RAID Failure & Overcome the 5 Most Common Causes

By Linda J
By Linda J
Last Modified April 4, 2019

What will it take to get RAID failures out of your life for good? Start right now by learning a bit more about what’s behind these eternally unwelcome events.

It may seem uncanning to figure out how to avoid a server failure. Sure, you can opt to go with the RAID recovery services of our choice if your circumstances does not allow you to troubleshoot.

But in this guide we’re going to pick the basics up for anyone of you who wish to avoid this issue in a future troubleshooting.

What is RAID?

What is RAID

RAID, or Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks, links two or more hard drives to form one large capacity storage device. RAID enables users to store the same data on multiple hard disks, offering improved performance and reliability. It also reduces the risk of losing data in the event that one or several of the disks fail (fault-tolerance) as well as expand data storage capacity.

Depending on the RAID level, an array uses Striping, Mirroring, and Parity storage techniques or a combination of these techniques.

RAID Levels

  • RAID 0 - uses Disk Striping technique
  • RAID 1 - uses Disk Mirroring technique
  • RAID 5 - uses Striping with parity technique
  • RAID 6 - uses Striping with double parity technique
  • RAID 10 - Striping and Mirroring techniques

RAID Techniques

  • Striping
    Splits data flow into blocks written across the RAID. This technique is aimed at improving performance.
  • Mirroring
    Iidentical copies of data are read and written on pairs of drives simultaneously. This technique is for fault-tolerance and to enhance performance.
  • Parity
    Uses striping and parity computations — calculates the data in the first two drives and storing the resulting data on the third drive. This technique provides fault-tolerance as well as improves speed. If any of the disks fail, data can be recreated from the remaining data and the Parity data.

Consult Data Recovery Experts When:

1. You Experienced a Controller RAID Failure

To a computer or network, a group of hard drives in a RAID configuration appears to be a single device, known as a logical unit number, or LUN. LUNs employ various hardware or software techniques, such as:

2. A Rebuild Didn’t Go as Planned

When you replace a RAID drive and rebuild the data that it formerly housed, errors could have disastrous effects. Interruptions in the process have the potential to corrupt existing data and make it impossible to access certain files or the entire RAID. If you experience a future failure or file loss, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover.

3. More Than One Disk Failed

RAID disk failures don’t always come alone. You might lose multiple storage devices in a single cataclysmic event due to power problems or hardware age. Such events can have various outcomes depending on what kind of RAID you were running.

In some multi-disk failure situations, it’s possible to continue operating in a degraded, or compromised, mode. It’s worth noting that doing this increases your odds of suffering another failure in the future, and there’s no guaranteeing that the next one won’t be even worse.

4. The Partitions Mysteriously Went Missing

When used correctly, partitioning can help minimize speed loss on heavily used RAIDS or create functional redundancy arrangements on disks. When RAID features like striping fail, however, partitions may become so corrupted that the system doesn’t even recognize them. Although they’re not truly missing in the physical sense, they’re as good as gone to their users.

5. The Server Died

The networked machine that hosts your RAID suddenly quit working. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as just restarting the system. In some cases, a failed server could have taken other things down with it, so you need a reliable, comprehensive recovery strategy.

Identifying a Dependable Solution

What do these common failures share? As unique as they are, all RAID failures require expert troubleshooting assistance.

Trying to repair common RAID issues by yourself only increases the likelihood that they might mutate into more dangerous faults. Always play it safe by working with someone who knows what they’re doing. Discover more by getting in touch with a TTR Data Recovery specialist today.