Frequently Asked Questions for RAID arrays
My RAID / NAS Box system stopped working. What should I do?
If you discover a problem in your data storage system, if a red (or yellow) light blinks on the device, turn if off immediately and don't let it attempt to rebuild. There is a chance that a disk from your system has crashed and the operating system will try to rebuild with the remaining disks having disastrous results. Call us immediately.
How much will the data recovery cost?
The cost in this cases depends from various factors. Some of these factors are the RAID type (RAID 5 is more expensive than RAID 0 since it requires a time-consuming analysis and specialized techniques), the filesystem (NTFS, FAT, XFS...), the disks capacity etc. The cost for RAID systems data recovery starts from 500€ and can go up to 2500€ in complex systems with 10 disks and multiple filesystems.
What procedure do you follow?
In a few words, we pick up the disks of the RAID array and we check their operation. Then, if it is needed, we 'repair' the disks that need to be repaired and we clone them in our safe storage devices. Afterwards, we analyse the RAID array: Which disks contain files, what is the filesystem, what is the disk order etc. Finally we locate and analyse the partitions in order to determine the operating data and recover them.
Should I pay attention to something in particular before I send you disks?
It will be good to know the order of the disks (which one is "0", which one is "1" etc). This information is not essential as we will find the order during the analysis process but it will certainly save us time if we know it beforehand. Also, it will be good to know as much information as possible for the data you want to recover. If you can, note down as much info you know about your RAID system: number of partitions, total size in GB (approximately), the filetypes you want us to recover as well as what happened and the RAID system crashed.
Can you recover data from all RAID systems?
Yes. We recover data from all types of RAID arrays. We don not work only with the most common systems RAID0, RAID 5 & RAID 10.
I only need a specific folder with files from my damaged drive. Will you charge differently if I ask you to recover 2-3 files?
No. The cost is the same whether we recover 1 ΜΒ or hundrends of GB. The reason is that in order to be able to recover even a single file from the damaged drive, we should have finished the whole procedure (analyzed the RAID system, set it up from scratch etc). Therefore, the amount of files that you will ask us to recover affects only the recovery time and not the cost.
What data can not be recovered?
Data can not be recovered from RAID systems that have been attempts of recovery from people who do not know what they're doing or, best case scenario, a great effort of manual recovery will be needed. Data can not be recovered when there's not an adequate number of drives that are functional or can be recovered. If, for example, in a RAID5 array with 4 drives the 2 of them are damaged then the RAID array recovery is not possible. Also, faulty attempts to rebuild or checkdisk after the problem appeared and wrong user actions can be fatal for the data. Even in these cases, Northwind's experienced technicians will try everything to recover the data from the RAID array.
Do you work with RAID systems with SSD disks also?
Of course. SSD disks (Solid State Drives) do not have moving parts but store data on their circuits electronically. The way they work is totally different from that of conventional disks and in general they have a lot of pros and many cons. In any case, we recover data from all types of storing devices.
I opened my drive and tried to fix the damage myself. Did I make things worse?
Unfortunately yes. Hard drives have their internal parts in a sealed environment and they should not be exposed to the atmosphere. Their exposure means they are 'infected' by dust particles, humidity etc. Especially, if you attempted to access the drive's mechanical parts (for example, tried to turn the platters by hand, remove the head etc), you have probably made the recovery not possible. DO NOT TRY TO ACCESS THE DRIVE'S INTERNAL PARTS. It has mechanical parts which should be accessed by specialized people with the right equipment.
Whatever attempt you make will only result in a more difficult - if not impossible - and costly recovery.
What about confidentiality?
We pickup your drive using a confidentiality agreement between both sides which safeguards the client from any use of his/her data. We ensure you that confidentiality is crucial to us.
What if the recovered data do not include the ones I really wanted, what will I pay?
Before the actual data recovery begins we will inform you about the files that will be recovered, either by phone if the files are few, or we will send you a list if the files are many. That way you can check if your desired data are included in the files to-be-recovered. Of course, if the data you want can not be recovered you will not be charged at all.
My data are precious and I need it immediately. When can I have it?
We understand that, usually, RAID arrays contain professional data and the recovery time is crucial. RAID arrays data recovery take precedence in our labs. Recovery time depends on various aspects, such as drives' type, filesystem, the amount of data, the system complexity etc. Assuming you have a NTFS RAID5 with 4 drives of 500GB each, your data will be ready in 1-2 days.
What should I know about the drive packaging?
Your drive should be packaged VERY carefully before you send it to us through a courier service. We've had cases, where the drive's condition was dramatically worsened during transfer. Wrap up the drive with bubble bag and use a box with dimensions close to the wraped up drive's dimensions. Fill the blank space with pieces of papers or another soft or foamy material.
Can you come by our premises to make the recovery?
Certainly not. Whoever claims that he can do that is not a professional. Avoid such companies or individuals because you will probably result in worsening your drive's condition.
In what type of device will you return me my data?
You can give us with a disk to which we will copy the data or we can provide you with one for which you will be charged accordingly.