RAID Hard Drive Failure.

RAID Hard Drive Failure:
understanding hard drives

read / write heads on platter

A RAID server failure or computer failure can occur in many ways.  A server failure or computer failure could be a result of a some type of hard drive failure. The hard drive failure can either be a physical hard drive failure or a logical hard drive failure.

Since this is the most serious type of  RAID server failure or computer failure, we will discuss this first. Understanding your RAID failure or computer failure early on is important because trying to reboot your failed RAID server or failed computer will only make your situation worse. The rebooting can result in permanent data loss if the hard drives get scored or scratched by the read/write heads when you attempt to perform your RAID Server or computer reboot.

Depending on your server configuration, when this type of hard drive failure occurs, you may or may not be able to boot up your failed RAID Server. With regard to most computers, your computer will mostly likely not boot up or POST.

The most serious type of RAID server failure or Computer Failures is a “head crash”. This occurs when the "read/write  heads" inside your hard drive physically touch the hard drive platters. The platters, an internal hard drive storage surface, is where your data is being stored and read from. Depending on the severity of the hard drive failure, you may hear a clicking hard drive sound, or a grinding noise coming from your failed hard drive.

If this occurs, do not reboot your RAID server or computer, or try to access your failed hard drive/s. Doing so will reduce the possibility of recovering data and increase the chances that your data will get permanently destroyed. The following links may also help you better understand about how to handle your computer failure.

Other reasons why your RAID server or computer failed to boot:

  1. Your RAID server when offline.
  2. Your RAID server or hard drive got hit by an electrical surge or sag.
  3. Your computer’s hard drive got hit by an electrical surge or sag.
  4. A virus attacked your operating system.
  5. The power supply to your RAID server or computer is faulty.
  6. Your motherboard and or hard drive controller is malfunctioning.
  7. A critical computer hardware component has failed.
  8. Your memory (RAM) has failed and your computer or server shows a memory dump and blue screens (BSoD).
  9. The Raid server or computer’s power supply is dead or not working properly.
  10. An application loaded is not compatible with your operating system.
  11. A hard drive cable got loose so the hard drive can not being accessed.
  12. A user accidentally or intentionally damaged your operating system.
  13. You rebooted your server or computer and left a non bootable key or media device in your server or computer.
  14. Your computer or server registry has been corrupted.
  15. A buffer overflow resulted because a program bug, using badly written software, overwrote a portion of your program code.

What can you do when your RAID server fails or your computer will not boot?

When your RAID server fails or your computer will not boot, you may follow some of the steps shown below.

But FIRST: Protect your DATA & Don’t PANIC.

Please note, since each RAID server failure or computer failure is unique, your situation may require an alternative strategy.

  1. Turn your RAID server or computer off, if it is safe to do so.
  2. If you do not have a plan of attack, now is the time to make one.
  3. Take a few minutes and figure out how important is your data.
  4. If you have an IT staff or computer consultant, you may consider asking them for help.
  5. If your staff is not experienced in data recovery or hard drive failure, then contact RMD and we can offer you some viable solutions.

On a final note…

Whatever you do, please make sure you do not compromise your data or try solutions that you are not familiar with. Doing so could make the difference between a successful RAID data recovery and a successful computer data recovery.

Often, there are no do overs if things don't work out as you expected them to.

So plan your steps carefully.

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