Whether do you need to recover Storage Spaces at all?

If Storage Spaces has failed on you, there are three options - try DIY recovery, send a set of drives to a data recovery lab, or just give up the idea. We actually encourage you to consider the third option seriously because undoubtedly Storage Spaces recovery requires significant expenditure of money and time. Specific figures for the material and time costs for DIY recovery are given below.

If you send the drives to a data recovery service, most likely, recovery will be more expensive while the turnaround will not be faster. Additionally, after DIY recovery all equipment you bought for Storage Spaces recovery including drives will remain with you. In the future you can use all this hardware for backup to never face data loss again.

We strongly recommend you before begin to recover Storage Spaces weigh up the pros and cons, estimate budget, and decide whether indeed you need such time consuming and expensive restoration and if still yes what way you should go.

Price of equipment

Before you start to recover Storage Spaces you should be aware that you need to provide yourself with a lot of free disk space.

Suppose that your pool consisted of six drives of 2 TB and it was completely filled with data. In this case, ultimately, you will need to copy 12 TB of data.

For this, you will first need to obtain four blank 3 TB hard drives. Then, the problem of connecting all the drives simultaneously to the same PC will arise. There are a system drive, a DVD, six disks of the original pool, and four blank drives all to be connected simultaneously. This requires a total of 12 ports, while typical motherboards have six or eight. So, another four ports will be required to connect blank drives.

The bad option is to connect new drives using USB 3.0, if you have four USB 3.0 ports. The more reasonable option is to buy a port multiplier and to connect it to eSATA port.

Thus, as of February 2013, the price of hardware needed to try to recover Storage Spaces is:

  1. four 3 TB drives and four USB 3.0 boxes = $180*4 + $4*40 = $880;
  2. four 3 TB drives and one 4-port eSATA multiplier with PSU = $180*4 + $150 = $870.

Total time

Let's estimate how long Storage Spaces recovery will take for the pool consisting of six drives of 2 TB. The simplest recovery cases, for example when Storage Spaces metadata is just slightly damaged, takes about three days given that average read speed is 50 MB/sec (SATA connection). The more complex cases where it is needed to read all the pool member drives thrice (a total of 36 TB) will take about ten days.

Thus, minimum recovery time for a given pool is three to ten days considering only time needed the software to complete recovery. This time estimation doesn't include the time needed you to buy and assemble all the necessary hardware that could easily take several days to weeks.

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