Must Knows With RAID 10 Recovery And External Drives

The first thing that you need to do if you are in the progress of RAID 10 recovery is to determine if the problem is software or a hardware failure. After determining the costs, you can take the next step further and necessary to resolve your issue. The hardware failure is cost by damage in the physical components of a computer such as the motherboard or the CPU while a software failure has something to do with the programming side. The latter is more complex and can only be handled by the experts. If you are not really one the “experts”, don’t even try to fix the RAID 10 array, especially if a hard disk has failed.

Recovering RAID 10 is not simple at all in physical hard disk crash situations. If a single hard disk in the RAID 10 array has failed, a replacements is readily available at the nearest computer store; this means that you have everything under control. You can choose to delay or finish the task immediately. Things are a lot different if the problem is the RAID controller software. This is the time when you need to ask the experts advised as they will decide on how to proceed with the RAID array recovery. You can search the internet for available service providers or you can choose to visit the nearest service center within your area. Again, prices vary so make sure that you are ready to pay for the value of your most-prized possession – your data.

Using RAID 10 – Its Importance As An Array Type

Although many users prefer using RAID 10 as it is more economical and functional, there will be instances wherein the RAID 10 array may fail. Disk failure is the most common reason followed by damaged files, virus attack, corrupted data and many others. Whatever the reason is, what you need to do is to perform drive restoration to retrieve the lost data.

There are many options available when performing doing RAID 10 recovery. The timeframe can range from a number of minutes and depending on your option, the work may require several days to complete. Gladly, there is data recovery software on the internet which one can download for free. You can choose to download the software to help you detect where the problem is and hopefully resolve the issue. If this approach is not successful, then you can seek the assistance of various contractors which charge a very reasonable price for the service. If you are concern with recovering the data, make sure that you are also executing the process correctly. This is to make sure that the problem will be contained. Another precaution is to shut down the server if you sense that something is wrong with your disks.

Having said all of these, early detection is still the most important thing with RAID 10 failure. The sooner you detect the problem, the higher is the chance of being able to retrieve the data all back again.

A common misconception about RAID 5 Recovery, meanwhile is the thought that a RAID array can help itself when it comes to recovering lost data. This is partly untrue (demonstrated here) because what it really does is to increase available data and mirror it in the rest of the drives. Thus, it gives a speedy access to data and higher fault tolerance. It also protects against failure of drives during use. Data is also striped or transcribed throughout all the available drives. Even if one drive crashes, the rest of the drives will still be able to function steadily and normally without any harm neither to its parity nor to its data.

A lot of these RAID failures tend to take place with older Dell Poweredge RAID servers, as noted here.

Whenever there are system warnings or unusual actions on your computer, you have to check it out as soon as possible. If one drive is affected the fault tolerance disappears. It is then best to make a backup of all the files in it as soon as possible before replacing it. It is best if you change one disk at first before changing the next in order to remember the proper sequence of the connections. Never interchange or shuffle the array. Now if two or more disks have gone askance, it is wise to stop all remedial actions before it becomes worse and seek professional help.

Sometimes automatic executions happen. Cancel this before it is too late. Writes can cause overwriting the striping information needed for rebuilding the system. When using CHKDSK, be cautious because it is known to have very little success for RAID Recovery use.

RAID 5 Recovery features different kinds of modes that can serve two or more disks. The first mode is called the Disk Spanning wherein the computer’s drives appear to be a single huge volume. Its size is dependent upon the drives available. This array is written in an orderly manner and does not have a any benefits related to its performance or to redundancy when used alone. The next model needs to use similar hard drives. This is called Disk Striping and it is used when the main goal is to produce great speed at RAID Level O. This separates every bit of data into units. Transfer of data is fast because there is no checking of parity. The downside is if either of the drive stops working, the entire array can easily get corrupted.

With Disk Mirroring, only half of the entire bulk is exploited. It then replicates the set of data to another drive. Again, a similar hard drive is needed for this method. This is ideal when you prioritize dependability of back up method over storage volume. If ever one drive crashes, it can easily be swapped and data easily restored. Disk Striping on the other hand, uses parity and is perfect for up to four drives. This shows as a single volume but its entire capacity is dependent on the smallest capacity. Block striping is used with RAID 5 wherein parity data is spread over the rest of the other disks. This accounts for superior performance and integration of data.

Hard drive data loss can be an emotional burn for everyone. Imagine preparing for an important cross examination and then realizing, just before the witness takes the stand, that all your documents that were stored on your notebook computer have been lost due to a hard drive malfunction. Not only will this affect you emotionally, but also the amount of credibility you can lose in a public arena like a courtroom can be killer. However, all this can be avoided which is not only consistent backups of your hard drive, but also making sure that you know of a high quality hard drive recovery provider. So how do you repair a damaged hard drive?

Don’t do a hard drive repair yourself!

Basic fact: if you are not a data recovery service technician, you just simply should not attempt to repair your hard drive. Many amateurs attempt to do a variety of things and they inevitably end up being toxic to their data. One of these things includes replacing the logic board when there is no sign of power or sounds coming from the hard drive. These two signs show that the hard drive’s logic board has been damaged, hence the need to replace it. Another technique that most people immediately think of is to try and download some kind of recovery software. This option is only applicable when the drive’s components are physically intact. However, if hard drive problems still continue, it may be best idea to consult with a computer specialist who knows how to fix it properly and efficiently as well.

Most people think that owning a computer means they will never experience a malfunctioning hard drive. Such individuals believe that their computer is invincible and as a result, they scoff and laugh at any one who diligently seeks to find out how hard drive recovery is performed. But the truth of the matter is that every hard drive ultimately malfunctions. And this can cause problems to people who don’t know how to resuscitate a broken drive.

When a hard drive crashes, all the data inside it becomes hidden and is presumably lost. Moreover, this can be a nightmare especially to the people rely entire on their computer for storing work documents, personal files and other important stuff. Unfortunately, not only do people get emotional over lost data, but some have also lost their jobs because of being held responsible for an entire company’s lost documents. This is now were the importance of professional data recovery becomes acknowledged; through hard drive recovery, all the lost data becomes available and accessible on the computer.

Your data can be lost due to several reasons. It may be due to physical damage to the storage device. Or else there may be a logical corruption to the file system. Operating system failures are another reason for the inaccessibility of files. A virus attack can be another reason for data device failure. Several other reasons for data device failures are fire or water damage, electronic controller card damage, hard disk drive component failure, media surface damage, unintended reformatting of partitions, RAID controller failure, overwritten tapes etc. Whatever the reason, the data device failure should be recognized.

There are many symptoms with which to identify the data device failures. If you hear a clicking sound from the device, then there might be a disk drive failure. Smoke appearing or a burnt smell emanating from the device is another symptom of the catastrophic crash. This can be a heavy damage to the hard drive, which will need damaged hard drive recovery. If your computer won’t boot or your computer has a blue screen, these are also the symptoms of data device failures. If you lost data due to a hard drive failure, it is advisable to consult a professional service provider before it gets worse.

Most external hard drives have a magnetized platter and spindle disk system which is used to store information. A laptop user may choose to have an external hard drive to store information just in case a need arises for back-up or when their laptop’s hard drive is full. It is a permanent way of storing information, as it is non-volatile. But, the magnet as we all know is vulnerable to damage and may at one time or another may lose its strength and in this case, it will make the external hard drive gradually slow down and fail. The physical damage in this case may be either from the read head hitting disk platters, or too much internal heat or even dropping it.

Physical Damage to External Hard Drive Causing Failure

Using basic knowledge of magnetism, when a magnet is dropped or experiences intense impact the arrangement of dipoles in the domains change and this weakens the magnets strength, thus lowering its performance and efficiency. The best way to avoid all this is by simply taking good and precise care when handling the drive.

Hard Drives And Power

A consistent power supply is essential for every electrical device to function properly and computers, whether you’re talking laptop or desktop are no different. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to anyone when their computers (especially their hard disk drives) stop working properly when there is inconsistent power feeds with voltages dropping very low. It has been observed in some countries that low voltage supply may cause more damage to electrical components than a high voltage supply. Such a situation may cause your hard drive to become unresponsive and cause other hard drive problems as well.

There are two key ways to remedy this type of hard drive problem. Due to inconsistent power feed, electrostatic charges often build up on the hard disk and the logic board so both of them should be separated and connected to a grounding unit separately. This will cause all the excess charge that has built up on the hard disk to be discharged and will provide you with a window of opportunity to copy your data on another hard drive. Or you can try replacing the damaged components like the logic board or the actuator arm but this might be a very cumbersome process and it might be very difficult to find a proper match for your hard drive. You should probably contact a data recovery specialist in the latter case.

Remap the F12 Key, CapsLock Key or any Key in Windows XP, 2000, Vista and 2003

I often hit the Caps Lock key accidentally and find myself typing IN UPPER CASE when I didn′t intend to. I then have to change the text to sentence case like I wanted. I actually find no use at all for the Caps Lock key and changed it′s behavior so it won′t stick in caps mode. In simply acts like a shift key without the stickyness. This page details how to change this behavior as well as changing any other key on the keyboard.

DOS and its Windows offspring, Win9x and ME, have a feature for keyboard remapping. This was not included in Windows 2000 and XP. There is a way, however, to remap keys in the registry. Backup your registry before starting. This is advanced registry editing; if you are not comfortable editing the registry, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS. You can do it the easy way by downloading the .reg file and merging into the registry, then rebooting. Windows 2000/XP
Microsoft has a tool for creating keyboard layouts in Windows 2000, XP, and 2003. You can start from scratch or load an existing layout and modify it and save it as a keyboard layout (.KLC) file . You can then select the keyboard layout in Control Panel->Regional and Language Settings->Languages->Details. The limitation of this tool is that you cannot change CapsLock, Tab, Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Enter, Backspace, F1 to F12, Number pad, arrows, Ins, Del, PgUp, PgDn, etc. Well… it’s pretty limited. Try it yourself:

Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator
Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator for Vista

Mac solution: Software to remap the keyboard on a Mac
Repurpose the CapsLock Key with CAPshift. Select some text in a document, then hit CapsLock to change the selected text to lowercase, UPPERCASE, TitleCase, iNVERTEDcASE, or RaNDoMCaSE.


Experts only below this point!

Remap CapsLock Key

Open Regedit and go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]. Be careful not to edit the “Keyboard Layouts” key. If you want the remapping to apply on a user-specific basis, log in as that user (you need to be an administrator in XP Home or have registry editing privileges, usually a power user or administrator, in XP Pro) and use [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout].

Click on Edit->New->Binary Value and name it “Scancode Map” without the quotes. The content of the key will depend on what behavior you want to assign to the Caps Lock key. I simply set the Caps Lock key to function as the Left Shift key. This way, I get caps while it′s down, no caps when it′s up. This has no affect on the Left Shift key ­ it continues to work normally.

In order to remap Caps Lock to Left Shift, double click the Scancode Map key and enter the following binary values: “00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,2A,00,3A,00,00,00,00,00” without the quotes or the commas and click OK.

Figure 1:  Binary Value for Remapping Keyboard Keys
The important parts of this sequence are the 2a and the 3a. 2a is the target of the remapping (Left Shift) and the 3a is the key that you will physically push (Caps Lock). You can remap any key to function as any other key on your keyboard by changing the binary values.

After entering the value, close Regedit and reboot. If you used the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, the remapping should work immediately. If you used HKEY_CURRENT_USER, it won′t take effect until after you have logged in.

Remap Multiple Keys

If you want to remap more than one key, such as swapping keys, you need to add additional codes to the same binary value. In the value for remapping the Caps Lock key, the 02 reflects remapping of one key. 03 would be for two remaps, 04 for three, etc.(one plus the number of remaps). Just change the 02 to reflect the number of keys you are remapping.

Each remap is a series of four binary values. For the Caps Lock example, the values are 2a, 00, 3a, 00. A remap of the Left Alt key to function as Backspace, would be 0e, 00, 38, 00. To combine these two remaps, change the 02 to 03 and add the four values after the 2a, 00, 3a, 00 resulting in a longer binary value for the key. The remapping of two keys – Caps Lock to Left Shift and Left Alt to Backspace ­ would look like “00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,2A,00,3A,00,0E,00,38,00,00,00,00,00”. The sequence needs to start with eight pairs of zeroes and end in four pairs of zeroes. Since the Caps Lock feature is no longer available after using these methods, you could remap a fairly useless key like Scroll Lock to function as Caps Lock (3a,00,46,00).

Remap Any Key

Aside from altering the Caps Lock key, remapping multiple keys could be very useful for Point-of-Sale systems or games that make heavy use of keyboard shortcuts. If the remapping is applied on a per user basis, a normal keyboard layout could be regained by logging in as another user.

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