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The client is an India-based business entity with a remarkable experience and profound brand reputation in the market. They are involved in designing, manufacturing, and executing energy metering projects over the transmission and distribution networks.

The industrial unit was using DELL® EMC Server (Clarion CX4120), encompassing 15 FC Channel HDDs, each having 450 GB capacity with 520 bytes per sector. All the HDDs were configured to RAID 5 array consisting of one pool with 9 LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) inside it, containing Office documents and databases.

While working, the client’s IT team experienced the amber lights shown by two hard disks. The team examined the issue with hard disks and found out that the server was crashed. The organization received the initial error message of the “disks failed” at the time of the crash. As a result, they could not see their data in the LUNs volume. 

The client attempted to fix the issue by replacing the affected HDDs with other HDDs. However, they failed since the two HDDs had a physical failure that crashed the server.

Business Impact

The client paves the roadmap to the smart and innovative power sector. Unfortunately, the RAID server was crashed, creating problems in running their active operations. The production units and manufacturing projects were affected, since they lost access to their important research data. This directly impacted the business continuity and productivity of the firm.

Stellar Data Recovery

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Problem Statement

How to resume the normal operations of production units, which were running through the DELL® EMC Server? This requires recovery of data from the crashed DELL® EMC Server configured with RAID 5 array with one pool of 9 LUNs.

Data Recovery Challenges

  • Fixing issues with FC (Fibre Channel) hard drives, since they are exclusive to the specific servers. 
  • Retrieving the data from physically-damaged HDDs with deep visible scratches on the platter.
  • Due to the client’s attempt to replace HDDs and fix the issue, the information of the thin pool storage area was misaligned. 
Dell EMC Server

Data Recovery Approach

Stellar’s experienced team of data recovery and R&D experts carried out a deep and comprehensive diagnosis of the crashed RAID server. They performed the following steps to execute seamless data recovery from the crashed DELL® EMC RAID server.

Step 1: Lab Examination of DELL® EMC Storage Server

The RAID data recovery specialists at Stellar® examined all 15 hard drives and checked whether they were in working condition or not. During the analysis, they found that the two hard drives had physical damage.

This revealed that the physical issues with those two hard drives induced the server crash and eventually, data inaccessibility. 

Step 2: Hard Drive Dismantling and Head Transplantation in “Class 100 Clean Room” Lab

The team then asked for the permission from the client to open the hard drive. The team has to dismantle it in Class 100 Clean Room Lab and perform the root cause analysis on the physically affected hard drives.

Subsequently, the lab experts transplanted new head assembly to evaluate the probability of data recovery.

Still, the team could not access the hard drive data. The team then found the deep, visible scratches on the platters of both hard drives that hindered the new heads from reading the data. 

Then, the team used the home-grown technology to treat the scratches on the platter. This was done to ensure the working of the hard disk and cloning at the subsequent step.

Step 3: Hard Disk Cloning

The team initiated the cloning process of 15 hard drives using the proprietary technology. Since the hard drives were 520 BPS (bytes per sector), it was challenging to clone each hard drive into 512 BPS (bytes per sector).

The team first performed the cloning of 15 hard drives of 520 BPS and then cut the extra bytes to make them into 512 BPS.

Moreover, there are the platters with deep scratches. Here, the Stellar® team developed a specialized mechanism to control the hard drive spindle speed and read data by ditching the deep scratches on the platter. 

Successively, the team connected the 15 cloned hard drives to the specialized proprietary RAID tool to determine certain RAID array logical parameters, such as stripe size (storage capacity of each hard drive),  data flow pattern, and parity flow information.

Virtual Raid Construction

Step 4: Virtual RAID Construction

The proprietary RAID software was further customized to construct virtual RAID. It was a meticulous byte-wise scanning of the hard drives for data and parity flow.

This process revealed that the DELL® EMC server has the EMC FLARE (Fibre Logic Array Runtime Environment) Operating System with a single pool containing multiple LUNs. These LUNs were associated with the NTFS File System structure along with the RAID 5 configuration. 

These findings were vital for executing further RAID 5 data recovery steps.

Step 5: Deep Scan of Storage Drives

The data recovery experts manually recreated the indexing of the thin pool to align its information correctly.

Then, they used the RAID data recovery software to perform a deep scan on the storage drives.

As per the server data details provided by the client, we found traces of the data on the LUNs volumes. We then shared the assessment report with the client accordingly.

After the client’s approval, we recovered the required data from the LUNs volumes.

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The data care experts at Stellar® recovered 100% data from the crashed DELL® EMC server. They recovered the client’s PDF files, Excel files, PPTs, Word documents, and databases. 

The data recovery team succeeded in cloning each hard drive into 512 BPS since those were 520 BPS. From hard drive assessment to data delivery, the entire process was conducted in a controlled environment with 100% data confidentiality and security. In addition, our professional team strictly followed the ISO 9001-27001 guidelines while performing the data recovery job in our state-of-the-art labs.

We completed the entire process within the stipulated timeline to help client resume their business operations as fast as possible.

"Stellar Data Recovery helps us to recover data from our Dell Server. Our data stored in this server is very important. They have handled our case on priority to rescue our data in minimal time. Thanks to Stellar team for recovering data on priority. We are lucky to give our server data recovery case to India’s No. 1 data recovery company."


Stellar is global leader in data recovery and our experts have expertise and experience in recovering data from all type of Servers, RAID configrations. Read more about our Storage data recovery experties.