Moving disks between NASes

There is a frequent question I’d like to address: is it safe to move disk packs between identical NASes?

The full version may well go like this

Last night my Ready NAS (RND4000) stopped working. It looks like a fault in the power supply…I would like to recover some…files.

One option I see is a friend of mine who owns the same system. Is it an option to shut down his NAS, remove/replace the installed disks with the disks from my NAS and copy the data? Or are any obstacles in the way?

All in all, it should work. Possible obstacles include

  1. Different NAS models. Obviously, the NASes must be of the same vendor, same product line, and in most cases models must be fully identical.
  2. Different firmware. Preferably, both NASes should use the same firmware version. However, once the unit fails, there is no way to determine exactly which firmware it was running at the time of crash. In this situation, the recipient unit is better be patched to the latest firmware. The latest firmware will typically accept disk packs created by older versions.
  3. Damage to the disks, either physical or logical. When the power supply blows, it may take the NAS with it; also the disks may or may not be damaged by electrical transients. If this happens, the replacement NAS is not going to work, obviously.

If you think none of this applies to your situation, you may give it a go.

ReadyNAS Ultra 4 plus

The original story (from this link):

[someone did] flip the circuit breakers without my knowledge.  Now my Readynas Ultra 4 Plus is not functioning properly.  … So thought I do some troubleshooting.  I tried to update the firmware [it won’t flash].  … then … i try disabling CIFS and re-enabling.  Now it won’t re-enable at all. Raidar reports everything is healthy.  The ReadyNas Admin page also seems like everything is okay,  However I just can’t access the data.  … So what are my options?

1) Can I go and get 4 blank drives.. Restore to factory?  Then try to put my old drives back in?

2) Do i have to get something like ReClaime or R-Studio to recover my data?

b)  If so is there any good step by step guide on how to do it?

I wish there was a way to do restore the OS to factory without losing the data.  I am sure the Raid Partition is intact, it’s just the OS is malfunctioning. …

What can we learn from this?

  1. Even in 2015, sudden power failure can kill your NAS. NASes are considered fault-tolerant, just not with all types and kinds of failures.
  2. Firmware flash on a broken NAS is unlikely to work. In other cases, it may actually make things worse, so I would advise against even trying.

Does he actually have to use something like Home NAS Recovery, ReclaiMe, or R-Studio? In all probability, yes. There is a good step-by-step guide, here. Restore the unit to factory conditions with 4 blank disks, and then swap disks for ones with data will not work. The configuration is stored on disks, and factory config after reset will only apply to the new 4 disks. Once original disks are in, the fault is back in.