HOW TO: Recover data from a NAS device with UFS Explorer

Here you can find a step-by-step guide to data recovery from a NAS unit. These instructions can be of use in case of logical data loss from Buffalo TeraStation and LinkStation, Iomega StorCenter, Synology, LaCie, Intel and other RAID-based NAS models of different vendors. It should be noted that this manual assumes that you have removed the hard drives from the NAS box and connected them to a PC as desribed in the HOW TO section. Also, before starting the procedure, please, ensure that you have a safe storage to which you can copy the recovered data.

  1. Start the program

    After launch, the program automatically detects all the attached disks, which will be displayed in the list of connected devices in the left pane of the main screen. Each of the disks will have several partitions listed below, their exact number and sizes may vary for different NAS models/manufacturers.

  2. Find the assembled RAID holding user data

    Scroll down the list to see whether the storage has been reconstructed automatically. There should be several RAID sets of different levels. Look at their size – the largest one usually contains user files. If the red color is present in the storage icon, this means that the array is in the degraded mode.

  3. Assemble RAID manually.

    If the structures describing the RAID configuration have been corrupted, the software may not be able to reconstruct it automatically. In this case, manual assembly of RAID is required.

    1. 3.1 Open RAID Builder

      Press the “New RAID” button to open RAID Builder in the software interface.

    2. 3.2 Add each component to RAID

      All the drives of a single NAS usually have the same structure of disk partitions among which there is the largest one which holds user data. Only the “data” partitions are to be added to the array rather than entire drives. Double-click each of them or select the partition and choose the “Add to RAID” context menu option. If any of the disks is missing, add a placeholder instead of its data partition.

    3. 3.3 Adjust the drives order and RAID parameters

      Set the correct order of the drives using the arrow-like buttons. Check the parameters of RAID in the “Virtual RAID configuration” sheet and modify them, if needed.

    4. 3.4 Build RAID

      Press “Build this RAID” and the software will add this array to the list of devices.

  4. Check its file system.

    As a rule, the mounted RAID storage will contain a singe partition. Select it to evaluate the state of the data. If the files seem intact, the RAID has been built correctly.

  5. Scan the storage

    To find the lost data you will need to run the storage scan using the respective tool from the toolbar. Deselect all unnecessary file systems or leave them as they are and click “Start scan”.

  6. Choose and copy the needed files and folders

    When the scanning process is finished, click “Yes” to save the obtained scan result, if you need it for future reference. After that, browse through the files and folders found by the software. To save the necessary items, click “Define selection”, tick them off and press “Save selection”. Specify the destination folder for the recovered data in the pop-up window, ensuring that it is not located on one of source drives.

The following video demonstrates the process of recovery step by step:

Last update: August 14, 2019

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