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Corrupt MFT on external hardware RAID drive

Question

I have an external hardware controlled RAID drive, with two 2TB, 7200 RPM drives mirrored at RAID 1. They were not connected to an UPS (my mistake which caused the problem!) when they were being written to, we had a massive brownout in power. The MFT became corrupt, and the next time I connected the drive after a restart, Windows 7 decided I needed to format the drive, because it couldn't see any file table.

I ran a competitor's data recovery program (22 hours to detect the entire drive), which showed all files, but it seemed to be duplicating files, and took 30% more room than the original data, and had to span several drives. It also lumped all like files into a single folder, say a ".jpg" folder. I couldn't use any of this data, since all my information was sorted and stored with files dates, times, locations, etc., and without this information, the recovered data was just garbage.

If I obtain a fully functional copy of ZAR and have it find all files, will I just be able to write a new MFT to the working drives? Or, do I have to reformat one of the two drives, connect them both using two connectors (one can be through the external RAID enclosure by Firewire, while I can connect the second formatted drive directly through a SATA to eSATA cable, using the external RAID box's power supply) and copy the entire 1.8 TB file structure onto the formatted drive?

Again: Can ZAR write a new MFT if after it searches the entire drive, finds all files and their whereabouts on the drive? Or if no, will the recovered data take up more room on the target hard drive than the original drive's space occupied?

Answer

ZAR does not write anything to the damaged drive. You need a third target drive, copy the data to it, see if the data is good. If not, repeat with the other source drive.

The data should be with folder structure and names after ZAR recovery.

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