A few days ago while I was helping my brother reinstall his Operating System, one of my Buffalo Terastation’s drives went kaput, thanks to bad sectors. With a whole lot of irreplaceable data ranging from Workbench Project backups to priceless media. Something I could not afford to lose. So I set out to recover as much as possible.
First, I tried my damnedest to use Linux to mount the drive and dump the data to another one of the similarly aged 1000GB Seagate drives in the NAS, but Linux was not having that. After numerous complaints of missing superblocks on mount, I just about threw the thing in the trash and rolled up in a ball to cry. But then there was Google.
Google searches showed utilities like mdadm, and a few others, which never really lined up to my case. Mostly because I was running in a JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) setup, not raiding my drives. From what I gathered, mdadm just rebuilds arrays and mounts them, but this didn’t work for me.
So further down the Google list, I looked for recovery suites. That is where I found my Knight in Shining Armor, in the form of Raise Data Recovery by UFS Explorer. At first, I saw their €200 price tag and didn’t even have time to convert it without having heart palpitations. I downloaded an older version of RDR and tried to see if the disk would even be recognized first, because I wasn’t going to pay a dime if the disk was completely junk.
Much to my amazement, Raise Data Recovery not only found the drive, but was able to show me all the folder hierarchy for the drive. I was excited, and tired, being 5am when I found it.
The next morning I woke up and started peeking at the different options for Raise Data Recovery, and found the €200 option, was not what I wanted, and instead found the licenses I needed were less than $40USD. I was even more excited. I downloaded the software, bought the licenses, and started the recovery, which took about a half a day.
Luckily, it appeared most of the drive’s dead sectors were on the other partitions of the drive, resulting in only 5 files (of 380GB of data) unobtainable. This was amazing. I bought 2 new 2TB WD Blue drives, which if I had more time, I would have bought WD Red’s for NAS setups, but this was a critical situation, and Best Buy doesn’t sell Reds on shelf.
As we sit now, 4 days later, my Buffalo Terastation has had the 3 old 1TB drives completely removed of its data, and migrated to the 2 WD Blue drives.
If you have a NAS drive fail, and aren’t in a RAID setup, give Raise Data Recovery a try. You may not get it all back, but you never know.