Recover files from Failed Buffalo Hard Disk

May 3, 2013   /   by Marco  / Categories :  Hardware, Technology
Buffalo NAS Disk recovery

Buffalo NAS Disk recoveryThis was the most frustrating but rewarding experience. My brother’s Buffalo NAS Server was getting the dreaded red LED lights flashing and I knew I was in trouble. There were pictures and files that he needed to recover so I decided to use some of my data recovery skills and retrieve the files.

There are a few tools available to scan an ext2, ext3 file format on a Windows PC. The one that I initially used was called DiskInternals Linux Recovery (version 3.2). This tool allows you to scan the hard disk and perform a sector by sector recovery, but the only problem that I found is that it doesn’t retain the filenames of folder structure. So all the files are grouped together in a jpg folder, or whatever the extension of the file is. I wasn’t really happy with this recovery process, especially since I knew that the partitions were still active –  I just needed  tool to check and browse the contents of the active partition. I tried quite a number of tools (Ext2Fsd, ufsexplorer, r-studio for linux and the list goes on). None of these tools allowed me to just browse the contents of the partition. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to retrieve the files, but the process took too long for a 2TB drive. The scan took 2 days, and then the recovery took about 5 continuous days
So, after spending 2 weeks on this issue I worked out how to do restore the directories and files from the failed Buffalo NAS server hard disk. Here’s what I had to do:

  • Use an USB enclosure and install the hard disk
  • Boot to the linux operating system by using Gparted
  • Select Linux based rescue environment
  • Press enter on Start
  • Try to access the partition. In my example the partition with the share folder was /dev/sdc6
    When I opened up try to click on the partition, I received the following error message
    udevil: /dev/sdc6 is known to mount – running mount as current user
    udevil: warning 45:options ignored for device in fstab (or specify mount point)
    mount: unknown filesystem type ‘linux_raid_member’
  • After a bit of research I discovered that the hard disk could have been setup as a raid drive.
  • Click on ROXTerm (Screen with a $ sign) and type
    mdadm –assemble –run /dev/md6 /dev/sdc6
    mdadm: /dev/md6 has been started with 1 drive (out of 2)
    mkdir /mnt/recovery
    mount /dev/md6 /mnt/recovery
    cd /mnt/recovery
    ls
  • you should see a share folder. This is where all the files are located. Then copy the files you need to your local computer or map a drive to another network share by using the File Manager. This was much faster than trying to run the raw file recovery.

Hope this helps some out there.

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