boot into the system using a live cd like knoppix or kubuntu live.

chose your input method, i prefer the german keyboard.

# dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-settings

since livecds normally do not ship with mdadm, install mdadm into the live cd (remember to repeat that everytime you’ve booted).

# apt-get install mdadm

get an idea about your disk layout.

# ls -la /dev/sd*

assemble the drives on RAID1 level, mounting them.

# mkdir /mnt/md0 /mnt/md1 /mnt/md2 /mnt/md4
# mdadm -A /dev/md0 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1
# mdadm -A /dev/md1 /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb2
# mdadm -A /dev/md2 /dev/sda3 /dev/sdb3
# mdadm -A /dev/md3 /dev/sda4 /dev/sdb4

if you get one “cannot open device …: Device or resource busy. … has no superblock – assembly aborted”, this will be most likely the swap partitions you’ve set (which I do not add to RAID1 level normally).

now, mount all the assembled raid arrays.

# mount /dev/md0 /mnt/md0
# mount /dev/md1 /mnt/md1
# mount /dev/md2 /mnt/md2
# mount /dev/md3 /mnt/md3

check the mounts with

# mount

and then go to the mounted partitions

# cd /mnt/

and copy your data to your preferred backup media (usb disk, etc).

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