How to detect the RAID type?

If you don't remember what type of array was used in your array, or you're restoring data for someone and the person can't tell exactly which array level he/she chose, then it's impossible to determine the array type just seeing the disks. And the more disks were in the array, the more array level options are possible. However, there are several tools using which you can quite accurately determine the RAID level.

First of all, you need to take into account the number of source disks.

  • If there were 2 disks, then the possible levels are RAID1, RAID0, JBOD;
  • If there were 3 disks, then most likely it is RAID5. Although it is not forbidden to create RAID1, RAID0, and JBOD on 3 disks, but it is still unlikely;
  • If there were 4 disks - the most likely options are RAID5, RAID6, RAID10;
  • More than 4 drives - RAID6, RAID10, RAID 50.

Please note that in all cases we will use the trial version of ReclaiMe Pro software. Although the software is a commercial product, all the built-in disk analyzers can be used free of charge.

  1. Download, install and launch ReclaiMe Pro.
  2. Select all RAID disks from and click Content analysis.

If you have 2 disks

In case of doubt about the array type between RAID0 and RAID1, the most important information is contained in the General mirror map window. This window shows how the disks are identical to each other. If you see that your disks are 100% identical, then this is definitely RAID1, if you see a picture similar to the screenshot, then this is definitely not RAID1, but most likely RAID0.

RAID 0 level

If you have 3 disks

Just like in the previous case, launch the ReclaiMe Pro software, select disks and click Content analysis:

RAID 5 level

If you see, as in the screenshot, that the parity (include all disks) is 100%, then you are dealing with RAID5. If the parity is not 100%, then it could still be a RAID5, for example with a disk that has its data out of sync.

If you have 4 disks

In the case of 4 disks, there are 3 options - RAID5, RAID6 and RAID10. First, we also go to the Content analysis. How it should look for RAID5 is shown in the previous case. For RAID6, content analysis looks like this:

RAID 6 level

The parity (include all) is 0, and the disk-excluded parity is 1/N*100, where N is the number of disks. In the case of a 4-disk array - 25%. Now let's see how the content analysis for RAID10 will look like:

RAID 10 level

In the case of RAID10, we will see two 100% mirror copies of disks.

Content analysis makes it quite easy to determine the type of an array. However, if you are dealing with a corrupted array, it may not be enough. In this case, in addition to content analysis, it is recommended to use data entropy analysis , which is also available in the trial version of ReclaiMe Pro. You can find more information about entropy analysis on this page.

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