While RAID also allows the system to view multiple disk drives as a single unit, they are controlled much differently. Instead of spanning the drive, RAID uses a procedure called striping. There are several types of RAID arrays, each with its advantages, disadvantages and idiosyncrasies.
Some will have redundancy built into the configuration, keeping multiple copies of data on different drives. One advantage is that accessing the files is more efficient when multiple users are involved.
Redundancy has another benefit as well. Many RAID configurations will have error checking capability. When a damaged or failed drive is detected, the system alerts the user. Some systems will shut down the array to protect from further data loss. However, RAID systems with redundancy, parity and error checking may allow the users to continue accessing the server until it can be shut down for repair and data structure rebuilding.
One thing that all RAID arrays hold in common is that when the drive is brought to a data recovery service, like The Data Rescue Center, all of the drives in the array must be present. Additionally, the controller cards and other hardware will be necessary to repair and rebuild the configuration.
If only the damaged drive is brought in for recovery, any missing or corrupted files can adversely affect recovery success. When reinstalled into the array, the rebuilding process may fail, further damaging valuable data.