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This is a discussion on Data recovery problem within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I've done a terrible mistake. I bought a Zyxel Nas540 recently and i plugged my HDD's with my data

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Old 01-30-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
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Hi, I've done a terrible mistake.

I bought a Zyxel Nas540 recently and i plugged my HDD's with my data in them and created a RAID5 volume. Since i am a newbie about this stuff i didn't know it will change the file format completely. I tried to connect my hdd's back to my computer to backup the data but all of the hdd's are damaged. I am able to reach the files by using a recovery tool but they are all in "lost files" section and not all of them are there... Is there a way to restore last file system ?

thank you for your help.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi and Welcome to TSF!

Creating any type of RAID will destroy all of the files on that drive. The only way to recover them would be a professional recovery team. There are some programs like GetDataBack that may be able to locate the data.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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Of all the commonly used RAID levels, RAID 5 is the most complex. Data recovery from a RAID 5 array can be challenging, even for a data recovery professional.

There is one basic concept that all RAID users should understand:

No form of RAID ever devised is a backup solution.

All files of any importance should have at least one backup copy. Files of particular importance should have 2 or more backup copies. Recovery methods used after an incident cannot be relied on. And recovery from a RAID volume is particularly difficult.

RAID 5 can be very useful, when used as intended. It allows continued access to your data even after a drive failure. The drive can then be replaced at a more convenient time. This is a big deal on a busy server. But it's purpose is not protect your data. For that you need backups.

On a workstation or home computer the added cost and complexity of RAID is often difficult to justify.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:52 AM   #4
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As stated, Data Recovery, especially from a RAID Array is very difficult and your chances of recovery are about 50-50. You can try this tool from the manufacturer of GetDataBack: RAID Reconstructor - Recover Data from a Broken RAID Array Free to Download and Scan but will cost to restore your files to a different drive of the same size or larger.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:33 AM   #5
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As I understand the situation, you had some disks with your data on them. Then you connected them to a certain NAS device which made a RAID5 out of those disks. Now you want to recover those files that had been on the disks prior to converting them to the RAID. If I'm correct you should understand and do the following.
1-st, and most important. You should understand if those files are overwritten or not. If yes, forget about the files, they're gone for good, and even a data recovery pro can't help you. The first estimation should be how long the NAS was converting the disks into the RAID. If it took several dozens minutes and more, then most likely the data is overwritten and prospects are grim. If it was quickly, most likely data are still on the disks, at least some of files. Second, did you wrote some data on the RAID5? If yes, you're certainly to loose data half of the file size you wrote to the disk. If not, prospects are relatively good.
2-nd. If you believe that data recovery is worth doing, connect the disks to your computer. You may do that one disk by one, not necessary to connect them simultaneously. Better connect them directly to a SATA port in your computer, or through a USB3 adapter. Then follow this article: Data Recovery from an External Disk with a Damaged File System. Prior to data recovery, I also recommend you to read this article: File Recovery Basics: How Data Recovery Works. It will help you to understand how data recovery works and what you should expect from it in your case.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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If people just took advantage of a System Image which is built right into Windows utilities then people like the poster above wouldn't have a job. It's simple and easy. A hard drive fails for mechanical or to many bad sectors...just go out and get another HDD, use your Windows retail license to install Windows and restore your system image. Boom...
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