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Damaged GPT on Raid 5 array

By pioneerx01
May 15, 2014
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  1. So, I have an external hardware Raid 5 array consisting of 4x3TB drives yielding little over 8TB of formatted space connected over eSATA. The array has about 5.5TB of data on it. One sad afternoon I was copying some data when my computer decided to freeze. It did not "un-freez" itself in timely manner so I was forced to manually reboot. After the reboot all came back online, but the windows gave me message that if I want to use the disk (RAID array) I will have to format it. Needless to say I turned pale.

    The RAID utility shows the raid as intact with no errors. The Windows recognizes the "drive" and does assign it a letter, but I cannot access it (it wants a format). The disk manager recognizes the "drive" as healthy, but in RAW file format. I have used Active Partition Recovery (freeware) on it and it does recognize the "drive", partition and all the files/folders (can't copy and paste them, figures). However, in the properties it states the the GPT is damaged. All the data is there, but I can't get to it or get it out. What are my options at this point?

    Thanks,
    Desperate (and pale) Pioneer
  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

    Please note that anything you try to do now can cause more damage.

    Give TestDisk a try. its free opensource software free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software: certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    I came across this software while looking for an answer to give you. I don't know anything about the software, but if the description is accurate, it could possibly help.

    TestDisk
    TechSpot has a download page for the TestDisk.
  4. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 345

    Yes, I have found TestDisk as well and I am currently running a scan. Based on the current speed it will take over 12 days to complete. I was hoping someone will have some alternate solutions.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,369   +302

    Hmm; your status is inconsistent
    • * shows the raid as intact with no errors.
    • *The Windows recognizes the "drive" and does assign it a letter, but I cannot access it (it wants a format).
    • *The disk manager recognizes the "drive" as healthy, but in RAW file format.
    To me, this suggests that Windows is missing the raid driver software
  6. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 345

    All of that is correct. There is no raid driver as this is hardware raid (not software) 4-bay external enclosure. And I have identical model running another RAID 5 2x2TB that is just fine on same computer.
  7. xykz

    xykz Newcomer, in training

    HI, you didnt even try to describe a setup on which this now aclaimed hardware raid5 is built upon. mobo + card raid? I dont know how this could count as vlid ask for help nowadays.

    all you have mention is Win, GPT, eSATA connection (to individual drives??) and bunch of wannabe soft you tried. :facepalm:
  8. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 345

    XYKZ: If you read my first post you will find out that I did mention that I have external RAID 5, hardware based enclosure. Then in my third post I have also said that "hardware raid (not software) 4-bay external enclosure" If you would like to know more information about my set-up all you have to do is ask nicely. No need for sarcasm.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,369   +302

    I did see the external attachment, but did not assert it was a software raid. I recall that a raid enclosure is not NTFS (and why it shows as RAW) and thus still requires a driver - - HOWEVER, if you (2x) of these and one is running and the other not - - you got me.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    @jobeard can the drives be taken out of the raid box and connected elsewhere without needing to be format? I'm questioning if the enclosure has gone bad.
  11. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,454   +620

    I think yes, as long as all the disks are in the correct order and the same RAID settings are used on the new controller.
     
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    That's what I was thinking. But I never have taken the time to setup a RAID, much less troubleshoot them.
  13. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 345

    Well, there has been a new development in the case. The problem fixed itself. Let me explain what happened.

    As to 60 min ago the problem was still the same as stated above. I knew the data is still there on the surface it just needs to be recovered. I have started to do some research into data recovery software and tried several of them out, however most would need 5 days to do a complete scan (8TB RAID) and most do not recover MKV files, which is mostly what is on the array anyways. I have gone through about 5 of them without any luck. Then I have decided to uninstall them before I try another 5, but the last one prompted me for restart; so I did.

    As the PC was restarting windows prompted be me to do boot time check disk on the drive in question. I let it run. Two minutes later desktop showed up and the drive was functioning as normal. Partition intact, all files there and fully accessible. Without skipping a beat I have started massively copping the data out. I need to reformat all drives and redo the RAID just to be safe.

    The check dist that was run at boot was the short, 3 stage one, and took only two min or so. Anyone knows what type of the check disk it was and how to trigger it again if needed? This was not full check disk (5 stages) as it was very short.

    Oh and side not, I did restart the PC several times before and not once it ran this check disk until today. In any case thank you to all who participated and gave me advice.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,828   +1,439

    That's great!! I'm glad it worked out for you.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,369   +302

    3 vs 5 steps:
    • CHKDSK dla: /F is three steps,
    • CHKDSK dla: /F /R is the full 5 steps
    The 5 pass version verifies every disk block and would surely take light years on a TB drive.
    IMO, risky. Just like FAT32 is different from NTFS, the Raid filesystem is also unique.
    I am surprised that the chkdsk that apparently ran did not destroy everything. A SAFE way to look at the chkdsk on raid would be to run it without options, just the command by itself, which would be a r/o pass. You might see how it responds to that filesystem vs your C: drive on a r/o pass.
    xykz and cliffordcooley like this.
  16. xykz

    xykz Newcomer, in training

    If you thought I was sarcastic (not nice to label people out) software raid on windows on external enclosure on unknown link was the reason as you explained well in your description below how magically problem is solved .... simply because there was not a real problem just a "windows problem". Worse thing is thats same problem is present on Win7 Win8, as this "advanced windows behavior" is with us since Win2k/WinXP

    [WinXP] start->...-> cmd-> chkdsk x:
  17. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,454   +620

    Is there any way that the enclosure can install firmware updates? Maybe automatically?


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