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RAID Recovery FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the RAID data recovery process. If you have a question that isn’t listed below, please contact a recovery technician by visiting our contact page.
RAID Data Recovery Cost?
RAID Data Recovery Pricing: RAID data recovery is based on a per drive rate starting as low as $325/drive for SATA and IDE HDD arrays. There are some specific factors that can increase that number in certain cases. Certain RAID types such as RAID 6 and nested arrays may cost extra. Here are a few sample array types and how they would be calculated
RAID 5 Array of 6 x 1Tb SATA Hard Drives (One of Which is a Hot Spare)
$325 x 5 Total Drives (hot spare isn’t counted)
RAID 0 Array of 8 SAS or SCSI Hard Drives
$375 x 8 Drives (SAS/SCSI drives are extra)
RAID 5 of 4 x 3Tb SATA Hard Drives
$375 x 4 Drives (Drives Over 2Tb are additional $50/Tb)
These prices cover most hardware repairs necessary to extract data from all necessary drives. However, in some cases, such as when a needed drive will require extensive clean room work, the final quoted cost might be higher.
Evaluation is always free and quotes are always provided before we proceed with the work.
For the current pricing tables, please visit our Data Recovery Prices Page.
How Long Does RAID Recovery Take?
One of the first questions we get asked by most customers is “How long will the recovery take?”. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to that question, as each case is different. Many arrays can be rebuild in only a day or two. However here are some factors to consider that may affect the overall time frame of the data recovery.
- Hardware Condition – A drive that is fully functional is much faster to recover data from than one that is severely damaged and must be repaired. So cases that are simply related to accidental deletion, format, viruses, etc. are generally pretty quick on the turnaround. Usually within 48 hours for most cases, however, there are times when it takes longer. Drives needing hardware recovery generally take about 7 to 10 days but can take longer based on other factors below.
- Drive / RAID Array Size – Even if a drive is fully functional a 4Tb drive will take as much as 20 hours to perform a single scan, and a typical recovery may involve several scans to effectively find all files. Also as a professional data recovery lab, we always clone the drive first to prevent any possibility of accidents while working with the data. As a rule of thumb expect an extra day for drives larger than 500Gb or a few days for drives larger than 2Tb. Plus for very large arrays, there can be substantial time
- Number of Failed Drives – In striped RAID arrays, the number of failed drives can affect the turnaround time as well. When there are multiple failures all drives must be analyzed to determine which hard drive(s) went offline first so that the correct data is used during the rebuild.
- Availability of Donor Parts – For drives with hardware issues, parts are often needed to repair the drive to a semi-functional condition where the data can be successfully extracted. Some hard drive sub-models are very common and easy to find the parts from one of our vendors. However, others are not. At times we may even have to spend weeks searching online and calling other data recovery labs for the specific drive or parts we need. Or we may even have to buy a donor drive from overseas and wait for it to arrive. Usually, this is the longest part of the whole process for hardware level recoveries.
- Functionality of Drive After Repair – Many makes of hard drives don’t take kindly to replacement parts and don’t function anywhere near their full potential after an internal repair. As drives write magnetic data on a microscopic level, even the slightest variation in manufacturing of parts may cause the drive to constantly have to re-read data over and over. While rare, some drives can take a month or more to extract all the data after such internal repairs.
- Service Type – Customers who need expedited or emergency services pay a bit more for our services, however, they also get priority service. RAID arrays are always treated as Expedited projects and are bumped to the front of the line to be worked on before all other projects. However, the work is still performed during normal business hours. If that isn’t fast enough you can order emergency service (quoted base on expected overtime) and we work through the night, and over the weekend to finish the project as fast as possible.
What Are The Chances of Successful RAID Recovery?
This will largely depend on the hardware condition and array type. However here are some basic statistics:
- RAID 0 with one failed drive – 85-90% Chance of Success
- RAID 5 with one failed drive (rebuild failed) – 99% chance of recovery
- RAID 5 with two simultaneous drive failures – 95% chance of recovery
- RAID 5 with two drive failures (non-simultaneous) – 85-90% chance of success
- RAID 6 with one/two failed drives (rebuild failed) – 98% chance of recovery
- RAID 6 with three failed drives – 85-90% chance of recovery
Please note that these numbers are only estimates of the likelihood that the data can be recovered. As each case is different, an evaluation to determine hardware condition must be performed first.
What Happens If The Data Can't Be Recovered?
If we are unable to recover a substantial portion of the data (70% or more of the files) you will not be billed for our efforts to recover the data. The only cost you might be out is the price of parts needed to attempt the repair and recovery which are specific to your hard drive. However, these costs will be itemized and explained at the time you receive the quote. In some cases where the recovery is very partial, you will be given opportunity to preview the data to see if any necessary data has been successfully recovered. You will then have the option to accept the recovered data and pay the quote, or decline and call it a loss.
How Do I Get My Data Back After Recovery?
Upon completion of the recovery, you are welcome to provide your own return media. For RAID arrays, the would generally be a high capacity external hard drive. Or, if you’d prefer you can purchase a new external hard drive from us at a competitive price and we’ll copy the data to that. For very large arrays containing large amounts of data, arrangements may be necessary to copy the data onto a NAS or other enclosure with RAID functions. Please contact us for more details if you require recovery from such an array.
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