NAS Recovery Solutions

NAS Recovery Scenarios

If you cannot access the data stored on your NAS, first remember whether the NAS is still under warranty or no. If yes, contact the vendor technical support and then it will be their headache to restore your data. Hopefully. If the warranty has expired, you have two options - to send the NAS to a special data recovery service or to attempt DIY NAS data recovery.

The first way is quite easy - neatly pack your NAS and carry or send it to the nearest data recovery service such as Ontrack or Drive Savers. This way is good in all except the price, which you will be asked to pay for the recovered data - often, the recovery may cost several thousand dollars. Ready to pay such a price? If not, read on. Just want to say that the second way is not absolutely free, but the cost of recovery will be much lower than a service asks for. So, first you need to understand what the problem is - with a NAS box, with NAS disks, or you just deleted a wrong file.

NAS box failure. If you have determined that your problem is in the box, there are two solutions. The first one is to buy (borrow) a box of the same vendor and model, insert disks into it, and read the data. However, NAS vendors often change their firmware and it may happen that the same NAS does not recognize the disks from the same model NAS because firmware is different. The second option is to try to recover data using NAS recovery software.

Disk failure. In general case disk failure is not a problem for a NAS (given that a NAS does not use RAID0). This is because a NAS is designed in such a way that in case of a disk failure, it notifies a user and continues to operate as before, though a little more slowly. Then you replace the disk, NAS rebuilds a system, and everything works as before. Thus, if there is data loss due to a disk failure, things are much more complicated than just a disk failure – either you deal with more disk failures than fault tolerance of your particular NAS setup allows, or something went wrong during a rebuild. In the first case, alas, nothing can be done – it is impossible to recover data. In the second case, you can still try to recover data with special software.

Accidental file deletion. In this case, the success of the recovery depends on the filesystem used in your NAS. In any case, try to recover your data – you have the pretty high chance.

Now let’s discuss data recovery software which you may use to recover data from your NAS device. Currently, on the software market, there are quite a lot of tools that can read metadata from the NAS and then restore data. Surely, almost all NAS recovery tools are paid; however, you still can recover NAS data for free, for example using Home NAS Recovery software. We have tested most popular NAS recovery software and you can find a detailed comparison at this page.

In addition to the NAS recovery software, you need to think about how you will copy the recovered data - usually you need the same amount of additional space as your NAS had. Also, you will need additional cables and controllers to connect the original NAS disks and additional disks, since it is always better to connect the disks directly, rather than via USB, but typical motherboards have only four-six ports.