That's an artist's rendition of where I spent a big part of my weekend. (It should be noted that the artist is a cell phone camera, and thus not very good.)
For those of you not "hip" to computers, this is of course the recommended way to attach internal SATA drives to your system while attempting to mount and recover a deleted RAID array. Don't worry, the pillow below will cushion their fall!
I suppose I should start... at the beginning.
Early one morning last week, my son decided that he wanted to use the computer. So, shortly I had left for work, and before anyone else was up, he turned on my computer and attempted to log in to his account. Due to the login restrictions I applied, he was not allowed in.
At that point, he did what anyone would do I guess, and proceeded to restart the computer and follow a bunch of the prompts ("Press DEL to enter BIOS", etc.). When all was [literally] said and done, he had applied both a user and supervisor password to the BIOS and destroyed the metadata for my RAID array. "All in a day's work!"
Luckily, I was able to find a software package to deal with just such an emergency (DiskInternals Raid Recovery). Unfortunately, it did not live up to its "fully automatic" promises. But after some trial and error on my part, trying different stripe sizes and disk orders, and long hours of scanning, it was able to completely reconstruct the NTFS data on the disks. It didn't seem to recover the files correctly when I did a large folder tree at a time (maybe it is not 100% compatible with the Windows 7 implementation of NTFS?) but worked perfectly on a per-folder basis. I have nothing but semi-neutral to moderately good things to say about this software!
Anyway, after tediously recovering what I needed, folder by folder, then reinstalling Windows 7 (after just having installed it anew three weeks ago!), I was back to the land of the living.
I have to give a shout out to my friends at Syncplicity. My "backup in the cloud" drastically reduced the amount of data I ultimately needed to manually recover. Kids, please do backups!
So to you other kids all across the land, take it from me: don't use RAID unless you run a server, and have physical facility access security to keep your children away. I recommend armed guards.