Windows-based NASes do exist

This question is somewhat unusual. It is essentially about buying a Windows-based NAS, from some reputable vendor, as opposed to creating one.

I have issues with NAS failures. If an NAS fails due to a NON DISK issue then I cannot simply remove the disk and pop it in a windows computer and run it. The standard NAS I have run of some Linux OS so you can’t just pop them in the windows computer and expect to read them.( yes I know I can get a Linux box and recover the info. Not interested it that)

Is there an NAS out there that will allow me to remove the HDD from the NAS and install it in a standard windows computer?

Obvious way to have a NAS compatible with Windows, is to have a Windows-based NAS.

Well, you can find a NAS based on Windows Embedded, given that you look hard enough and then some. Thecus W4000 or WD Sentinel series are/were good example, depending on when you are read this post. Modern systems with Storage Spaces inside will give you almost unlimited flexibility at a cost of unlimited complexity.

So, there is really one positive side of having a Windows-based NAS, and that is: if the NAS box fails in some way not affecting what is on disks, one can plug the disks into any Windows PC and read the data.

Downsides and gotchas are also there

  1. If the failure affects data on disks, you are worse off than with a Linux-based NAS. Linux-based NASes are better known, and generally there is more experience floating around with those.
  2. If the Windows-based NAS is using Storage Spaces (which will probably be the modern trend; there is no advantage for the NAS vendor in having Windows inside except for Storage Spaces), the recovery from the failure affecting data on disks is not likely.
  3. Also, the standard Windows computer may turn out not-exactly-standard, depending on a system requirements for the disk pack.
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Undelete from a NAS requires locally attached disk

This is a recurring question indeed – Can I recover deleted files from a MyBookLive drive?

I have a 1TB My Book Live network storage drive and I accidentally deleted one of the folders that contained some video files I saved. …  lots of programs out there that claim to be able to recover the data … have been unable to access the drive.   I did map the MyBookLive drive as a logical drive to my computer and can see it there.

Seeing a NAS as a drive letter, E: or something, in My Computer is not good enough. The network-based connection protocols are only good for file-based access, that is, give me this or that file, or store such-and-such file. To undelete, one needs sector-by-sector access, that is, read me the filesystem block 0, 1, 123, whatever. So, some fumbling with a screwdriver is in order – remove the disk from the NAS, or the entire set of the disks if multi-disk, and connect them to the PC whichever way you prefer. After which, undelete software will work.

Firmware upgrades

This post concerns a firmware upgrade on a WD My Book Live (single 2TB disk)

… help me recover the data I had on a “TWO MONTH OLD MY BOOK LIVE”. I [upgraded] the Firmware to the last version … [and now] my NAS could not be seen/found on the network anymore. … open the casing and recover the data. Attempting to do that under Windows 7 64Bit [you guess, the filesystems are not compatible]

Downloaded and installed UBUNTU 64Bit and … cannot be mounted, … something about a “bad block” … Gparted … shows clearly that there is data on the partition and that is EXT4 as format, but does not allow any data recovery when you try to do an “Attempt Data Restore” … the hard drive has also a specific partitioning, this new GPT used to replace the old MBR and its limitations over 2TB.

The post is dated sometime 2012, and GPT was hardly new even back then. And while Linux folk can sometimes lag behind the times, they usually keep up with trends in storage. So the problem does not look like Ubuntu’s fault. Gparted is the partition editor, not the data recovery software really.

Firmware updates on a NAS can sometime screw up the partitions and/or RAIDs big time. I’m not quite sure how this happens, because firmware upgrades do not routinely do massive changes. Filesystem upgrades with new firmware happen, but that’s more of an exception. Anyhow, this way or other, it is now broken behind the standard driver capabilities.

Single disk, most any data recovery software, starting obviously with Home NAS Recovery, should give you data back in no time. The failures associated with firmware reflashes do not usually much damage.

 

Various aspects of undelete, this time in MyCloud

So i’ve got about 1.7TB of files i want to recover on my cloud, which is proving to be problematic. I can’t use regular file recovery programs because they only work on local drives. I can’t find any working free alternatives for NAS drives, so i’m asking here. Is there freeware out there, that can scan and recover lost files on a NAS disk?

Regular recovery programs…. for a single disk and no RAID, they will actually work if you connect the disk locally; if you have multiple disks (with RAID), the list will shorted but still there is a choice.

Freeware… well, for EXT filesystem you may find some if you search real good. For any other Linux filesystem, not likely. For a single disk, or two disks for that matter, I have a free option of my own, you know, at least for a limited time.

If not, does the WD My Cloud work with a file structure my windows rig will understand, so i can pull the HD out of the cloud device and plug it into my pc and do a recovery that way?

Well, yes and no. Windows NAS recovery software, including, obviously, Home NAS Recovery, will understand this file structure. Windows alone does not. NAS inside uses Linux, and Linux file structures are not compatible with Windows.

Or would i be required to format it before i could get it to work, meaning the cloud device wouldn’t recognize it after i plug it back in?

That is a bad idea indeed, formatting anything which still has data on it that you want back.

My Book World single disk

The most basic question about a WD NAS – How to recover data from a failed My Book World edition?

I have a 1TB My Book World … Logged in yesterday, just to reboot it (always figure its healthy to reboot devices/servers every few months). …  it says ‘drive not recognized’, and failed to mount drive. Updated firmware on unit, still the same… … taken HDD out the enclosure, and plugged it into my PC (Windows7).

Windows can see 5 partitions on the drive, as not NTFS/FAT32, i know it will format and lose the data the moment i try and add the drive….Any ideas on what software i can use to extract my data off the drive ???

Sure. Use Home NAS Recovery. This is not even expensive for a single disk.

For the record, it is not a good idea to reflash firmware on a bricked NAS. If something goes bad to worse, the newly flashed firmware may initiate some kind of initialization as the NAS may think the disks are blank. Side effects of initialization are never good.