RAID 1 Data Recovery

There are many ways you can arrange multiple hard drives together in a redundant array of disks. One of the simplest and most fundamental RAID setups is the RAID 1 “mirrored” array. RAID 1 creates a local full-image backup of the data on your array in real time. But it’s not the same as having a safe, offsite backup of your data. If you’ve lost data from your RAID 1 array, our RAID 1 data recovery experts can help you get it back.

 
 

What Is RAID 1?

If RAID-0 sacrifices all data redundancy for performance boosts, then RAID 1 is its opposite number. In a RAID 1 array, there are almost always two hard drives. RAID 1 mirrored arrays with more than two drives are theoretically possible, but the vast majority of RAID controller cards available don’t support that arrangement. At any rate, it wouldn’t make sense to have more than two drives in a RAID 1 array. Even if you could find a RAID controller that would support that configuration, it would be far less useful than having those same drives in a RAID 5 or RAID 6 array.

Whenever you write data to one drive in a two-drive RAID 1 setup, a copy of the data is written to the other drive. Every change you make has to get made twice, so you are duplicating every single write command you send to the array. As a result, RAID 1 arrays have decreased write speeds. If you tried to make a six-drive RAID 1 array for whatever reason, you would be adding even more duplicate write commands. This further decreases your setup’s performance to the point where your hypothetical six-drive RAID 1 could take six times longer to write a single block of data than one drive on its own! And no matter how many drives you had, the total capacity of your array would never be more than that of a single drive.

In a RAID 1 mirrored array, your data is a lot safer than it would be in a RAID-0 (then again, your data is safer in a single drive than it is in a RAID 0). With RAID 1, all of the drives in the array have to fail before you lose data. Granted, this still works out to be a fault tolerance of one drive, which RAID-5 offers as well. RAID 1 is ideal for consumers who only care about fault tolerance in their storage media and aren’t interested in shelling out the cash for three or more hard drives and a RAID enclosure big enough to fit them all. RAID 1 was designed with two drives in mind. If you want to put more than two drives into a RAID array that provides fault tolerance, there are plenty of more useful options.

How Can RAID 1 Data Loss Occur?

If anything happens to one drive in your RAID 1 array, you don’t have to panic. The good news is you have your own local backup right there. The bad news is… you have your own local backup right there. If your RAID 1 is in an external enclosure, a fall off your desk or table could damage both hard drives. Or a power surge could short out both drives’ electronics. Heaven forbid you fall victim to a flood or house fire. Furthermore, if both of the drives in your RAID 1 array were manufactured too close to each other, their lifespans may be nearly identical. Since they both see the same amount of use, they could fail simultaneously just due to age.

Both drives in your RAID 1 array won’t always fail at the same time. But if you don’t notice when one hard drive in your RAID 1 mirrored array fails, you’ll be caught off guard when the second fails. Once one drive has failed, your RAID 1 array isn’t a RAID anymore. If you don’t replace the failed drive soon enough, you could lose your data when the remaining drive fails.

RAID-1 also has no protection against file deletion. If you delete files from a RAID 1, the changes you make to the filesystem are made to both hard drives. This isn’t a unique fault of RAID 1, though. No other RAID array has safeguards against file deletion either. Basically, RAID 1 isn’t all that great of a backup option as it might seem at first glance, and it can’t save your bacon the way a good offsite backup service can.

The RAID 1 Data Recovery Process

If you’ve lost data from your mirrored RAID 1 array, look no further. Our entire RAID 1 recovery service is financially risk-free. We abide by a “no data, no charge” policy for all of our RAID 1 recovery cases. We even provide free inbound shipping labels for any potential clients in the continental US.

Free RAID 1 Recovery Evaluation

We always start with a free evaluation. As soon as we receive the drives in your array, they head over to our RAID 1 recovery engineers for an initial analysis. We report back to you within two business days to give you a firm price quote, probability of success, and an estimated time to completion. If you approve of these terms, we go on ahead with the recovery work.

Independent Analysis of Your RAID 1 Array’s Hard Drives

Recovering data from a RAID 1 array isn’t usually significantly more difficult than recovering data from a single hard drive. Unlike other RAID levels, there is no disk striping or parity data to complicate things. There are just two drives. You can actually take one hard drive in a RAID 1 array and use it just like a normal drive, which is something you can’t do with the individual drives from any other RAID array.

In logical RAID 1 data recovery cases where both drives are physically healthy, only one of the drives needs to be worked on. After all, each drive is a duplicate of the other. But when we see RAID 1 recovery cases in our lab, it is usually because both of these drives have failed.

When your RAID 1 fails, the hard drive that failed most recently has the most recent copy of your data on it. We call the other drive “stale” because its data is out-of-date. This isn’t relevant if the drives failed simultaneously or within minutes of each other, but in most cases, our RAID 1 recovery engineers have to analyze both hard drives in order to determine whether or not one of the drives is stale. Our goal is to make sure we are truly recovering the most recent version of the data you’ve lost in your RAID 1 crash.

Regardless of how the drives in your mirrored array have failed, our RAID 1 recovery engineers will do what it takes to get the drives back into shape. Hard drives can fail for many reasons. And our engineers have seen all of these types of hard drive failure countless times.

Still on the fence? Check out some of these case studies for our RAID 1 recovery services...

WD MyBook Duo Data Recovery Case Study: RAID Configuration Issues

Our client in this WD MyBook Duo data recovery case came to us with a Western Digital external hard drive that was displaying an ominous blinking […]

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RAID Array Recovery Case Study: When a Blessing Becomes a Curse

Our client in this RAID array recovery case came from a medical clinic. One of the computers in their lab responsible for storing DICOM standard images […]

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RAID-1 Data Recovery Case Study: Seeing Double

In this RAID-1 data recovery case, the client had been storing their critical documents on a mirrored RAID array as a form of local backup. When […]

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Server Crash Recovery Case Study: Lightning Strikes Twice

The client in this data recovery came to us after their local fire department suffered a server crash. A lightning strike to the station had led […]

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Flood Damaged Hard Drive Recovery Case Study: RAID-1 Mirrored Array

The client in this flood damaged hard drive recovery case sent us a two-drive RAID-1 array that had been submerged in floodwater during this year’s horrific […]

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Deleted File Recovery Case Study: Western Digital RAID-1 Mirror

This client had two 500 gigabyte Western Digital WD5003ABYX-01WERA1 hard drives linked together in a RAID-1 array. Important database files had been erased from the array, […]

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