Help! Corrupted Drive w/ Precious Memories Recovery Assistance Advice Requested!
October 11, 2011 6:58 PM   Subscribe

So I have this dual NAS drive which I thought was pretty cool until a few months ago. I was gone on a short trip and left it plugged in (perhaps unwise). Anyway when I came back the drive wouldnt mount. As it turns out it some how got corrupted rendering it unreadable...

The unfortunate / ironic part is the corrupted sector (I believe sector or sectors) replicated over to my other drive rendering IT unreadable *^*%&$&.

Advise on what I can download / buy / hire to fix this problem?? I have 10 years of photos and videos on these drives and it is critical I retrieve them.

Thanks in advance!
posted by gnash to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I should add my entire music collection is on these drives as well :|
posted by gnash at 7:04 PM on October 11, 2011

So it's a single NAS enclosure with two drives? What's the type/model? Were the drives configured striped (RAID0) mirrored (RAID1) or something else? The data may still be on the drive, you just might have to do something a little creative to fsck/mount the drive again. It could also be the NAS bits (and not the underlying drive) that failed.

Failing that, you might try They're not cheap but have recovered data for people I know personally. Untested, but perhaps a better value, would be No charges unless they can get your data back.

And, for the future,! $5/month for unlimited offsite backup.
posted by lalas at 7:34 PM on October 11, 2011

...the corrupted sector (I believe sector or sectors) replicated over to my other drive rendering IT unreadable *^*%&$&

RAID is not backup

Advise on what I can download / buy / hire to fix this problem??

Backup drives separate from your live data, and a crashplan account.

Fixing the problem might not retrieve your ten years of photos. If these are as critical to you as you say they are, you will probably not mind paying a few hundred bucks for professional data recovery.
posted by flabdablet at 8:24 PM on October 11, 2011

What kind of NAS???
Is it a ReadyNAS by any chance? That one uses linux as the OS and an ext3 filesystem. Plenty of tools on that filesystem to recover bad sectors. So... what make/model of NAS?
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:32 PM on October 11, 2011

All, thanks for the responses. To answer some questions::

I know RAID is not backup - I was actually storing a backup of the image (on the same drives) every few days in case I deleted something by accident. Backing up to a separate drive was on the to do list. *sigh*.

I dont mind paying for data recovery but I do prefer to take a shot at recovering it myself.

It *is* a ReadyNAS - what utilities do you recommend? Are they able to mount a damaged drive to repair it (I imagine the answer is yes, just asking).
posted by gnash at 6:32 PM on October 12, 2011

Mounting a damaged drive is not something I would ever do if it contained the only copy of data it was "critical" to recover. I'd back it up first using GNU ddrescue. This tool doesn't care what filesystem (if any) a drive is formatted with, or even whether it was part of a RAID set - it will just mindlessly copy every sector to the same place on the backup drive. If there are unreadable sectors on the source drive, ddrescue skips over them until it's copied all the good ones, then comes back and tries the bad ones again. If you specify a log file when you start a copy session, you can interrupt the copy and restart it later and it will pick up from where it left off. Good tool.

What I would do next depends on how confident I am that the original fault was minor. If so, I will use the ddrescue log file to identify bad sectors, and attempt to fix those by writing zeroes to them. If not (for example, if the original drive was making unhappy clicking noises or ddrescue reported more than a very few errors) I will make another ddrescue backup of the first backup, so I now have three drives with identical contents apart from the unrecoverable blocks on the original.

Having got to the point of having at least two drives (or sets of drives, for any RAID setup other than RAID-1) with identical contents and no bad sectors, then and only then would I run automated filesystem checking and repair tools.

Having the only copy of vital data endangered by a drive failure is bad, but putting it beyond the reach of professional data recovery services by overwriting it while attempting recovery at home is worse.
posted by flabdablet at 9:10 PM on October 12, 2011

I am going to give Disk Rescue 3 for Mac a shot - 87 reviews on Amazon, 5 stars!
posted by gnash at 3:57 PM on October 13, 2011

Don't do disk rescue if you haven't already. If it is an OS X rescue utility it could corrupt your ReadyNAS disk.

The ReadyNAS use ext3 (linux) file system which is different from the mac file system. The ReadyNAS do not use a RAID formatted disk. They instead simply use 2 ext3 formatted disks each of which can be accessed independently.

You should ask your question on where you will find ReadyNAS tech support people who can assist you.

FWIW - you likely have not lost everything. But do not just do random stuff to your disk (like using a Mac recovery utility on an ext3 formatted disk) or you likely will lose everything. There are many variables here - if your data i valuable you probably should spend the money to have someone very experienced do the recovery. At any rate try the forum that I mentioned as a good start.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:28 PM on October 13, 2011

87 reviews on Amazon, 5 stars!

Please stop messing with your broken filesystem now and give it to somebody who knows what they're doing and why. Failure to do so will most likely cost you quite a bit of your ten years of "critical" data.
posted by flabdablet at 1:22 AM on October 14, 2011

Ah... yes agreed I am out of my depth here. Thanks for throwing me a preserver :)
posted by gnash at 7:18 PM on October 14, 2011

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