RAID 0 Data Recovery

The bigger your data storage needs, the more hard drives you need. But it’s awfully inconvenient to have a dozen separate hard drives storing your data. Fortunately for you, there’s a way to take those dozen hard drives and make them act like one giant hard drive. This is called a redundant array of independent disks, or RAID. RAID 0, the lowest level of RAID, is one of the simplest RAID configurations. It provides the greatest boosts in performance. But it is also the RAID level with the least amount of fault tolerance and data protection. At Gillware, we offer financially risk-free RAID 0 data recovery services.

What Is RAID 0?

A depiction of a 640 KB file being broken up into ten blocks and written to a single hard drive and a three-drive RAID-0 array
A depiction of a 640 KB file being broken up into ten blocks and written to a single hard drive and a three-drive RAID 0 array.

RAID 0 is commonly used by home users, and with two hard drives. A two-drive RAID 0 array is more than twice as fast as a single hard drive on its own, since it can perform multiple read/write operations simultaneously. RAID 0 generally suffers from diminishing returns the more drives there are in the array, though, so people with three or four drives or more are likely to use higher RAID levels with other features and benefits.

To make a RAID 0 array, you take your hard drives and stick them together. Whenever you write data to your RAID array, the data gets split up into blocks and divvied up among the drives in the array. This is called disk striping. Each block or stripe is usually 64 kilobytes. Every hard drive in the array is used to its full capacity. If you have three 8-terabyte Western Digital drives in a RAID 0 array, you have 24 terabytes of storage space.

Now, say you have your three-drive RAID 0. You want to write a 640-kilobyte file to the array. That RAID controller breaks it into 10 64-kilobyte blocks. (If the file were 653 KB, you’d have eleven blocks, with the last thirteen kilobytes in the eleventh one.) These 10 stripes go to the drives in the RAID-0. Drive 0 gets the first stripe. Drive 1 gets the second. Drive 2 gets the third. Drive 0 gets the fourth. And so on and so forth.

Later on, you open up your file. A single hard drive has to read each block containing the parts of your file one at a time. But in your RAID 0 array, all of the drives are working together, and you can read up to three data blocks simultaneously. Your three-drive RAID 0 array won’t be exactly three times faster than a single hard drive. But it will be noticeably faster than one hard drive on its own.

RAID 0’s Shortcomings

RAID 0 seems great if you’re a speed demon. Every drive in the array increases your storage space and boosts your read/write speeds. But there’s a catch.

Other RAID levels, like RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10, use up some of their drives’ storage capacity to provide data redundancy. If one hard drive in the array fails, there’s at least one other drive to step in. These RAID levels sacrifice some efficiency and storage space for fault tolerance.

But RAID 0 makes no compromises in its pursuit of speed, making these arrays likely to fail. But if you are a speed demon, you shouldn’t be using spinning disk media anyway: Solid-state drives are much faster, and are becoming more affordable every year.

Take another look at your three-drive RAID 0. Imagine one of the three drives stops working. There’s a lot of reasons this could happen. Maybe there was a power outage. Or the drive’s read/write heads wore out. Or the drive’s firmware got a bug. There are a lot of different ways a hard drive can fail. If you’re very unlucky, a disaster might cause more than one drive to fail at once.

Now, one out of every three data stripes across your RAID 0 array is missing. The larger a file is, the more “holes” it will have. Parts of the file definitions and filesystem metadata will be gone as well. No matter how many drives you have in your RAID 0 array, it only takes one failure to bring the whole thing down. Whoever coined the ancient proverb “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” wasn’t talking about RAID 0. But they might as well have been.

Your data is more at risk in a RAID 0 array than any other type of RAID array. In fact, our CEO Brian Gill doesn’t even consider RAID 0 to be a true RAID at all, since it offers a negative amount of redundancy. A two-drive RAID 0 is actually more than twice as likely to crash as a single drive, because not only have you doubled your chance at drive failure, but the RAID controller itself could fail as well.

The RAID 0 Data Recovery Procedure

If you’re dealing with a crashed RAID 0 array, our RAID 0 recovery technicians can help you. We solve hundreds of RAID recovery cases each year. Simply get in touch with one of our recovery client advisers to get started on the road to RAID recovery.

Free RAID 0 Recovery Evaluation

One of our RAID-0 recovery cleanroom engineers disassembling a hard drive for inspection
One of our RAID-0 recovery cleanroom engineers disassembling a hard drive for inspection.

We always start with a free evaluation of your RAID 0 recovery situation. There are no upfront fees for any part of our services. We even offer to cover the cost of inbound shipping. With a prepaid UPS shipping label, you can send your crashed RAID 0 array to us at no cost.

Our RAID 0 data recovery engineers will take and assess every drive in the array. We send you a statement of work based on on the amount of damage and number of drives in the array. After evaluation, we know enough to present you with a firm price quote, estimated time for completion, and probability of success. If the terms of our recovery efforts are not to your liking, you are free to back out without paying us a dime.

Independent Analysis of Your RAID 0 Array’s Hard Drives

Each healthy drive is completely copied over to one of our secure internal customer data drives. Our custom-designed data recovery software makes full forensic write-blocked drive images for analysis. At no point do we ever perform forensic data recovery analysis on a customer’s original drive, or alter the data on the drive. We repair the hard drives as needed. Our engineers work hard to get as much of the failed hard drive(s) imaged as possible.

The RAID controller places special metadata on each drive in the array. Our engineers use this metadata to determine how the data fits together in the array. Our RAID 0 recovery computer scientists write custom software to arrange our images of the array’s hard drives. If any data is missing, our technicians work around the holes to give you the best recovery results possible.

We make certain that your critical data is as functional and uncorrupted as possible before we send you our bill. If necessary, we show you a list of recovered files so you can help us determine whether or not our efforts are successful. If we are unable to recover your critical data, you owe us nothing. The entire RAID-0 recovery process is financially risk-free.

Reuniting You with Your Data

We send your data back to you after your RAID 0 data recovery has been completed and paid for. We never hold on to your recovered data for very long. In the interest of security, we wipe all of your recovered data from our internal customer data drives after you have had a chance to verify that your recovered data works. Normally, we hold onto your data for five business days after you receive your data. Then, we securely erase your data using our drive sanitizer.

Still on the fence? Check out some of these case studies for our crashed RAID 0 data recovery services.

G-RAID Data Recovery Case Study: 8 TB RAID-0 External G-Technology Enclosure

In this case study, the client had been using a G-RAID enclosure as an external ...

RAID-0 Data Recovery Case Study: “File is Empty” Error

In this RAID-0 data recovery scenario, the client woke up one morning to find that ...

Why choose Gillware Data Recovery?

Gillware’s data recovery services are affordably priced, technologically innovative and completely secure.

Technology

Best-in-class engineering and software development staff
Gillware employs a full time staff of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, computer scientists and software developers to handle the most complex data recovery situations and data solutions

Strategic partnerships with leading technology companies
Gillware is proud to be a recommended provider for Dell, Western Digital and other major hardware and software vendors. These partnerships allow us to gain unique insight into recovering from these devices.

RAID Array / NAS / SAN data recovery
Using advanced engineering techniques, we can recover data from large capacity, enterprise grade storage devices such as RAID arrays, network attached storage (NAS) devices and storage area network (SAN) devices.

Virtual machine data recovery
Thanks to special engineering and programming efforts, Gillware is able to recover data from virtualized environments with a high degree of success.

Security/Privacy

SOC 2 Type II audited
Gillware has been security audited to ensure data safety, meaning all our facilities, networks, policies and practices have been independently reviewed and determined as completely secure.

Facility and staff
Gillware’s facilities meet the SOC 2 Type II audit requirements for security to prevent entry by unauthorized personnel. All staff are pre-screened, background checked and fully instructed in the security protocol of the company.

We are a GSA contract holder.
We meet the criteria to be approved for use by government agencies

GSA Contract No.: GS-35F-0547W

HIPAA compliant
Our entire data recovery process can be handled to meet HIPAA requirements for encryption, transfer and protection of e-PHI.

Pricing

No obligation, no up-front fees, free inbound shipping and no-cost evaluations.
Gillware’s data recovery process is 100% financially risk free. We only charge if the data you want is successfully recovered.

Our pricing is 40-50% less than our competition.
By using cutting edge engineering techniques, we are able to control costs and keep data recovery prices low.

Instant online estimates.
By providing us with some basic information about your case, we can give you an idea of how much it will cost before you proceed with the recovery.

We only charge for successful data recovery efforts.
We work with you to define clear data recovery goals for our technicians, and only charge you upon successfully meeting these goals and recovering the data that is most important to you.

Gillware is trusted, reviewed and certified

Gillware has the seal of approval from a number of different independent review organizations, including SOC 2 Type II audit status, so our customers can be sure they’re getting the best data recovery service possible.

Gillware is a proud member of IDEMA and the Apple Consultants Network.

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