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RAID partition table recovery?

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#1
Hello everyone,
Yesterday, while I had nothing to do I decided to update the whole system with new drivers and stuff. The problem is, I updated the BIOS, too.
Updating the BIOS restored all the settings to their defaults, and my data RAID is now gone (didn't have important data on it, just a sh*t load of Steam games and other big files :) ).
I soon searched for a solution, and came to this thread, where a user had this same problem and fixed it like so:
Thanks to everyone who tried to help. I found a solution and I thought I'd share it. I was able to recover the broken array using following steps.

1. Reset both HDs to non-member using Intel BIOS utility - the utility warns that all data will be lost - in fact only metadata is lost and can be recreated using steps below.

2. Create a new array with identical settings as the broken array. It is critical that the HDs are in the array the same order as before. I was reconnecting the drives several times and lost track of correct order. Because of that I had to go through the steps twice (I guessed wrong the first time).

3. Get TestDisk from http://www.cgsecurity.org. I used Windows version (I installed a new Vista on a separate HD for this purpose).

4. Run TestDisk according to steps on the web site. If your HDs are connected in correct order, TestDisk should find the lost partition(s) within a few seconds. It ran for several hours, scanning my array and never found anything because I had HDs were connected in wrong order. After I changed the order and restarted from step #1 TestDisk found the missing partition immediately.

5. Have the TestDisk write the fixed partition table to the drive and reboot.

6. Now all your data on the array should be readable but the system might not boot (it didn't for me).

7. Run Vista repair from installation CD to fix the MBR.

8. Last but not least, send a donation to Mr. Grenier, the author of TestDisk.
I downloaded TestDisk and ran it. This is basically what I did:

1) Selected the Intel Raid 0 Volume
2) Selected Intel/PC partition
3) Quick-analyzed the drive, after about 5 hours it didn't found the DATA partition
4) Fully-analyzed the drive. The software found the DATA partition of 4TB
5) Pressed the enter button, program says: No partition found or selected for recovery

The software says the same thing even if I go to the Advanced tab and try to restore from there.
The strange thing is, if I select EFI GPT partition and go to advanced, the software immediately finds the three partitions. When I'm there, I can see all of my files and recover them to an external HDD. Thing is, I don't have a 4TB HDD :p .
Quick question: Are MFT and partition table the same things? If I click on "Repair MFT" under Advanced, and then Boot, it says: "MFT and MFT mirror are bad. Failed to repair them."

Maybe I'm just not finding the right function to repair my partition table, if so, please correct me and point me to the right direction.

P.S.: Please don't start saying "You shouldn't use RAID 0 for any important data" etc. etc.
I already said there were no important files in there, just a bunch of big files that would otherwise take a lot of time to download again.

Thanks in advance for any reply.
 

Aquinus

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#2
P.S.: Please don't start saying "You shouldn't use RAID 0 for any important data" etc. etc.
On the contrary, since the drives didn't fail and all you did was update the BIOS ,which reset the BIOS, shouldn't wipe the RAID configuration. Just setting your SATA mode to RAID should detect the RAID off the bat if the drives are okay and their ports weren't changed, even after updating the BIOS or resetting it. This has been true for all of the motherboards I've bought in the last 8 years that use some form of fakeraid.
 
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#3
:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
very sound advice!
 
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#4
On the contrary, since the drives didn't fail and all you did was update the BIOS ,which reset the BIOS, shouldn't wipe the RAID configuration. Just setting your SATA mode to RAID should detect the RAID off the bat if the drives are okay and their ports weren't changed, even after updating the BIOS or resetting it. This has been true for all of the motherboards I've bought in the last 8 years that use some form of fakeraid.
Everything I did after updating the BIOS was re-setting the BIOS settings to what they were, set RAID in BIOS, and create the RAID array again with the same settings. Maybe I shouldn't have created it again? It said only one disk was part of the RAID though, so I guessed it would have been a good idea to delete and re-create the array.
 

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#5
Everything I did after updating the BIOS was re-setting the BIOS settings to what they were, set RAID in BIOS, and create the RAID array again with the same settings. Maybe I shouldn't have created it again? It said only one disk was part of the RAID though, so I guessed it would have been a good idea to delete and re-create the array.
You shouldn't need to create it again. It should have already existed like it did prior to any changes you made. Re-creating the RAID device will actually delete RAID information stored on the drives and will make recovering your data without any errors a lot more difficult. If it said one disk was part and the other wasn't then the ports must have changed. I think you're going to have a hard time getting your data back intact.
 
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#6
You shouldn't need to create it again. It should have already existed like it did prior to any changes you made. Re-creating the RAID device will actually delete RAID information stored on the drives and will make recovering your data without any errors a lot more difficult. If it said one disk was part and the other wasn't then the ports must have changed. I think you're going to have a hard time getting your data back intact.
In the turorial I was following, the guy said I had to DELETE the array and RE-CREATE it again. Plus, after I updated the bios and the Intel RAID thingy came up, it clearly said the RAID array was damaged, so I highly doubt Windows would have recognized it. The HDD ports weren't changed in any way, I didn't even open my case. This exact thing happened my another time too, and I ended up formatting the array. Would it be a better idea to just create the RAID while in Windows? It seems like this MB's RAID controller is just too delicate for my taste :p
 

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#7
In the turorial I was following, the guy said I had to DELETE the array and RE-CREATE it again.
Hate to say it but he is wrong and he most likely made your job a lot harder. :(

lus, after I updated the bios and the Intel RAID thingy came up, it clearly said the RAID array was damaged, so I highly doubt Windows would have recognized it.
Most RAID controllers will say the RAID failed but will let you bypass the failure and restart the RAID. This happens when the two drives appear to be out of sync, but if the ports that the drive are on never changed then it should have started back up after marking it as okay. Are the drives actually okay? I would check SMART because it could be luck of the draw that it happened when you flashed the BIOS.
Would it be a better idea to just create the RAID while in Windows?
Some would say yes, I would say no. It certainly won't be faster and you won't be able to boot off of it, but you can move it from machine to machine (usually,) if you do it in Windows, but performance will most likely be underwhelming.
It seems like this MB's RAID controller is just too delicate for my taste
I'm not sure about that. Intel's chipsets do a pretty good job. I've never run into this issue with my X79 machine, that's for sure. I've run into this same issue as you and was able to easily bring my RAID back to life without doing anything extreme.
 

brandonwh64

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#8
Everything I did after updating the BIOS was re-setting the BIOS settings to what they were, set RAID in BIOS, and create the RAID array again with the same settings. Maybe I shouldn't have created it again? It said only one disk was part of the RAID though, so I guessed it would have been a good idea to delete and re-create the array.
No you shouldn't, It quick formats both drives and creates a new boot sector. This is were you most likely destroyed your data. A drive can be recovered after a quick format only if you do NOT write to the drive at all. Once data starts to be added to the drive it over writes the old data.

I have moved my raid 0 around to a couple of boards and all I needed to do was enable raid in bios and let the raid controller find the two drives and their sectors.
 
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#9
Hate to say it but he is wrong and he most likely made your job a lot harder. :(



Most RAID controllers will say the RAID failed but will let you bypass the failure and restart the RAID. This happens when the two drives appear to be out of sync, but if the ports that the drive are on never changed then it should have started back up after marking it as okay. Are the drives actually okay? I would check SMART because it could be luck of the draw that it happened when you flashed the BIOS.

Some would say yes, I would say no. It certainly won't be faster and you won't be able to boot off of it, but you can move it from machine to machine (usually,) if you do it in Windows, but performance will most likely be underwhelming.

I'm not sure about that. Intel's chipsets do a pretty good job. I've never run into this issue with my X79 machine, that's for sure. I've run into this same issue as you and was able to easily bring my RAID back to life without doing anything extreme.
No you shouldn't, It quick formats both drives and creates a new boot sector. This is were you most likely destroyed your data. A drive can be recovered after a quick format only if you do NOT write to the drive at all. Once data starts to be added to the drive it over writes the old data.

I have moved my raid 0 around to a couple of boards and all I needed to do was enable raid in bios and let the raid controller find the two drives and their sectors.
Well, thanks for the info, I'll try not to delete the array next time. Anyways, as I said earlier, TestDisk recognizes the files in the HDD so I think I could recover the data (if only I had a 4TB HDD...). Now I'm trying to deep scan the HDD using EFI instead of Intel, and see if something new happens. I guess if nothing works I'll get an external HDD for SSD + RAID random backups :p I found the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop for just under 180$, so that might work ^^
I'll let you know when the scanning process finishes, probably in 10-18 hours I'd say.
 

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#10
Well, thanks for the info, I'll try not to delete the array next time. Anyways, as I said earlier, TestDisk recognizes the files in the HDD so I think I could recover the data (if only I had a 4TB HDD...). Now I'm trying to deep scan the HDD using EFI instead of Intel, and see if something new happens. I guess if nothing works I'll get an external HDD for SSD RAID random backups I found the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop for just under 180$, so that might work ^^
I'll let you know when the scanning process finishes, probably in 10-18 hours I'd say.
If it's not in the same exact RAID configuration as it was before you're going to find that half of a lot of your files is missing. I'm going to warn you now to brace yourself. It doesn't look good. :(
 
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#11
If it's not in the same exact RAID configuration as it was before you're going to find that half of a lot of your files is missing. I'm going to warn you now to brace yourself. It doesn't look good. :(
Uhm... okay, but wouldn't I just be unable to read any file on the array? I tried recovering my Dropbox folder just to see, and it looked like all the files were there...
EDIT: Wait a second, I think I might have missed THE feature I should have been using, now I'm going to run the last deep search to see if what I'm thinking of is the solution... :p
I sure as hell hope it is :)
 
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#12
Yeah! I resolved the issue and re-created the array without any loss of files (not any major ones at least - can still play my Top Gear collection so I guess nothing got deleted :p )
These are the steps I did, very simple and only took literaly 2 minutes:
1) Open TestDisk (didn't open as Admin) and select RAID array
2) Select EFI GPT partition table (the 2nd one, not Intel)
3.1 (might not be necessary) - Deleted the partition table
3.2) Quick-analyzed the hdd any quickly stopped after about 1 sec to "unlock" deep search
4) Deep-searched for about 5 seconds 'till it found ma DATA partition
5) Stopped the scanning
6) Selected the partition and pressed the right arrow to set it as primary (P) (it was set as deleted L, that's why it wasn't working /facepalm
7) Pressed Enter, and then Write
8) Rebooted the PC
Now Windows sees the 3.59TB partition again! Thanks everyone for the help, and hopefully this will be of help for anyone who'll have this very problem in the future!


Thanks again!
 

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#13
I'm glad that it worked for you. Be careful as not all files might the integrity that they had before this happened. Back up your stuff immediately and format the drives. It's very unwise (and dangerous) to use a drive that doesn't report it's capacity correctly.
 
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#14
I'm glad that it worked for you. Be careful as not all files might the integrity that they had before this happened. Back up your stuff immediately and format the drives. It's very unwise (and dangerous) to use a drive that doesn't report it's capacity correctly.
The capacity IS correct. When Windows formats a partition, it takes about 10% of the space, don't ask me why (probably because of the NTFS file system) so the capacity is correct. It's always been like this.
 

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#15
The capacity IS correct. When Windows formats a partition, it takes about 10% of the space, don't ask me why (probably because of the NTFS file system) so the capacity is correct. It's always been like this.
Ohhh, my bad. I mis-read your drives capacity. My apologies. :(
 
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#16
dont mean to be a necrophiliac but thanks as i accidently wiped a hd in my raid array and this got it back
 
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#17
dont mean to be a necrophiliac but thanks as i accidently wiped a hd in my raid array and this got it back
I'm glad this thread helped save a RAID array. :p
 
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#18
lol i tried lots of other things but this one pulled the files and partition out with ease. no garbage just straight work. It also managed to pull it off even after a format from ntfs to hfs+ then back to ntfs then to RAW then to ntfs again lol.
 

Miles267

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#19
Yeah! I resolved the issue and re-created the array without any loss of files (not any major ones at least - can still play my Top Gear collection so I guess nothing got deleted :p )
These are the steps I did, very simple and only took literaly 2 minutes:
1) Open TestDisk (didn't open as Admin) and select RAID array
2) Select EFI GPT partition table (the 2nd one, not Intel)
3.1 (might not be necessary) - Deleted the partition table
3.2) Quick-analyzed the hdd any quickly stopped after about 1 sec to "unlock" deep search
4) Deep-searched for about 5 seconds 'till it found ma DATA partition
5) Stopped the scanning
6) Selected the partition and pressed the right arrow to set it as primary (P) (it was set as deleted L, that's why it wasn't working /facepalm
7) Pressed Enter, and then Write
8) Rebooted the PC
Now Windows sees the 3.59TB partition again! Thanks everyone for the help, and hopefully this will be of help for anyone who'll have this very problem in the future!


Thanks again!
I had to reply to say thanks for this post. Recently encountered this exact issue on my Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 box. Somehow the system recovery repartitioned and reformatted my entire 15 TB RAID 6 array. I was absolutely sick over it. Had to walk away for a few days and no risk doing more damage. That's when I found this. Seemed to restore the entire partition within seconds for FREE?!