Understand Your RAID Server Failure.

RAID Server

RAID Server Failure:

A RAID server failure can take place for many reasons. Most RAID server failures are typically attributed to a logical RAID server failure.  However, a physical RAID server failure can also cause a logical RAID server failure or a failure of a NAS or SAN storage device.

Most of the RAID data recoveries we have seen are attributed to a logical RAID server failure.  The best solution to avoid needing a RAID data recovery or server data recovery service is to have an excellent hardware and software maintenance plan in place.

A RAID server failure can be caused for many reasons.  We have listed some RAID server failures below and how they may occur.  Our findings are based on communication with potential clients requesting information on RAID data recovery services and questions about how to address their RAID failure.

How to Keep your RAID Server, NAS or SAN storage device Safe:

  • Backup… Backup… Backup.
  • Replace older hard drives every 2 to three years or as needed.
  • Keep your server virus software up to date.
  • Test your UPS battery and device.
  • Perform routine server maintenance.
  • Check your Server Operating system log.
  • Check your backup logs.

Logical RAID Server Failure causes:

  • You Re-initialized RAID array when there is still a RAID hard drive failure.
  • A virus attack damaged the RAID striping.
  • The RAID partition was formatted.
  • A RAID partition is missing or went offline.
  • RAID configuration lost or got corrupted.
  • A RAID Software corruption occurred.
  • You upgraded your server operating system.
  • Server registry corrupted.
  • Someone accidentally deleted server operating system files.
  • A bad command was executed or written to your Linux server.

Hardware RAID Server Failures / Physical RAID Server Failures:

  • The RAID controller card is failing.
  • The server motherboard or other key component failed.
  • Although rare, more than one hard drive failed at the same time.
  • A loose controller cable.
  • A hard drive failed and then a second drive failed.
  • There was a hardware change to your server causing a RAID hardware incompatibility.
  • A RAID server was physically damaged by water.

Server Power Issues  + Other RAID Server Failures :

  • An unstable electrical anomaly damaged the RAID Server, NAS or SAN device.
  • Your UPS battery is bad and your server had a power issue.

Flash Memory Recovery.


Flash Memory Recovery

Flash Memory Recovery


 Flash Memory Recovery:

 Flash memory is a storage media where your data is stored on a non-volatile computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.

The primary applications for flash memory are: memory cards, USB flash drives, iPhones, iPods, pda’s, solid state hard drives along with all types of associated electronic devices. 

 We have had many people asking us about flash drive recoveries, so we thought it would be a good idea to discuss it in a way that most people can relate to when their flash media fails.  

 Firstly, a flash drive does not depend on any moving parts as does a hard drive.

 People typically assume their flash media will always work. They expect their digital photos and files to always be available when they store their data on their flash media or solid state drive. BUT… that is not always the case. Here are some of the issues you can run into when you are using flash media or any solid state media device.

 The main storage controller chip (processor) gets damaged and the media is no longer accessible by any computer or hardware device.

 The memory chip that physically holds your files, data and pictures no longer works. You find your data is not accessible when connecting your flash media to a computer, camera, phone, etc.

SD Card Failures – CF Card Failures – Thumb Drive Failures:

Some flash media failures occur when static electricity damages the PCB of the storage media. Other failures could be a result of cracking the flash media accidentally. We have seen USB drives fail because the ends have been broken off when the user accidentally hit the flash media device while the USB portion was still connected to a host computer. Surprisingly, even SD cards, CF ( Compact Flash) XD or other flash media became damaged or the casing was cracked when they were inserted into a camera, or jammed when the user inserted the media in a kiosk card reader in an attempt to print their digital photos from their SD, CF, XD or other digital device.

One key factor most users seem to forget…. a user believes they can repeatedly use their flash media over and over again for prolonged times and their data will always be accessible. The reality is, the flash media is not permanent. It will fail as it has a limited number of reads/writes. Flash memory is built with this in mind, however, the problem of unlimited read/writes have not yet been achieved and we doubt it can ever become a reality.

 Don’t Run Defragmenter:

It's never a good idea to run scan disk or defragmenter on a flash drive.  Defragmenting reduces the life time of the flash media because this process means the flash media will implement many reads/writes to the solid state media. As stated earlier, we know flash media has a limited number of read/write cycles before the media is classified “non functional”. What that means to you is…you data can never be recovered. The amount of read/writes is a function of the type of media you are using to store your data and on the ability for technology to improve over time.

 Flash Media Failures – Genuine Flash Media.

 Unfortunately, we have seen flash media cards that were damaged and not genuine.

 Some flash media failures have occurred because the fake flash media was manufactured with inferior internal chips or quality. In the past, we have seen SD flash media cards that have failed and looked as if they were manufactured by San Disk, but in fact they were not. 

Know your source and vendor.  Ask yourself, when you are buying or comparing flash media prices…why is the flash media price from one source so much cheaper than everyone else? Other hints… Look and see if the logo and colors on your flash media device match the “genuine” flash media products.  Make note where the flash media is being shipping from. It is true, sometimes, it is hard to differentiate the “quality products” from the fake copies. 

If you know your buying a “fake” then you need to ask yourself another very importnatn question…  When I go on vacation or taking special event pictures, do I want my memory card to work without any issues, or do I want to save a little money on getting a "cheap" flash memory card and take my chances.

 Recognizing Flash Media Failures: 

There can be bad media on the flash device and the product will report a 0 GB size or the flash media will hang up a computer when you plug it in.

Rebooting to resolve the problem typically will not help. The computer will lock up and prevent you from connecting to your files and data.

The USB connectors from the USB flash drive was damaged because the user  inserted the thumb drive upside down or on an angle and it was inserted quickly and with force..

If you try using your flash media on another computer, and it still does not work, don’t do anything else. At that time you already verified the flash media was bad and nothing was wrong with your computer.

The flash media file system can be infected by a virus or media where the file system is stored has corrupted leaving the flash media card inaccessible.

For more information and hints on Flash media Failures, note the links below:




Your comments and posts are always welcome.

Exchange Email Recovery.

 Exchange Email Data Recovery:

exchange data recovery

Exchange Email Recovery:

 Our findings indicate that most Exchange Email Servers fail because:

  •  An improper shutdown occurred due to faulty UPS or human error.
  •  A Virus attacked the exchange Email server.
  •  A partition table got corrupted (Logical Hard Drive Failure).
  •  A Physical hard drive failure occurred.
  •  The Jet engine failed and was found when the Exchange Email Server generated an error message.
  •  The RAID controller card has failed.
  •  A critical file size was reported as a wrong size. 
  • A hard drive went offline because when it developed bad sectors in a critical area.
  •  The Exchange Email Server database file was deleted or restored with a previously corrupted backup.
  •  Your Exchange Email software was upgraded to a newer version and your EDB, or STM files got corrupted during the Exchange Email Software upgrade. 
  • A Boot failure prevented the Exchange Email Server from posting.

Before you attempt your own Exchange Email Data Recovery.  Always protect your Exchange Server EDB or STM files before you do anything.  For more information call or email RMD. Check our Exchange Email error page and our About Us page for more details.




More on Exchange Email Recovery coming Soon.

Water Damaged Hard Drives.

Water Soaked Hard Drive After A Hurricane or Flooding:

Not sure what to do…THEN DON'T DO ANYTHING Yet!

Don't Let Your Wet Hard Drive to Dry!

Don't Power On Your Wet Hard Drive. 

Traces of  salt or foreign matter in your hard drive is all that is needed to permanently scratch or corrode your platters and DESTROY your DATA.

We have had many calls with regard to the East Coast Flooding. Therefore, RMD thought we should share some of our knowledge on what TO DO and what NOT TO DO if your hard drive gets wet, soaked or contaminated after a hurricane or major flood.

What Happens When Hard Drives Get Flooded or Wet?

Here are the major challenges that a user will experience when a hard drive is damaged by water, dirt or any foreign matter.

Firstly, a main issue is that water has many dissolved salts present in it: Salts dissolved in water will vary from state to state, and also by locality. For example, water form New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Virginia or any other state will vary in salt composition. The location where your hard drive got wet or flooeded dictates what type of salts will crystallize on your hard drive when your wet hard drive is left to dry. This means the data recovery process on hard drives will vary based on the type of salts found on your flooded or wet hard drive.

Salt Deposits on Hard Drives after Flooding:

Depending on your location, as the water evaporates from your flooded hard drive, the dissolved salts begin to concentrate and leave crystalline deposits or films on the surfaces of the wet hard drive platters, motor, hard drive heads and the head assembly. If you turn the wet hard drive on after the hard drives has been left to dry, then the salts will make contact with the heads/magnets and most likely scratch or damage the platters permanently, thus making your hard drive non recoverable.

If dirt or any foreign matter is mixed with the water and contaminates your hard drive, and you proceed to dry your hard drive and turn your hard drive on, then you are essentially left with no alternatives. You data will NOT be recoverable.

Salts on a Hard Drives Printed Circuit Board – (PCB).

Distilled or deionized water are not good electrical conductors. Many dissolved salts in water tend to be good to moderate electrical conductors. Salt water (Na Cl – Sodium Chloride) is an excellent electrical conductor. Therefore, we must always remember that when your hard drive gets wet from a flood it can potentially short out your hard drives' PCB. This means a once simple wet PCB can essentially result in a damaged hard drive heads.

Cleaning Flooded Hard Drives:

Once this process is completed, RMD evaluates the condition of the hard drive surface and the internal hard drive components with a high powered microscope to determine if the wet contaminated hard drive needs additional cleaning or if it is ready to be repaired, powered on to run diagnostics and prepare to initiate the data recovery imaging process.

Our advice is as follows:

If your hard drive got wet or flooded, then you should leave it wet. Place your wet hard drive in a sealed baggie or plastic bag and send it to RMD in water ASAP. The reason for this is the hard drive will not dry out, therefore the salts can not crystallize out and deposit onto the hard drive platters or the other internal hard drive components. RMD can then apply their propriety hard drive data recovery process to remove crystallized salts and foreign matter from the hard drive heads, magnets, motor and platters.

Not sure what to do…THEN DON'T DO ANYTHING!

Call RMD FIRST, we will at least make sure you don't risk or further damage your wet or flooded hard drive.

RMD can be reached @ 1-877-888-9990.

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