Does anyone know if it's possible to switch from a hardware based RAID0 to a software one? Have a broken raid controller (vintage, wont find it anywhere) but I know the Array is in good conditions.

Has anyone tried this, and/or know if its possible?

Edit 1

The actual situation goes as follow: A LaCie external HDD 2 disks RAID0 array broke. No backups were ever made (yes, path for disaster). The actual case broke down, the HDD's seam to be working fine. I didn't find any similar case on eBay.

My best course of action will probably be to make images of the disks (to play on the safe side) and then mount them on Linux mdadm. I'm just looking out for someone that has tried something similar.

Thank you for your time.

3 Answers 3


To my knowledge you'll have to find a compatible hardware raid card to boot the array. I'm pretty sure that the hardware vendors do their own proprietary stuff when it comes to raid devices. At the very least, Linux and it's LVM and software raid may be able to help...

If possible, you'll need to boot the array and just copy it off - but it sounds like that's not possible.

Edit: DiskInternals Raid Recovery claims to be able to convert most hardware raid types to a software raid. I haven't tested it but it may work if the drives are in good condition like you think they are.

  • @Joshua you're probably right. Nevertheless it's proving quite tricky to find a similar LaCie card. Was hoping that a software solution would be able to cut it.
    – Frankie
    Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 15:32

What do you mean by switching? Your best bet is to back the data up, remove the RAID controller if it's broken, then use your software raid tools to create a new volume as a fresh install and replace the data.

You didn't mention the OS or configuration (other than RAID level), so don't know what else to tell you other than wiping and reinstalling on a fresh volume will probably save you the most headaches in the long run.

  • 1
    From the wording of the second question it sounds like they have a "known good array" of drives but the original hardware controller that created it is no longer usable.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 13:36
  • 1
    Without testing the array I don't know if it would be known good; if the hardware flaked out, it could have corrupted something. If he's trying to recover data, his best bet is to look on Ebay for an old card that matches his. Most hardware is proprietary and may not allow another controller to see it otherwise. Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 13:45
  • He might have some luck contacting tech support for the company, if they're still around, and see what they can do to help. Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 13:45
  • it's exactly like Joshua put it. The 2 disks RAID0 array was hardware controlled but the hardware broke and now I was hopping I could software mount it.
    – Frankie
    Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 15:35
  • @Frankie: No, you can't use software to do it. The hardware uses a proprietary way to tag the hard disks and uses their own methods of accessing the data. If it were mirrored you might be able to put a drive in and read data from it. Might. But since it's striped across disks, I'd venture the guess no. You'd need to find a matching controller. RAID isn't a backup, and RAID 0 increases the need for a backup since it jumps the odds of disk failure. I'd scrounge on eBay for a controller. What model is it? Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 16:00

Even compatible hardware may not help if you don't have a backup of how the RAID was configured. RAID configuration is tricky stuff; nothing auto-detects, and every manufacturer has their own optimizations of the process which means "3 disks in a RAID5 configuration" isn't as descriptive as you might think.

My experience says, "Go to backup." Ancient card, unknown configuration...If it's critical data, there are people who recover busted RAIDs for a living. If it's not totally critical, there is RAID recovery software out there that might work, but I've never tried it so YMMV.

  • @Satanicpuppy have you tried runtime.org/raid.htm? Maybe I'll drop the 100 bucks and try it out.
    – Frankie
    Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 15:33
  • Some do autodetect. I've seen some cards that will write config data to the drives themselves, which I think it to make them more dummy proof when hot-swapping them in drive cages so the controller can track what is where on a bus. But not all do that. Commented Mar 24, 2010 at 16:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .