If the computer holding the lost data still boots up fine,
you can use it as the recovery computer to perform data recovery. Otherwise you must either reinstall
Windows on it or locate and use a second computer.
If you decide to reinstall Windows®, you need a new disk for installation.
Be sure to remove all member disks in the RAID from the computer to avoid accidentally overwriting them during installation.
With Windows® ready for use there are two more important tasks. First the member disks must be
connected to the recovery computer as independent, non-RAID, non-boot disks. Secondly, a destination drive must be
set up to store recovered data.
Connect the RAID member disks as independent disks
To recover data File Scavenger® must
have direct access to the individual disks. In a software-based RAID
member disks are already
connected to the computer as independent disks. However, in a
hardware-based RAID, the disks are connected to a
RAID controller. The computer detects the RAID as a single disk.
The individual disks are controlled by the RAID controller and are not directly
accessible to Windows® and File Scavenger®.
You can connect the disks to an ordinary disk controller.
If a controller is not available or you prefer not to change the physical connections,
you can manipulate the BIOS for the same effect in most
RAID controllers. With some controllers you can disable RAID,
thus effectively turning them into ordinary controllers. With some other controllers you can configure each disk as a RAID 0
made up of one disk.
Prepare a destination drive
Recovered data must be stored on a destination drive, preferably a newly-formatted one.
The drive must have sufficient free disk space. For fast recovery use an internal drive (IDE, SATA
or SCSI). External drives (such as USB) and shared network folders can also be used but are much slower.
If the destination drive is not sufficiently large and is NTFS-formatted, you can use Windows Explorer to turn on drive compression.
For data not already in compressed form, you should get at least a two-to-one compression ratio. Data already compressed
such as ZIP, JPEG, MP3 and Office 2007 files is not compressible again.