Solved Data on HDD from NAS

Lenovo Thinkcentre m92p tiny (3238) - de...
October 18, 2020 at 09:37:28
Specs: Win 10, i53470T/8GB
I have done what I realise now is a rather foolish thing.

I had until very recently a Zyxel NSA221 (as below)

It had been disconnected for a short while but I plugged it back in recently to retrieve some files. I couldn't get these immediately as the drives were not "mapped" and when I tried to do so I learned a little about SMB - essentially that the NAS I had was only SMB 1 compliant and that said protocol was now turned off in Wind 10 for security reasons.

I managed to retrieve the files but was not keen to keep the old device if it was a potential risk. Thinking I was clever, I removed the HDD from the NAS which I then sold, thinking I'd then get a newer one and put the data from the HDD on to it. I haven't got a new one as yet but tried to access the data today via a USB to SATA box, only to find that the files are now inaccessible.

I've done some further reading and now realise that to recover these is going to be very difficult, as the drive I think is set up in such a way as to make the contents not visible to WIndows. What I should have done was to copy the files from the NAS before selling it. Grrr.

Would anyone be able to advise me here? I suspect that buying a new enclosure and slotting the drive in as it is will in all likelihood not work. Is it possible that buying one of the same brand might? Failing that, is there a reasonably foolproof way via Windows of getting these back? I'm competent enough with instructions but have found the stuff I've read so far on data recovery tools very baffling.

I don't need access in a hurry but there are files that I would very much not want to lose.

All help gratefully and humbly received.

Many thanks

See More: Data on HDD from NAS

October 18, 2020 at 13:36:56
✔ Best Answer
I think you’ll find the NAS drives are Linux file system, as NAS (mine at least) run on Linux as the operating system

So... you need a utility/software app which allow windows to access etc. Linux drives.

This link may be useful:

as may this one

Attach the drive to your computer using a suitable USB adapter, they’re available for both 3.5 and 2.5 drives. I have one which allows either size which I bought from the big river/forest online company... It was a while ago but they’re still available.

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October 18, 2020 at 15:40:59
If you sold the old NAS to a friend, get him to bring it over. With it shut down, take his drives out, put yours in and power it up. Then copy your files. When you're done, put his drives back in.

I'm not sure why you'd shut your NAS down..........that defeats the purpose of a NAS to be honest. I'm sure you had your reasons but for future reference, don't do that! LOL

Mine's been running 24/7 for years. It goes to sleep after it's been idle for a period of time so it's not like it uses much electricity.

You either configured a RAID 0, 1, 5 or a JBOD. In any case, oncey you do that with multiple disks it makes it very hard to get data off of them. Once configured as a RAID, you're going to need a RAID controller (preferably the original one, or another of the exact same type) to read the drives as you'll have to reform the array in it's original format to get the data off the disks.

It may be possible to get some data off as they are, but any files that were split over multiple drives are basically gone (or just useless) if you try to pull them off the individual drives.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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October 18, 2020 at 15:57:05
My suggestion was presuming the NAS was a typical low end system with a pair of mirrored drives.

If it was a more complex RAID then obviously my suggestion won’t apply; but Curt’s will.

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Related Solutions

October 18, 2020 at 20:02:45
Try if you can use this app to READ the NAS drive(s):

Most NAS drives are formatted with EXT 2,3,4

message edited by sluc

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October 19, 2020 at 00:18:13
Thanks all.

Curt - I didn't sell to a friend unfortunately - it was to CEX (not sure where everyone here is from but that's a chain here in the UK that buys and sells used electronics) so my only option there would be to buy it back! I'd shut it down as it was making some odd noises and my plan was to give it a clean etc. and reconnect. When I did the noises were gone (the fan possibly needed a clean) but I couldn't see the drives in Windows. That led me down the SMB rabbit hole, security paranoia and I was I know now very naive but thought the solution was to buy something more "modern". Zyxel no longer supported that model and an upgrade to something SMB2 or greater compliant was the way to go. I'm throwing these terms around as if I know what I am talking about which of course I am not, 100% anyway!

I've had a look with a couple of freeware tools (Testdisk, DMDE) and I think files still exist. The device had when set up only one HDD - even less complex than Trvir suggested - I have only the vaguest idea of what RAID actually is but there was no mirroring etc going on. All I did with it was to access files from various PCs and other connected devices.

All may not be lost I hope and I'm grateful to you all for your various suggestions which I will be sure to investigate.

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October 19, 2020 at 00:58:18
Only one drive... almost any Linux reader will (or ought to) be able to access it.

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October 19, 2020 at 01:07:24
That's my hope - I'll have to wait until after work to check it out.

Assuming I can get them back, is anyone able to demystify this SMB thing for me? I was thinking I would need to buy something SMB2 (for security) or upward but am I overthinking this? My use of NAS is very basic. I was looking at a Buffalo TN1200 - would that do me?

May I also add what a wonderful forum this truly is. I come back now and again with a query (often based on gaps in my knowledge) and it never lets me down!

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October 19, 2020 at 01:07:48
If you are considering another NAS... I have now tres elderly QNAPS ts210 which is a 2 drive system in mirror mode. It’s (obviously) been superseded by more recent model.

A mirror system means both drives are identical in content, and I one drive was replaced, then the data on the other disk will be duplicated to the new, thus recreating the mirror.

QNAPS systems allow remote access to the system for free, whereas some brands require you pay an annual fee for the “privilege” (or did at the time I bought my ts210).

This link explains RAID very simply and clearly:

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October 19, 2020 at 14:21:24
Just FYI, a "mirror" is a RAID 1

This requires two disks. In a nutshell, disk 2 is an exact copy of disk 1. If either disk fails, you replace it and the RAID rebuilds (ie: the data on the good disk gets copied to the new one).

You can read up on the other RAID levels if you're interested. It may help you decide what NAS and hard drives to buy in the future.

I like the QNAPS systems. We have a couple QNAPS boxes at work that our one department uses for some backups.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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October 19, 2020 at 14:42:47
I've managed to view the files with Diskinternals Linux reader which is good news. If I feel brave I'll have a go with the WSL method.

I'm still a bit flummoxed by SMB. Is it wise to avoid a nas that's only SMB 1 compliant as older and thus cheaper ones are? I think that the Buffalo TN1200 I have an eye on is smb2/3 wondering if that's a good choice?

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October 19, 2020 at 14:49:41
Like Curt I’ve been very happy with QNAPS, and would recommend you give one serious thought. A basic two drive unit sounds like it would be suitable; and use 1Tb drives.

Incidentally, I've found their tech support excellent on the two occasions I need their level of help and know how; which is another reason I recommend them for serious consideration.

message edited by trvlr

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October 19, 2020 at 17:41:30
A few NAS reviews for the current year

You’ll note that QNAPS are in the top three in the above reviews.

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