I’m indebted to Clive Naylor who contacted me a few days ago after reading information on this site, and has allowed me to blog about his experiences.
Clive has a Synology NAS hard drive setup very much like the one you see in the picture. His is a 2 disk NAS running in a RAID 1 configuration, which for reasons unknown crashed one evening last week. Clive was reluctant to use an expensive data recovery service and so started doing internet searches for tips and advice on what he could do about getting his NAS working again and recovering the data. Fortunately, one of the web sites he found was this one and he contacted me asking what, if anything could be done as he didn’t know how to proceed or what he should do.
Well, for all you who may find yourselves in the same situation as Clive, here’s what you need to do. Firstly, find out what the problem is by removing the hard drives from the box and hooking them up individually to a USB cable that plugs into your computer. This process eliminates the external box, so if you find both hard drives are working fine there’s a high possibility that the box is at fault.
If you find that one of the hard drives is no longer recognised (as Clive did) then recovery is straight forward. Because Clive’s NAS was configured as a RAID 1 it meant that his data was being duplicated across both disks. This is known as data redundancy – by duplicating his data some degree of data protection is provided. So it didn’t matter that one of Clive’s hard disks had failed because the RAID setup his NAS was using was automatically writing duplicates of his data to the other hard drive.
Recovering his data was a simple process, after hooking up the drive that was working to his computer he was able to simply drag and drop the information onto his desktop.
Footnote: RAID 1 setups are often found in home NAS devices and are ideal as they make a copy of all the data. RAID 0 is another type of RAID often found in home NAS systems that is very different from RAID 1. RAID distributes its data across both disks by splitting files across both disks. It does this for speed – RAID 0 is a lot quicker than RAID 1 and is often used when large files need to be processed quickly eg. HD movies etc. If you run a RAID 0 you have no data redundancy which means if either of your drives develop a problem you’ll loose all your data, so please, be careful.