A NAS hardware Failure can be catastrophic! Luckily, there is a way to recover your data if a Synology NAS fails.
Stick around to find out how. It’s TechWiz time.
Hey guys, Jonathan here with TechWizTime where I create technology tutorials and review videos.
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You can also find more great Synology NAS tutorials in the playlist above or below in the description.
In the event of the hardware that controls a Synology NAS failing, your data is potentially still safe on the hard drives within.
Restoring your data quickly and safely is a primary concern so let’s jump straight into this.
Firstly, you are going to need a spare PC to start. The PC needs to have enough SATA ports to connect all your NAS Hard Drives. So please be aware of that.
Secondly you will need either a Ubuntu Live CD or USB stick greater than 8GB to boot the computer.
This tutorial is going to cover the USB stick method with a persistent boot state so everything we do here in this tutorial will be saved for future use.
And lastly, if you are using RAID or SHR, you will need to connect every hard drive in the array at the same time.
And the file system will need to be either EXT4 or BTRFS.
With all that out of the way, let’s start by preparing a USB Stick
We need to visit the Ubuntu downloads page and choose our ISO.
In this tutorial, I’ll be choosing Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS which is perfect for most users.
The next site we need to visit is the LinuxLive USB Creator site or LiLi for short.
Downloading this will allow us to create a bootable USB Stick with persistent storage.
Once those have both finished downloading, we need to make sure our 8GB or greater USB Stick is inserted into a working Windows machine.
Install and launch the LinuxLive USB Creator software and choose the USB Stick you want to use from the “Choose a USB Key” box in Step 1.
Next in step 2, we need to choose ISO/IMG/ZIP icon and then locate the Ubuntu ISO file we just downloaded.
In Step 3, we need to choose how much “Persistent Storage Space” we want to use on our USB stick. In this case we will choose the maximum amount by dragging the slider to the far right.
Step 4’s default options are perfect here, so we will jump on to Step 5 and click on the Lightning icon to start the installation.
This will take a while depending on numerous factors but once the process is done, you should see a message saying “Your LinuxLive key is now up and ready!”
Here we can eject the USB stick and take it to the PC with all our NAS Hard Drives connected and ready to boot.
Now depending on your motherboard manufacturer and the BIOS you are running, you will need to find and enable the option to allow booting from USB and also set the boot order for USB first.
Once that’s all set, insert your USB stick, make sure all your hard drives have power and are connected via SATA and boot up your PC.
Once the boot process is complete and we are inside the Ubuntu Operating System, we need to go the the left hand side up top and click on the SEARCH icon.
Type in the word TERMINAL and this should appear in the list, so click on it’s icon.
Here, we are going to install some software to allow us to access the data stored within the RAID. Firstly, we need to install mdadm by typing in “sudo apt-get install mdadm”
Once given the option, select “No Configuration” and complete the installation.
Next we want to install lvm2 using the command “sudo apt-get install lvm2”
This will allow the vgchange command to work properly with mdadm.
Now we can mount all of the Synology Diskstation hard drives using the following command.
“sudo mdadm -Asf && vgchange -ay”
Be very aware of case and spaces with this command.
Once this is done you should see a message saying something about volume group X now being active.
This means the volume is now mounted and can be accessed from the Filing Cabinet icon on the left hand side menu.
How awesome is that!
One thing to be aware of here is that you will need to transfer your precious data to either an external USB hard drive or to another Network Attached Storage device.
So make sure you have either a large enough single USB Hard Drive or enough separate drives to transfer all your data from the RAID Array.
Following this tutorial should get you connected to your precious data in the worst case scenario of a Synology NAS Hardware failure.
Always make sure you use a secondary external backup solution like a cloud backup, external hard drive rotations, or an offsite mirrored secondary NAS unit.
Or better yet, use all three.
Let me know if you have any Synology related videos you would like to see down in the description below.
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