Buffalo NAS Seagate RAID 5 Data Recovery Cambridge, MA

What is the best way to recover data from a failed Buffalo NAS Drive?

Well, IF:

1)      You are the customer, don’t tamper with it using unsuitable data recovery software

2)      You are a data recovery service provider as a computer shop, know the knowledge limitations as far as troubleshooting the HDDs individually and the logical RAID array structure

3)      If you are a data recovery company, employ safe and sound file recovery procedures

Client's drive was a Buffalo LinkStation Pro Quad NAS device, model LS-QV8.0TL/R5, with 4 internal SATA 2TB Seagate drives that no longer presented access to the files. It is a great NAS device, allowing the client to backup files from, both, PC and Mac machines, including Apple’s popular Time Machine. Support for multiple level RAID redundancy on this NAS device is a great blending benefit of fault tolerance and storage capacity. However, despite all of these great features, as with all drives eventually failing, so did the customer’s.

After a reputable computer shop in Cambridge Massachusetts examined the drive’s failure, they recommended the client to us as an advanced data recovery company. Our staff picked the NAS box and the Seagate drives up from the computer repair shop to determine if drive repair and file recovery is possible.

Inside the Buffalo 4-drive RAID network storage device:

 

Drive 1 (top):

Seagate Barracuda (2000GB, SATA, 3.5”)

SN: W1E2Exxx

MDL: ST2000DM001

PN: 9YN164-505

FW: CC82

DATE: 13226, DOM: 11/2012

SITE: WU

PCB: 100664987 REV B

CHINA

 

Drive 2:

Seagate Barracuda (2000GB, SATA, 3.5”)

SN: W1E2Exxx

MDL: ST2000DM001

PN: 9YN164-505

FW: CC82

DATE: 13226, DOM: 11/2012

SITE: WU

PCB: 100664987 REV B

CHINA

 

Drive 3:

Seagate Barracuda (2000GB, SATA, 3.5”)

SN: W1E2Exxx

MDL: ST2000DM001

PN: 9YN164-505

FW: CC82

DATE: 13226, DOM: 11/2012

SITE: WU

PCB: 100664987 REV B

CHINA

 

Drive 4:

Seagate Barracuda (2000GB, SATA, 3.5”)

SN: W1E2Dxxx

MDL: ST2000DM001

PN: 9YN164-505

FW: CC82

DATE: 13226, DOM: 11/2012

SITE: WU

PCB: 100664987 REV B

CHINA

HDD Failures:

Two of the Seagate hard disk drives had bad sectors, while the other two were fine.

The bad sectors within the logical file structure of the RAID arrays no longer allowed for the NAS to mount on the network and make the files available for use.

Here is a snapshot example of the UNC bad sectors entries on drive 2:

Solution: The technicians created binary sector-by-sector clones of each Seagate drive to brand new 2TB Western Digital SATA drives using advanced data recovery hardware and software based equipment like PC3000 and Data Extractor. Here is a summary of the bad sectors cloning results for all drives:

Drive 1: 0 unreadable

Drive 2: 6 unreadable

Drive 3: 0 unreadable

Drive 4: 32 unreadable

Upon completing the hard drive cloning process, the data recovery engineer proceeded with the RAID parameters and data volume structure analysis to determine the type of RAID configuration on the device. The result was that the main user data partition was configured as a RAID 5 array. Next, the data recovery technician carried out the RAID recovery process by extracting the critical files using commercial data recovery software. The files were saved to a brand new 2TB Seagate Backup Plus USB3.0 external hard drive. A file listing of all recovered files was provided to the customer for review. Upon client’s review confirmation, the recovered files content on the USB external drive were delivered to the computer repair shop for restoration onto another new WD My Cloud Private NAS device.

Outcome: Customer was thrilled to have her precious business files back and generously provided a data recovery review.

Cost: $1000 for 1-week service.

Conclusion: Whether it is a regular person, a computer repair technician or a data recovery services provider, it is important to understand how to properly handle a failed NAS box and each disk drive, know the technical limitations, employ the correct hard drive recovery procedure, all with the goal of ultimately correctly assembling the RAID array and successfully extract the critical files.