. That can be expensive. Give the free tools a try.

 

http://filehippo.com/download_recuva/

http://www.freeraidrecovery.com/



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:19 AM

Are any disks listed as RAW in Disk Management?

 

I don't have experience with R-studio.

 

http://www.r-studio.com/RAID_Recovery_Presentation.shtml



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:20 AM

Whatever tools you decide to try, free or pay-for, don't let anything write to those affected drives.

I highly recommend either pay-for R-Studio or Stellar data recovery tools if the freebies "can't touch them."

Both R-Studio and Stellar mention being able to work with RAID drives.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 technonymous

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:25 AM

Here is a pay one, but the demo will not recover the files only let you know IF it can. They recommend the demo trial before purchasing. They also have another version that does a more deeper scan with more formats ext3 etc.

 

https://www.runtime.org/raid.htm

 

It's $100 bucks, but that's cheap considering the situation.


Edited by technonymous, 29 July 2016 - 09:27 AM.


#6 RolandJS

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:31 AM

"...The real problem is that my working drive (internal WD Black drives, also in RAID 1) is full, so I've been forced to store several active projects on the external 8TB RAID. Its loss could be devastating to me..."

The solution you are not going to like, nor will your wallet like it.  Take the whole thing, computer and all external hard-drives to any serious-minded, serious business, computer fix it place [for example I go to Altex in AustinTX] and pay the tech fair monies to get your data copied from your affected hard-drives and your normal internal hard-drive onto at least two supersize TB platter-driven [NOT RAID] hard-drives.  Have them walk you through a Macrium Reflect pay-for backup/restore routine so that this situation never happens to you again without sufficient backups onto sufficiently-sized external hard-drives [NOT RAID] in place.  Yes, this solution set is going to be really expensive, however, if the data is mission critical to your business survival, what are you waiting for?

 

Addendum:  corrected/changed a "you" into a "your" -- too late for one successive quote  :)


Edited by RolandJS, 29 July 2016 - 07:51 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:39 AM

Great series of replies, everyone (wow, fast).

 

I've pulled the drives from the RAID, and so will only be testing/trying to recover from one of them. 

 

Thanks for the recommendation for software. I have zero problem buying software in this case so, even if something costs, if it's good, I'd love to hear about it!

 

@technonymous, it's not asking to rebuild the raid, as both drives have lost, I'm guessing, their filesystem. This box does come with tools, but they are only for configuring the RAID when setting up, no recovery tools. Sucky company. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll try them out (fyi: I'll be working on just one drive at a time, not on the RAID, dual-disk redundancy has to help me now in this little way, at least!).

 

@JohnC_21 I'm afraid my PC-newbness is going to show now: what does: "Are any disks listed as RAW in Disk Management" mean? Thanks for the link.

 

@RolandJS Very good advice, I'll definitely take it (been careful to not let anything write to them, which is easy: they're not seen by either OS I've tried). Thanks also for the recovery software recommendations.

 

Thanks again everyone, I'll keep you updated.

 

Chas



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:44 AM

It's tool late as you pulled the drives from the RAID but to open Disk Management right click Computer > Manage > Disk Management.



#9 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:46 AM

@RolandJS strong advice, and if I can't get any headway with the problem here, I'll be doing exactly that.



#10 technonymous

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:47 AM

RAID really in my opinion is a poor backup solution when the raid box itself gets stupid and decides to forget it's own raid config lol Then you're left with doing this sort of recovery. This is why I just Image the files and span them over JBOD. I lost count how many times I relied on RAID and it's failed 9 times out 10 for recovery.



#11 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:55 AM

Hey @technonymous, I'm not using RAID 1 as backup (that really is a bad strategy), just redundancy against the possibility of disk failure. My internal RAID array is backed up nightly to another drive and, of course (as I mentioned), finished projects go in several different places.

 

My primary mistake in this case was to (temporarily) put mission critical data on this external RAID box. I've used various RAID configurations for years, first time I've had something like this happen (stupid of me to trust a cheap chinese made box).



#12 RolandJS

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:04 AM

If you go to a serious-business computer fix-it shop, tell your wallet to be prepared for such a financial wedgie that it will be singing Saprano Descent in a church choir until well after this coming Christmas.


Edited by RolandJS, 29 July 2016 - 10:09 AM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#13 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:08 AM

Oh @RolandJS, you are not making my day any easier!!



#14 technonymous

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:09 AM

Hey @technonymous, I'm not using RAID 1 as backup (that really is a bad strategy), just redundancy against the possibility of disk failure. My internal RAID array is backed up nightly to another drive and, of course (as I mentioned), finished projects go in several different places.

 

My primary mistake in this case was to (temporarily) put mission critical data on this external RAID box. I've used various RAID configurations for years, first time I've had something like this happen (stupid of me to trust a cheap chinese made box).

Yeah, I saw the pic it does look cheap. If the drives are dead you might want to go with a WD red version, I take it they are specifically for NAS/RAID. Not sure if they're better I read mixed stories about them all. Seems everything is going with rainbow colors now. Prices jump considerably with the red and purple drives probably because they are designed to take the abuse. 


Edited by technonymous, 29 July 2016 - 10:10 AM.


#15 cgtway2

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 10:29 AM

@technonymous oh, I'm very famliair with WD Red drives, I have 4 of them in my external NAS :-) They are definitely designed for NAS use, but the Seagate drives I was using in my archive RAID are designed for exactly that: infrequent access archival purposes (Seagate product page here: http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/enterprise-storage/hard-disk-drives/archive-hdd/ )

 

fyi: Purple WD drives are for CCTV applications, and Black drives are enterprise-class for data intensive uses (which is why I use two of them for my working RAID). I'm very happy with the Red drives, they are on 24/7 in this NAS (it's accessible by the entire household, and I have two kids :-) and two of them have been in this NAS for several years.

 

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.

 

Now I'm on the search for a high quality RAID box (that's empty, that's the hard part).






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