TB3 8TB G-Raid drives won't boot after trying to swap in new HDD

My computer is a 2020 Macbook Air, M1 chip. It seems as if I may have corrupted my RAID drives (G-Technology 8TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 - 0G05748-1) by removing one 4TB drive and replacing it with a 8TB drive. I wanted to copy the contents of the unmoved 4TB drive to the new 8TB drive in preparation for replacing both older HDDs with two new larger HDDs. Needless to say, that did not work out, and the new G-RAID enclosure (with one nearly full 4TB drive and one empty 8TB drive) could not be seen by the OS at all.

Now the original 4TB drives won’t boot up either, and again there are no signs of the G-RAID unit in Disk Util, DXDrive or System Report. The drives are cold after 15 minutes of power on without discernible activity (no sounds or light flickering).

I believed that my G-Tech RAID was set to use RAID 1, but now I am wondering if it was set to RAID 0.

I’m not sure it’s possible to search the system logs for info on what RAID version I was actually using. My fear is that I was using RAID 0 by mistake instead of RAID 1 mirrors. My understanding is that RAID 0 writes all files across the array, and that neither drive contains the entirety of a given file. Perhaps this attempt at swapping in a new drive corrupted the Master Boot Record or Partition Table of the original drive (which was not moved).

Any help would be much appreciated!

Hi @jdsimpson,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

Yes I did open a support case. As you’ll see when reading below, that support case should be cancelled.

Amazingly my problem seems to have been solved without any major investment or cost.

I actually went out and bought a Windows laptop simply to try DiskInternals’ RAID recovery tool, which is Windows only (and I use a Macbook).

That program recognized my RAID drive right away and all my data seemed intact, though it would not allow me to copy files off of it without purchasing the $250 application.

I still wasn’t sure if I had some serious issue with the drives or the RAID enclosure.

Windows also recognized the RAID drive (type 1 as it turns out) in Disk Management, but I could not mount the volume.

I decided to look around some more for a MacOS / APFS data recovery tool, and I found one for $80 - R-Studio for Mac - that looked promising.

I downloaded it but before launching it I plugged my RAID USB cable back from the new Windows laptop to my MacBook.

Lo and behold, my Mac recognized the RAID again, showing all my files intact and seemingly no damage whatsoever! Crazy!

Apparently the DiskInternals program corrected whatever issue there was with the drives / RAID when it scanned for inodes, presumably fixing file and folder metadata just during the process of scanning the drive.

Needless to say this was a totally unexpected turn of events.

For anyone out there who is thinking of adding a larger drive to a G-Tech RAID w/ Thunderbolt 3 - even if it’s a RAID 1 and therefore seemingly (to a novice) free standing drive (aka, not a RAID 0 striped config) in order to copy the contents of the first, smaller drive: don’t do it!

If you do do it and it seems to brick your drives as I thought I had done to mine you may get the same results by simply running the trial version of DiskInternals RAID Recovery.

Good luck.