NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. NAS systems provide extra data storage and improved failure tolerance, giving you a better chance of retaining your data in the case of a hard drive failure. They are a quick and convenient way to store large amounts of data and are suitable for both a single PC and small to medium sized networks.
You can connect a NAS device through any Ethernet port on your PC or router and some NAS devices can store as much as one terabyte of information. This can become a double-edged sword, it’s great to be able to store so much data, not so great if you lose that much data to a system failure.
NAS systems are similar to a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) system and are vulnerable to similar types of failures. For example the failure of one drive can lead to further failures and corruption or loss of data. Larger NAS devices often use their own RAID configuration to enable them to store large amounts of data.
NAS systems consist of two or more hard drives, or a single hard drive using the Ext2/Ext3 file system. Most NAS systems run on the Linux operating system.
Recovering Data from a NAS Device
Recovering data from a NAS system can be a tricky process, since they are more complex than a typical USB drive enclosures, which makes it more difficult to recover lost data. Most NAS units are similar to a standalone PC. The software used on Linux systems is standard, so the set of drives you use can be mounted on any Linux system.
Retrieving your data from a NAS device is a complicated process that requires you to disassemble both your PC and the NAS system. Disconnect the drives from the NAS and then connect them directly to the IDE or SATA ports in your computer.
Once that is done, you can purchase and run one of a number of utility programs to help you recover the data.
The safest option, particularly if you’re not familiar with NAS systems, is to take your NAS unit to a data recovery specialist who can accurately diagnose the problem and help recover your lost data. The more important your data, the more it makes sense to use a professional.
While there are no guarantees, a good data recovery service provider can retrieve lost files in most cases. As always, the best defence against lost data is to protect your system, back up your files, and call a professional when you run into serious problems.