How to Recover Data from a RAID System Based on Zyxel NAS542

In this article, we are testing a NAS device by Zyxel, model NAS542. We’ll show you how to create a RAID, add a shared folder, and configure network access. You will also see how to enable the network recycle bin and recover accidentally removed data.

How to Recover Data from a RAID System Based on Zyxel NAS542

Zyxel is a Taiwan-based company mostly known for its network solutions for home users and small to medium businesses, and it also produces NAS devices.

Their NAS solutions are pretty reliable and are a good option for organizing a data storage system. However, even the most reliable NAS devices have a limited period of operating life, and it doesn’t matter if they are produced by Zyxel or any other well-known manufacturer. It means that after a few years in active use all storage devices tend to fail, sooner or later. Generally, most NAS systems remain usable for three to five years on average. On the other hand, there are some factors that often cause the storage system to fail long before its lifespan expires, and lose our precious data.

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💿 How to Recover Data from a RAID System Based on ZyXEL NAS542 💿

💿 How to Recover Data from a RAID System Based on ZyXEL NAS542 💿

What causes data loss for NAS

A network-attached storage may break down after a power failure, voltage surges, overheating, accidental formatting, reinstalling an operating system, damaging the file system (usually it affects the journal or the superblock), and as a result of mechanical issues with the hard disks or the RAID controller. Very often, data can be lost from NAS devices when users decide to update their firmware. To get your files back, you’ll need a specialized data recovery tool.

How to create a RAID array on Zyxel NAS542

To create a RAID, open Storage Manager, expand the tab Internal Storage – choose Volume.

Storage Manager

In this window, click Create.

Create RAID

Select the disks to use for building the new array, choose the RAID type and click Next.

Select the disks and choose RAID type

You’ll see a notification saying that in the selected disk will be erased. Hit Yes to confirm your choice.

The warning of data to be erased

Check the properties, and if everything is correct, click Apply and wait until it’s done: it may take some time. Now the new array is created and ready to use.

Check the array properties

If you need to change the properties of an existing RAID, you’ll have to delete it first – and it means all the data stored in this array will be erased too. Select the volume you need to edit and click “Delete”.To confirm this action, type DELETE in this pop-up window to make the “Delete” button active. Click Delete to continue and the volume will be removed.

Volume is removed

How to create a shared folder

Now you can create a shared folder to provide access to the storage device.

Open Control Panel - Shared Folders

Open Control PanelShared Folders. By default, a certain set of shared folders is already there.

Shared Folders

If you want to add more items, click on the plus button above, assign a name for the folder, select a directory, enable Recycle Bin and click Next.

Create a shared folder

Set access permissions – Read Only or Read/Write – and go on to the next page.

Set permissions for the shared folder

If you need to configure publishing settings, do it, and then click Next. Check the properties and click Apply.

The shared folder is created

How to enable the Recycle Bin feature for a shared folder

If your NAS works all right and the network drive can be accessed, but you accidentally deleted some data from the disk, you can try and recover it from the Recycle Bin.

To use this feature and recover files from the Bin, it has to be enabled. To do it, open Control Panel – Shared Folders.

Open Control Panel - Shared Folders

Select an item and click on Edit Share.

Edit Share

In the window that opens, check the box next to Enable recycle bin for shared folder and click Apply.

Enable Recycle Bin for the shared folder

How to recover accidentally deleted data from the Recycle Bin

Now, when files are deleted, they will be sent to the Recycle Bin and you’ll be able to recover an accidentally removed file. Go to the directory from where you deleted the file, open the Recycle Bin folder, find that file and copy it to where you need it.

Copy the files to where you need them

How to recover data from a non-operable NAS

If the Network Recycle Bin was disabled at the time when files were removed, they can only be restored with a specialized data recovery tool. As the Recycle Bin was disabled in my case, it is impossible to recover data using the Bin. For such scenarios, all you need is a reliable piece of data recovery software to bring your files back without erasing them in the process.

If data is removed by accident, a hard disk is formatted, the disk array is misconfigured, or in other scenarios involving loss of data, loss of access to the network drive, or damage to a RAID system, Hetman RAID Recovery is always there to help you restore important information.

Recover data from damaged RAID arrays inaccessible from a computer.

Most NAS devices are running on Linux-based operating systems, and their hard disks are formatted for Ext file system, while RAID arrays are typically built with the use of mdadm or LVM technology. When such disk arrays are connected to a Windows computer directly, you can’t read their contents without using third-party software.

However, Hetman RAID Recovery supports both of them, and in most cases it can rebuild such RAID arrays automatically. This is a comprehensive solution for NAS data recovery to help you restore your files in a number of different scenarios. This program supports most popular file systems and RAID types.

Take the disks out of the NAS device and connect them to a Windows computer. If the operating system of the computer to which you have connected the disks asks you to initialize or format them, don’t do that, because it will make recovery a lot more complicated.

Windows Disk Management

Our utility features an advanced mechanism of automatic scanning designed to identify and recover NAS data in various scenarios of data loss.

It will analyze the disks, read their service information and rebuild the damaged RAID system. Below, you can see detailed information about the array and check if the program has identified it correctly.

It will read the service information and rebuild the damaged RAID

To start a scan, right-click on the disk and choose “Open”. Select the scan type and click Next to start it.

The drive is being scanned

As you can see, the program has rebuilt the damaged RAID easily and found all the files stored on the network drive. If you are looking for files that have been removed, you can identify them by red crosses.

Deleted files are marked with a red cross

Select all the items you want to recover, click Recovery, select where you want to save them. When the recovery process is over, you’ll find all of the files in the folder you have chosen.

How to recover data from an iSCSI disk

If files are deleted accidentally from an iSCSI disk, you don’t have to take the hard disks out of the NAS device and connect them to a computer – just run our program and scan the network drive.

Recover deleted files from an iSCSI disk

Hetman RAID Recovery identifies it as a physical one, and it means you can easily scan it and recover the accidentally removed data. Right-click on the drive – “Open”, select the scan type and wait until it’s over. As you can see, the program has found the files that have been deleted. The last step is to recover them.

The network disk is identified as a physical one and recovered

How to rebuild a damaged array manually with the RAID Constructor

If hard disks are properly functioning and healthy, Hetman RAID Recovery will rebuild damaged RAID arrays automatically. However, when a disk is damaged or service information is erased, the program may have difficulty in automating the rebuild process. If the program failed to rebuild the array but you know its properties, you can perform this operation manually, with the help of the RAID Constructor.

To do it, open the RAID Constructor, and select the option Manual mode.

RAID Constructor – creating an array manually

In the next window, fill in all the RAID properties you know: the RAID type, block order and size, add the disks it used to include, use the arrows to specify their order, and replace the missing disks with empty drives by clicking the “plus” button. Also, you can specify the offset that helps to locate the beginning of the disk. Sometimes, the program may have difficulty in identifying it automatically, so you’ll have to enter the offset value manually.

RAID type, block order and size, add the disks

Usually, if you give correct properties, the newly built RAID system has at least one partition. Expand it to check for the folders that you need. If the folders you are looking for are displayed, then you have built this RAID properly. When you specify all the properties you know, click Add and the manually rebuilt array will appear in the Drive Manager.

To have the data recovered, the last step is to scan the array, find the files you want to restore, select them, and recover to the folder you choose.

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: , Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: , Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.

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