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Server and RAID Data Recovery:

Please excuse us if the following information is too technical for the average computer user. Due to the nature of Servers and RAID configurations it is necessary to use terms understood by IT Professionals and System Administrators.


  1. The first recovery attempt of your RAID volume is the most important! Do not mess it up! Your actions are not reversible even by the best Data Recovery Engineers.

  2. Never attempt to reconfigure the RAID! This is catastrophic for the Data to be recovered and cannot be reversed. The original drive configuration is needed in order to perform a successful data recovery.

  3. Do not attempt to connect the drives to another RAID controller. Different RAID controllers configure Hard Disk Drives differently over writing the original configuration.

  4. Select a reputable Data Recovery Company! Do not just trust any Data Recovery Company to work on your Server. It might be your only chance you have to ever recover your data!

  5. You might think “I can reconfigure, I have backups” Make sure your backups work and are restorable! Make sure that your backup software did in fact, Backup before working on your Server.

We would like to make a statement. Server and RAID system failure are almost always recoverable unless human intervention occurs. I know some of you might say that we are making a risky statement. Through years of experience working with Server and RAID failures this has been our observation.

Should your RAID Server go down the wise and responsible thing to do is “power down” the Server and contact us immediately for advice and assistance. At LVC Data Recovery we regularly receive failed RAID sets to recover. LVC does not take any chances and will ensure that all necessary processes are in place and procedures are followed to ensure the successful recovery of our clients RAID data.

The client has the option to submit the entire server or in the case of rack mounted Servers, to submit only the Hard Disk Drives. Remove all the Hard Disk Drives numbering each one. All the drives in the RAID configuration is needed and not just the “faulty” drive unit or units. Make sure the drives are properly protected before moving them offsite. If you are not comfortable removing the drives contact LVC who will collect your Server Hard Disk Drives onsite placing them in a protective case.

LVC’s advanced RAID Recovery systems can detect RAID parameters such as drive order, stripe size, and the parity used in the original RAID configuration. This information is then used to reconstruct the RAID. LVC’s Data Recovery processes are “read only” and the RAID parameters and Data will not be altered in any way.

Our Data Recovery Systems supports the following:

RAID Sets Include:

RAID 0, RAID 5, RAID 10, NAS & SAN Devices.

File System Include:

Microsoft (NTFS, XFS) Linux (EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, XFS and FS Riser) IBM (HFS)Unix (UFS) & VMWare (VMFS & Virtual Servers)

Hard Disk Drives include:

SCSI, SAS, SATA and Fibre Channel Drives

Parities include:

Backward Parity (Adaptec), Backward Dynamic (AMI), Backward Delayed (HP/Compaq), Forward Parity & Forward Dynamic

LVC’s Recovery Servers has the capability to recover RAID volumes in access of 16 Terabyte (TB) or 16,000 Gigabyte (GB)

If your data is not stored in two or more places at once, you do not have it!

RAID configurations are designed to protect your data. Unfortunately RAID Servers, NAS & SAN devices DO FAIL at times. Duo to the fact that the client thinks his/her data is safe in a RAID configuration, regular backups often gets neglected.

RAID sets mostly fail due to two reasons. Mechanical Failure and/or Human Error.

Mechanical Failures:

As RAID sets are designed to “handle” Hard Disk Drive failures, one would assume that your data is safe BUT what happens when two or more drive fail simultaneously. One could argue that the chance of such a failure is most unlikely. We would like to differ. To name but a few situations.

  1. A Server fan goes down causing the Hard Disk Drives to overheat and fail simultaneously.

  2. A Server power supply goes down causing a power spike or not supplying efficient power to the Hard Disk Drives affecting more than one Drive.

  3. A Server alarm is not functioning or a warning message on the server is ignored by company staff as everything is “working” and the data is still accessible. Some time later a second drive fails causing an instant Server Crash.

  4. A Server RAID controller card malfunctions.

We can name many more situations that we have encountered over the years.

These situations will “Crash” any RAID server no matter how “safe” the configuration.

Human Error: RAID sets are not designed to “handle” mistakes made by the Server administrator. System manufacturers assume that the Server administrator knows exactly what he/she is doing. Companies employ such administrators also assuming that they have experience in Server RAID failures. As the Server administrator feels responsible for keeping the Server up and running, they might feel ashamed or are too ignorant to admit that the problem is out of their league and that they need the services of a Data Recovery Engineer.

Human Errors might include:

  1. One drive of the Server goes offline. The System Administrator inserts a new drive and selects the wrong options in the Controller configuration. Instead of rebuilding the new drive, he rebuilds the wrong drive or re-initialize the RAID accidentally.

  2. A Server RAID Volume runs out of storage space. The System Administrator plans to increase the volume as there are open drive slots on the server. He inserts a new drive to the RAID set and tries to extend the RAID onto the new drive. As we all know extending a partition can be risky and we have seen RAID volumes failing or file systems corrupted after such a procedure.

The Three most important words to remember before any configuration changes to a Server are made is BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP and make sure your Backups WORK! This can at times be very difficult as the Server may contain large amount of data, 12 Terabytes for example is too much to quickly copy to a external device. As a system administrator you have notify the company of the risks involved in the procedure you are about to perform in writing. We are all too familiar with System Administrator asking a company to allocate sufficient funds for a “proper” backup solution only to be ignored as all is “working” at the moment.

What ever your situation may be, give LVC Data Recovery a call on 0861 100 600.

Contact Details:

Local Tel: 0861 100 600
International Tel: 0027 12 345 3222
Emergency Number: 066 366 44 14
Adress: 656B Muskowiet Street,
Cnr of Piering and Muskowiet Street,
Elardus Park,

Office Hours Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 16:00 PM

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