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Thread: Repair Dynamic Disks

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    Member Dissident85's Avatar
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    Default Repair Dynamic Disks

    Hi all, I have a external hard drive with 2 500gb IDE drives in it. Which has died, well the case has the hard drives still work. I have taken out the drives and put them into a windows xp box. Windows recognised one of the drives as a dynamic drive with a size of 1tb. And it also found the second drive as a dynamic drive but isn’t associating it with the other one. I can browse the first drive and access some of the data on it. So I am assuming that the individual files are not striped across the two drives. So what do you think would be the best corse of action? Use some sort of recovery software to recover the individual files? Or is there a way to repair the “link” between the two drives?

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dissident85 View Post
    Hi all, I have a external hard drive with 2 500gb IDE drives in it. Which has died, well the case has the hard drives still work. I have taken out the drives and put them into a windows xp box. Windows recognised one of the drives as a dynamic drive with a size of 1tb. And it also found the second drive as a dynamic drive but isn’t associating it with the other one. I can browse the first drive and access some of the data on it. So I am assuming that the individual files are not striped across the two drives. So what do you think would be the best corse of action? Use some sort of recovery software to recover the individual files? Or is there a way to repair the “link” between the two drives?
    It sounds like you're talking about a Software SPAN partition which is the bane of all types of partitions you can have. In my experience, this is the worst possible way to create a partition, basically you're SOL. If the data is really important, you might be able to send the drives out to a data recovery house and have them pull the data directly off the platter, but I've never seen a way to recover data once a SPAN partition fails.

    I could be wrong, but I've seen it happen many times, and it's never pretty.

    One option you might have, if the drive controller failed and you actually don't have failures on the platter is you could buy an identical drive, pull the controller off of that drive and attach it to the failed drive and see if you can boot it up.

    I would not make any changes to your good drive, I would get it out of that machine you have it in ASAP before you have no chance of recovering anything.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    Member Dissident85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    It sounds like you're talking about a Software SPAN partition which is the bane of all types of partitions you can have. In my experience, this is the worst possible way to create a partition, basically you're SOL. If the data is really important, you might be able to send the drives out to a data recovery house and have them pull the data directly off the platter, but I've never seen a way to recover data once a SPAN partition fails.

    I could be wrong, but I've seen it happen many times, and it's never pretty.

    One option you might have, if the drive controller failed and you actually don't have failures on the platter is you could buy an identical drive, pull the controller off of that drive and attach it to the failed drive and see if you can boot it up.

    I would not make any changes to your good drive, I would get it out of that machine you have it in ASAP before you have no chance of recovering anything.
    Well it was a LaCie Big Disk, But the more I read up on it I think the only way I am going to get my data back is to try to recover each individual file. I was thinking of using something like DD from Helix to make a image of it and make sure that I don’t do any damage to the drive… and go from there… Only problem with that method is that from past experiences I will get the files back, but the file names will be missing Just wish there was a way to fix the link between the two drives..

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dissident85 View Post
    Well it was a LaCie Big Disk, But the more I read up on it I think the only way I am going to get my data back is to try to recover each individual file. I was thinking of using something like DD from Helix to make a image of it and make sure that I don’t do any damage to the drive… and go from there… Only problem with that method is that from past experiences I will get the files back, but the file names will be missing Just wish there was a way to fix the link between the two drives..
    My fear is if you try to import it as a Dynamic disk without it's mate, it's probably going to trash the partition table, and you won't be able to recover anything. Creating an image of it, might not be a bad idea, but you also might not be able to restore the image. Span partitions are not fun to work with, I swore over 10 years ago that I would never, ever use a span partition again.

    Good luck, I hope you can recover something, but the partition type if I recall does not start writing on one drive and fill it and then start writing to the next. It creates one big partition across both drives and writes accordingly.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    After getting a image you could try third party disk tools like partion magic if windows won't link it, third party might, don't change setting as such just rewrite the table. If it has some type of windows software raid try win server as win xp can't do it.

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    Member Dissident85's Avatar
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    Well I have found a good data recovery program, it has resorted all the data that was located on one of the disks, it has recovered the other files but in windows the show up as there with the correct file size and the size on disk as 0… so I am guessing that they are the files located on the other drive… so I think I am going to have to recover the other files from the other drive and then write some script to combine the two “dumps” and compare the individual files and remove the “empty” files.
    Has anyone every written a script to do something like this? Is it possible?

    I may be able to write a program in C++ but I don’t want to reinvent the wheel

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