RAID 5 Data Recovery

RAID 5 systems are not infallible and should be monitored at all times. Immediately upon the failure of any drive in the system, a notification via email, text, etc. should be generated and sent to the responsible party for drive replacement. 

Always replace a problem drive, never reseat or re-introduce a problem drive to the RAID. 

No data is lost in the case of a single disk failure, but if a second disk fails before data can be rebuilt to a replacement drive, all data in the array will inaccessible. If the second drive fails before the first can be replaced or rebuilt, then the system should be powered down. No exceptions! 

If you have a current backup. Mark all of the drives (1,2,3...or A,B,C...), then remove and replace each of them with new hard drives. Keep the originals in a secure place to be used for data recovery purposes in case of corrupt or non-existent backup. The reason that I say replace all of the drives; when you look at the model numbers of the original drives they are almost always manufactured at the same time, in the same facility, in the same batch. If one has failed... 

The system can now be rebuilt and the backup restored; crises averted. 

No Backup you say? 

Time for some hard thought and deliberate action. The wrong move here could cost you all of your data. 

What are the ramifications of the RAID 5 failure? Is the data mission critical? Is it archival data that is needed, but not time sensitive? If so, it's time for a data recovery specialist. At this point in time most, if not all of the data is probably recoverable and a competent data recovery company can have you back up and running in as little as 24 hours. In our experience, most RAID 5 systems are completely recoverable if they are shut off immediately after failure symptoms occur. 

Do not panic! Most unrecoverable RAID 5 data is a direct result of well meaning technician's recovery attempts gone wrong. You're smart, use your own intelligence/instinct when dealing with manufacturer tech support. Their job is to get their product up and running in as short a period as possible, data is not their main focus; after all you did do your backups correct? 

Operating a damaged RAID risks accidental overwrites, parity loss and other serious issues that can complicate the data recovery process or even render the data completely unrecoverable.           

            Never try to reseat and rebuild drives as this can corrupt the system by introducing stale data. 

            Never try to replace more than 1 drive and rebuild an array (Yes, this has happened) 

            Never try to re-introduce a drive to the array that has gone offline.           

            Never remove more than 1 drive at a time unless all drives and bays are clearly relationally marked.           

            It is critical that the system not be rebooted and/or allowed to rebuild if the array has failed. Remember, the array will not fail unless there are at least 2 problem drives or other component failure. 

Our data recovery engineers routinely recover data from RAID 5 systems that have: 

  • Multiple hard drive failures / Hard drives offline

  • RAID volumes or arrays that won’t mount

  • Configuration corruption or damage

  • Addition of incompatible drives

  • Software corruption/Hardware conflicts

  • Controller Card Failure

  • Controller Card Set-up Corruption

  • Server won’t boot

  • Server registry configuration lost

  • Rebuild failure

  • Accidental Formatting or Re-initialization

  • Electronic Damage

  • Fire/Flood

  • Missing data

In most situations Carolina Data Recovery can have your mission critical data back in as little as 4-6 hours and the remainder within 24-36 hours, depending upon the severity of hard drive/data damage. 

We offer risk-free RAID evaluations and we provide a no recovery, no charge guarantee with every case. Contact our customer service team today to get started. 

Our CDR data recovery specialist are also well versed in recovering data from the following NAS manufacturers: LaCie, Buffalo TeraStation™, cisco Linksys, SNAP server, QNAP, FreeNAS, Adaptec, etc. and quetek.


  • Linux®
  • UNIX™
  • Microsoft Windows®  
  • Apple/Macintosh® 
  • NetWare®
  • VMware®

Recovery Services

  • USB / Memory Cards
  • Laptops / Desktops
  • External Hard Drives
  • Solid State Drives


  • Strict Non-Disclosure
  • Chain of Custody Protocol
  • High Security Safekeeping
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Controlled Access 
  • Secure Location

Client Reviews

“Carolina Data Recovery is terrific. We lost a RAID 5 array with critical data and we needed to recover it quickly. We spoke with 3 different venders, and Ron made a big impression over the phone. We did not regret our choice. He worked with us on shipping and priority, and within three days of placing that call we had our data back in 3 days.. HIGHLY recommended. .”
– Jim B.
“The short: Calling Ron and his team was the best decision I could have made. Words like kind, respectful, prompt, and attentive come to mind. The long: My NAS crashed. I thought I lost my entire digital life. Forget about the files and documents one accumulates and all the music, I had 30 years of family pictures, some of who are no longer with us. I was in tears. I took my NAS to a big box store where I was given very robotic service by their "geeks" and was told it could cost me thousands of dollars, it would take at least a month (but I could leap to the front of the line for an extra $100) to even find out IF it was recoverable. I decided to look for someone local and thank God I found Carolina Data Recovery. Ron was able to confirm that the data was recoverable within 48 hours and had my data back to me within 72 hours. Beyond that, Ron took time to walk me though the process and listen to my concerns. Realizing I was a mess, Ron spent an hour on the phone with me explaining what I need to do going forward to ensure that this never happens again. Backing up your data IS important - hard lesson learned. I hope to never be in this situation again, but have comfort in knowing that Carolina Data Recovery has my back. ”
– M. Patel
“We had a hard drive failure at work, and we didn't have a backup. We went to Ron for a free analysis and he verified there was an issue within 15 minutes. We've never had to deal with data recovery before, and he was willing to answer any questions. He got our data restored to a new drive within 2 days. Would definitely recommend.”
– Seth Allen

Recent Posts

Cyber Security and Data Recovery

In today’s time, digital safety and security have never been more prevalent on peoples’ minds. How to keep a computer and its data safe are important questions to continually ... [Read More]

Why Local Data Recovery Experts Are Right for You

People often ask the question “Why should I work with a local data recovery expert”? There are many different companies that provide data recovery from a distance and sometime... [Read More]

What is RAID Redundancy?

A RAID system links multiple drives together. Each drive has components that mirror the functions of other parts of other drives. The storage functions (i.e. reading and writi... [Read More]

4 Signs You've Been Hacked

In today’s modern times cyber security has never been more in the forefront of people’s minds. Being hacked is amongst the top concerns of anyone exposing themselves to the in... [Read More]

What To Do If Water Damages Your Hard Drive

Water Damage is amongst the top hard drive killer for most people; a quick spill and, as quickly as it happened... [Read More]