Single-disk Synology with bad sectors

A question of how – Mount, Find & Recover DATA in HDD outside of Synology Box

[With] a Synology … run into issues or Hard Drive corruption/ error in sectors etc. where I have had to pretty much remove the Drive which Synology refuses to read or work with. The question is, assuming I am able to detect the Hard Drive and assuming that hardware is still kind of functional, what way can I LOAD/ MOUNT the Drive (under Windows or Linux OS etc) on a PC/Laptop? (What tools/ software should I used to do that?)

Home NAS Recovery will work for you. Syngle-disk Synology is pretty standard setup. I have to recommend a PC, not a laptop. When the drive is suspected to have bad blocks, the common wisdom is that USB is to be avoided, and laptops are mostly limited to USB.

I’ve used several Partition Management tools and I can see 4 partitions inside the Disk as created by Synology.

That’s normal, and does not provide any significant additional information.

[various ext4 reading programs] none of which have been able to recover data (geeksnerds, stellar phoenix, linux reader, explore2fs, ext2explore, none of which allowed me to copy, recover or even see data files).

That depends on how bad the disk is damaged. Also some of these programs may be not quite compatible, especially if we are talking about modern Synology with EXT4. While EXT3 is identical to EXT2 in all respects concerning read-only driver, EXT4 is different.

[also] a Linux / RAID based solution that worked for someone, but not for me.

If Synology with its own, specifically adapted Linux, refused the disk, then most likely any stock Linux distro will also refuse the disk.


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.


Prevention is good

Every now and then, people plan and go to great lengths figuring how to do data recovery before the actual data loss occurs.

What type of file system does the ix2 use with hard drives? For safety, I’d like to know how to recover data from the drives if the ix2 fails. I do not like the idea of relying on some hidden proprietary format that requires the ix2 to be able to retrieve my data in case of failure.

Anyone know how to read the disk formatted by the ix2 from a PC running any operating system?

There is no hidden proprietary format actually. Lenovo/Iomega uses run-of-the-mill Linux software and filesystems. However, the great confusion ensues little further in the discussion, mixing up filesystems with RAIDs, RAIDs with backup, single-disk RAID1 with a single partition, you name it.

Well, let’s spell it out

  1. Any NAS would use this-or-that form of RAID.
    1. Even if you have a single disk in a multi-bay NAS, it will have a single-disk RAID, most likely RAID1, to avoid changing data format if you add a second drive.
    2. Furthermore, if you have a single-bay NAS, it is still likely to have a single-disk RAID, to achieve compatibility across the entire model lineup (and specifically the ability to move the drive to the multi-bay model).
  2. Most modern NASes use one of the standard Linux filesystems, XFS, EXT3, EXT4, or BTRFS.
  3. If there is no damage to the data on disks, or the damage is minor, and assuming skilled operator, a properly configured Linux PC will read the data if all disks are connected at the same time.

But, the most important question here is: if one plans for data recovery before the actual loss, why do not have a backup instead of recovery?


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.

Maxtor NAS

Maxtor was long ago acquired by Seagate, but you can still come by their NAS. This is one of the older cases:

I have a 1TB Maxtor drive attached to my network. It has recently failed and I can no longer access it. However, it is still shown on the network list in Windows Explorer, …. I can ping the drive and get a return. … important that I can get my files back. Does anyone have any ideas on some software that might be able to access it?

Sure, I have. Home NAS Recovery works with Maxtors too. In the end, it is the equivalent of the modern Seagate NAS, albeit with only one disk.

It may be interesting to note that the poster refers to the NAS as 1TB drive. This may cause some confusion with a regular external drive, but the external drive is attached to the PC, not to the network, and you cannot ping the external drive.

Single disk LaCie Cloudbox

How does one recover it in cause of failure?

…I own a Lacie Cloudbox [which] just stopped working suddenly. Doesn’t seem to be a physical disc problem, more like file system … It uses RAID (single disc) … If there’s someone here that would be into walking me through the steps involved to mount this drive in Mac, Windows, or Linux, that would be amazing.

First thing is that single-disk unit, with no provision to install a second drive, does not need RAID. Despite that, most NAS vendors use the same firmware for the entire product lineup. This has a side effect of single-disk models being unnecessarily complex. There still will be multiple partitions, and instead of using a simple partition for data, an md-raid JBOD will be used.

Now, let’s move on to the actual problem at hand. If a disk fails in a single-disk unit, it is a job for a skilled technician, no way around it. If it is a filesystem issue, this is a job for recovery software (like our

Theoretically, one may want to try to access data with a Linux, but that’s not likely to have effect. The NAS uses Linux internally; if the Linux was able to read data, there will be no need for recovery. The recovery is required precisely because Linux can’t access the filesystem any longer. While with a failed RAID some clever jiggling with mdadm parameters can (and often does) solve the problem, in a filesystem there are much fewer parameters to fiddle with. A single-disk unit can’t have problem with its RAID because it has no RAID, so we’re going straight to the filesystem level.

Basic Synology case

This is the simplest possible example of recovery, the unit being unidentified Synology.

Hard drive in my synology nas crashed yesterday. The disk was installed as a basic disc without protection. … storage manager … showed the disk as “not initialized”. I took out the disk and connected it to my windows computer to try recovering the files. I used “Ext2 volume manager” to see the hdd and it shows me 3 partitions … EXT3, SWAP and RAW. On the EXT3 there are some files but not the one I had saved on the hard drive.

How do I find the files that I had saved on the hdd?

And how do I know that my hard drive really is broken? The synology storage manager is not able to finish S.M.A.R.T Test.

As I do fairly often, I will address the last question first. If the SMART test cannot be completed, the drive is broken.

As far as partitions go, first one is most often firmware. SWAP is just what it says on the tin, and RAW is either data (which is probably maintained by md-raid so it was not recognized) or something broken. In any case, the first EXT3 partition is useless for recovery; you will get back some Linux binaries, not your data. On a bright side, Home NAS Recovery can see through the md-raid structures, identifies the partitions on its own, and reads EXT quite well.

Buffalo Linkstation not recognized on the network

Someone’s Buffalo Linkstation has dropped off the network

… a Buffalo Linkstation with a 1TB hard drive.

Unfortunately this has stopped being recognised on the network now so I can’t get the files this way.

I have taken the drive out and…plugged it into a Windows Machine and been to Disc Management but it says it needs to be initialised before it can be used…I just need to be able to get data off …

I don’t the drive is damaged and it should be readable, I think just something to do with the network bit is no longer right.

What can be done there, short of using Home NAS Recovery? There are two possible other courses of action:

  1. Put the disk into a Linux PC, not Windows. The disk is likely to be readable.
  2. Replace the Linkstation under warranty (if still covered by warranty), then put the drive back into the replacement unit.

Recover data from LaCie 1TB NAS

Neil seems to have a problem with its 1TB LaCie NAS.

… Lacie NAS 1TB drive… I can’t even get a connection to it. I … put [the drive] into my computer using a free SATA port. … I can see the drive only in Disk Management…Windows tells me that there is 100% free space available…How can I possibly recover my data from this drive?

What Filesystem is Lacie using?

Last question first, LaCie uses EXT3 or XFS filesystem, depending on the exact model/firmware.

As far as recovery goes, we can do that, since this is a NAS version of the LaCie.  If it were a USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt version, we would have passed the opportunity. As it is, single drive NAS with EXT3 (or XFS) is pretty easy. The damage should be not that bad, because not being able to connect to the unit at all suggests some kind of instantaneous and total failure of either the unit itself or firmware in it. Such cases tend not to damage the filesystem, because there is no time to do the said damage.

As a side note, Disk Management does not show free space for EXT3, or any other Linux filesystem. It does not know how to read them, so it assumes all the space is free.