How to Recover Data from a Virtual Network-Attached Storage StarWind SAN&NAS

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to install and configure StarWind SAN & NAS in VMware, how to create a RAID 5 array on a StarWind SAN&NAS virtual storage, and how to recover data from there.

How to Recover Data from a Virtual Network-Attached Storage StarWind SAN&NAS

In today’s article, we’ll describe how to recover data from a RAID level 5 with the XFS file system, or a virtual machine based on VMware hypervisor. This tutorial is also suitable for other ways of building a virtual network-attached storage: Hyper-V, KVM and so on.

StarWind SAN&NAS

StarWind SAN&NAS is a powerful and convenient tool to create and manage network storage systems. It allows users to unite several physical disks into a single data storage, with the opportunity to back up and replicate data. However, just like any other equipment, even with the most reliable system onboard, StarWind still has a risk of data loss due to various factors such as hardware failures, operating system errors, or human faults.

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How to Recover Data from a Virtual Network-Attached Storage StarWind SAN&NAS

How to Recover Data from a Virtual Network-Attached Storage StarWind SAN&NAS

How to install and configure StarWind SAN & NAS in VMware

For installation, download an ISO image of the operating system for StarWind SAN & NAS from the official website.

Download an ISO image of the operating system for StarWind SAN & NAS from the official website

Click Download, fill in the gaps, and then two links will be sent to your email: a link to download the ISO image of the system, and a link to download the trial version key.

Email with StarWind SAN & NAS key

Creating a virtual machine with StarWind SAN & NAS is no different from doing it on Ubuntu. Visit our channel to check out one of our videos for a detailed tutorial on creating virtual machines in the VMware. The only difference is the network settings – to see the machine online choose bridged networking.

Creating a VMware virtual machine

Now let’s explore StarWind installation in greater detail, although this process shouldn’t raise any questions.

Power on the virtual machine; when it starts booting, you’ll see the license agreement window – accept the agreement to continue.

Accept the agreement StarWind SAN & NAS

Then you will see the installation window. Make sure the item Install StarWind Appliance is selected, and press Enter.

Select Install StarWind Appliance

Now choose the disk where to install the operating system. Type Yes to confirm your choice and press Enter. It starts the installation process, so you’ll have to wait a little until it’s over.

Choose the disk for installation

The installation is complete, press Enter to reboot.

The installation is complete

When the virtual machine boots, you’ll see the management console. To make your storage device accessible on the network, configure its network settings including the IP address and subnet according to your infrastructure. This will allow other devices on this network to connect to the storage and exchange data, as well as to manage the storage system.

The management console

To open the console, press Enter, then type the login and password – by default, the login is user and the password – rds123RDS.

Give the default login and password

Now open the network settings and press Enter to modify them. Type the IP address, the subnet mask, default gateway, as well as the hostname and DNS, then press Enter to confirm them.

Add network settings

Now when you proceed to this address in your browser, it opens the web interface for StarWind SAN&NAS.

StarWind initial configuration wizard

At the next stage, upload the license file. The link to it was sent to you earlier, together with the link to the operating system image.

Downloading the license file

Read and accept the End-user license agreement to continue. View or modify network settings and click Next. Specify the name and location of the virtual machine, and click Next.

Note. We recommend using static network settings in this configuration.

Give the host name

Create an administrator account, give the login and password, confirm the password and click Next.

Set the administrator’s login and password

Review the selected properties and click Configure to start setting up your storage. Wait until the initial configuration wizard configures StarWind SAN&NAS.

When the storage is configured and ready for work, click Finish to install StarWind vSphere plug-in, or uncheck the box to skip this step and proceed to the login page.

Start the storage configuration

Enter the login and password for the new user. Here, you can create a pool, volume and so on. Let’s create a RAID in this operating system. This RAID will be based on mdaddm technology.

To build a RAID with the available hard disks, open Storage, Storage pools. Click on Create a new pool.

Creating a new disk pool

After that, select disks and choose the pool profile for this pool – the recommended automatic one or manual.

Select disks for the new pool

In the manual profile, you can select the RAID level and file system – by default, it’s XFS. When all the properties are ready, click Create. When the creation process is complete, the pool will appear in the Storage Pools window.

Creating a pool

Now you can create a volume. Open the Volume tab and click Create a new volume.

Volume – Create a new volume

Select the storage pool where the new volume should be created.

Select the pool

Give the pool name and size.

Give the pool name and size

At the next stage, choose your file system settings, review the properties and click Create.

Choose file system settings

When the volume is ready, you can create a shared folder and configure access to it. Open the storage management console. Configure the SMB protocol.

SMB configuration

Create a shared folder, check this option for the required volume and give the shared folder name; then press Yes and Enter to confirm.

Creating a shared folder

After that, change the SMB password.

Modifying the SMB password

Otherwise the shared folder will never appear on your network.

Setting a new password for SMB

Open the File Explorer, and voila, the folder is available for data upload.

Shared folder

Data recovery on StarWind SAN & NAS

If you need to recover data from a crashed RAID with StarWind SAN&NAS operating system or from the system drive, use a dedicated tool – Hetman Recovery. If you want to recover data from a system drive, choose Hetman Partition Recovery, and you’d like to do it from RAID – install Hetman RAID Recovery.

Recover data from damaged RAID arrays inaccessible from a computer.

It supports most popular file systems, RAID levels and array patterns used by various NAS manufacturers, including StarWind.

Since this NAS is based on a virtual machine, the recovery tool also supports work with virtual disk files used by various hypervisors.

Download, install and run Hetman RAID Recovery. To search for lost files on virtual machine disks, they should first be mounted into the recovery tool. To do it, click ToolsMount Disk.

Tools - Mount Disk

Then choose the virtual disk type or hypervisor, and give the path to the virtual disk files – OK and Next.

Give the virtual disk type and location

After that, the disks will appear in the program’s window, and you will see your RAID. The recovery program will automatically rebuild the RAID with the available hard disks, so all you have to do is to scan it.

The system drive is displayed in the program’s window separately from others. Due to peculiarities of the file system, and for convenience reasons, it is separated and shown as a detached device. If you need to recover data from this drive, right-click on it and choose Open. Select the scan type and start the disk analysis.

The RAID array is shown above. To start searching for lost files, right-click on the array and choose Open.

Hetman RAID Recovery

Now select the scan type. For starters, we recommend running a Fast scan first – it will take less time.

If the program failed to find the necessary files, then run Full analysis. To do it, go back to the main window, right-click on the array and choose – Analyze againFull analysis. Select the file system type for this disk, and uncheck the box for Content-Aware analysis to accelerate the search process. In very complicated scenarios, you can choose to scan the disk with Content-Aware analysis enabled.

Full analysis

When the scan is over, open the folder where the lost files used to be. This recovery tool preserves original file names and folder structure, which makes the recovery process as user-friendly and convenient as possible. Besides, the program lets you preview the file contents before recovery, which helps you to make sure that you’re going to recover exactly the data you’ve been looking for. The contents of every file is displayed in the preview window. Any files which were previously deleted are shown with a corresponding marking.

Recovering data from StarWind SAN&NAS

Select all the items you want to recover and click the Recovery button.

Specify where to save the data (choose the disk and folder), and click Recovery again. When the recovery process is complete, you’ll see all the files in the specified directory.


Today we have explored how to recover data from StarWind SAN&NAS virtual storage. It is important to keep in mind that data loss prevention strategies and regular backups can help you considerably reduce the corresponding risks. Also, remember to monitor the condition of your equipment to avoid unexpected failures and issues related to the work of your NAS. With all these things combined, you can ensure safety and reliability of your data storage system.

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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