Data Forensics and Data Recovery Services

Qnap NAS TS-EC1680u 16 disks Data Recovery with failed WD red hard drives

This week we had a failed Qnap NAS server in from a University with approx. 100TB Storage in Raid 5. The Qnap NAS server failed with at least 3 WD Red Hard Drive failures and a possible damaged Raid 5 on top of it due to a failed rebuild.

At this stage a professional Data Recovery Service is required to ensure the data and raid failure is handled with the best hardware and software Data Recovery tools to ensure a full data recovery is possible. If you are in a similar position and your business NAS or Server failed contact us today. We recovered many servers and nas devices from various brands over the years from all over Europe and US.

If you have a failed Qnap NAS and need a professional data recovery service feel free to contact us anytime. We recover data from any failed NAS brand and size. We love difficult Raid jobs and welcome them.

Reason for Qnap NAS failure:

The WD Hard Drives were installed in Summer 2016 with a design life of 3 years 24/7. Hard Drives encountered bad media surface in 2022 and started failing and dropping out of the Raid 5 array. Since all drives were produced on the same day a failure of more WD drives would be imminent.

Here are some pictures of the Qnap NAS that came in with 16 x 6TB WD Red Hard Drives fitted.

Next step was to remove all 16 hard drives from the NAS and image them over to new 6TB hard drives. 3 hard drives had bad sector and we used PC-3000 and DDI hardware imager for unstable drives. The other 13 drives were imaged via software. After 48 hours we had 16 hard drives imaged to new ones and all bad sectors were corrected

Imaging unstable hard drives via PC-3000 and DDI4

Next step for Data Recovery would be adding all 16 hard drives to create a virtual RAID 5 array and starting to reconstruct the Raid virtual. We use a custom server rack with 24 bays and a high performance HBA controller that allows more than 6GB/s throughput with an intel i9 CPU and 128GB ram to allow virtual raids to be created in almost real time.

After all 16 drives are loaded we use special software to rebuild a virtual array. In this case we used UFS Explorer Professional Recovery and Reclaim Pro. Both work very well with larger Raid systems and seems to be better suited than R-Studio Data Recovery. All 3 tools are great but UFS and Reclaim Pro deal with larger Linux file systems from servers much faster and better in my Data Recovery opinion.

Now comes the tricky part reconstructing a damaged Raid 5 volumes with 16 drives. Based on my experience Qnap creates a MD Raid 5 with a block / stripe size of either 64kb or 512kb with distributed parity, left symmetric with no parity delay. I would also expect to find a LVM or LVM 2 with volumes on it either EX4 or EX3. Time to get the HEX editor out and have some data recovery raid 5 fun here

In this case drive 7 was not usable as a prior rebuild was attempted and data seems not good on that drive. No problem since this is a Raid 5 we can exclude 1 drive and ignore it for the data recovery.

After having the block and drive order created we had a closer look at the LVM 2 and found a NTFS partition on it. Qnap by default uses EX4 file system and I’m not even aware you can format the partition in Qnap as NTFS. Technically I’m aware a LVM can have a NTFS partition but this was a bit odd and needed further checking…..

It was in fact a NTFS partition on this qnap with a size of about 82TB. Last step was to repair the damaged NTFS file system and voila we have full access to all data on our virtual RAID 5 qnap array.

Data Recovery job is done, after 3 days we were able to have full access to all 75TB of data from the failed qnap nas with a NTFS partition.

If you have a failed NAS or Server and your data is valuable feel free to contact us for an idea about data recovery costs. This job was quoted £10000 + VAT for a successful data recovery. If it comes to NAS and RAid my best advise is to not perform any 3rd grader stunts with it and let professional data recovery Techies deal with failed raid system in the safest way possible.

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