One of the advantages of using a RAID drive is the fact that it has built-in redundancy (unless it is RAID 0). That redundancy means that if a single hard drive in the RAID fails the data on it won’t be lost – but it does not mean that your data is completely ‘safe’.
In order to keep the data on your RAID drive safe, you need to take additional measures to protect it – and the following tips can help on that front:
- Backup data separately
Always remember that as much as a RAID drive does have redundancies – it is not a backup. As such you should make it a point to back-up your data separately onto a different storage, verify it, and keep it up to date periodically. By doing so if and when you lose any data you should be able to restore it from the backup without any issues.
- Check and monitor the hard drives
While a RAID drive can recover if a single hard drive fails, if multiple hard drives fail at the same time data will be lost. That is why it is crucial that you check and monitor the health of each individual hard drive so that if it looks like any are showing signs of failure you are able to replace them before that happens.
- Use hard drives from different batches
One of the big problems with RAID drives is that they often contain identical hard drives that are all from the same batch. As such if one hard drive fails it is likely that the others will too. To reduce the risk of multiple hard drives failing at around the same time, it is best to use hard drives that are from different batches even if they are by the same manufacturer.
- Replace failed hard drives sooner rather than later
When a hard drive in a RAID fails, you should replace it immediately. Every minute that your RAID drive operates with a failed hard drive carries the risk that a second hard drive will also fail and that could cause data to be lost. Naturally the replacement drive needs to match the original drive in terms of capacity and performance.
- Image drives prior to rebuilding
Try to get into the habit of making an image of the content of each hard disk in a RAID drive prior to rebuilding it. If you do and should anything go wrong with the rebuild, at least you will be able to recover lost data from the image – rather than losing it permanently.
As you can see each of these tips can help to keep the data on your RAID drive safe – and should reduce the risk that data ends up being lost. That being said if you do accidentally lose data because it is corrupted or accidentally deleted or for any other reason, there are professional RAID recovery services that you could turn to for help.