Tricks to determine the RAID type

If there is a set of disks, but the RAID type is not known, how do we determine what type of RAID is that? Most of the RAID recovery programs, including ours at, require the RAID type to be provided by the operator.

In a most simple case, where all disks are available, one can get the idea of the RAID type by just plugging all the disks and looking at the Disk Management data.

The following cases are most typical,

1. One or multiple partitions on exactly one of the disks. This is a RAID 0 or a RAID 5, more likely RAID 0.
2. One or multiple partitions, with two identical sets of partitions on two disks. With three disks, this is a RAID 5. With four or more disks, this is either a RAID 5 or a RAID 10.

The above does not account for RAID 6 or exotics like RAID 3, and assumes MBR-style partitioning on the array, but nevertheless makes for a good start when working with an array of unknown type.


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