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I've got a Maxtor Shared Storage II (RAID1 mode) which has developed some hardware failure, apparently: it fails to boot properly and is unreachable via network.

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When powering it on, it keeps making clunking/chirping disk noise and then sort of resets itself (with a flash of orange light in the usually-green LEDs); it then repeats this as if stuck in a loop. In fact, even the power button does nothing now – the only way I can affect the device at all is to plug in or pull out the power cord!

(To be clear, I've come to regard this piece of garbage (which cost about 460 €) as my worst tech purchase ever. Even before this failure I had encountered many annoyances about the drive: 1) the software to manage it is rather crappy; 2) it is way noisier that what this type of device should be; 3) when your Mac comes out of sleep, Maxtor's "EasyManage" cannot re-mount the drive automatically.)

Anyway, the question at hand is how to get my data out of it? As a very concrete first step, is there a way to open this thing without breaking the plastic casing into pieces? It is far from obvious to me how to get beyond this stage:

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It opens a little from one end but not from the other:

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If I somehow got the disks out, I could try mounting the disk(s) on one of the Macs or Linux boxes I have available (although I don't know yet if I'd need some adapters for that).

(NB: for the purposes of this question, never mind any warranty or replacement issues – that's secondary to recovering the data.)

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in your pic of the slight opening on the back, you can see a hook-tab holding the side-piece in place. there'll be another at the front end of the device -- most likely the front panel (with the buttons) will pop off, and expose screws and a way to get to the front hook-tab. –  quack quixote Feb 14 '10 at 4:52
    
    
I'm gonna post a lengthy follow-up about my experiences, when I just get round to it... –  Jonik Apr 22 '10 at 13:50
    
I'm no more punctual than you are - but there is another post with much the same question and that OP at least would seem very interested to hear more! –  pnuts Jan 19 '13 at 20:32
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@pnuts: thanks for the reminder... :) I managed to get some of my data out (though braking the plastic case in the process), so it might be useful for someone. I'll try to post it by tomorrow. –  Jonik Jan 19 '13 at 20:42
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1 Answer

I initially assumed that the daya on the drives would be in a standard format and was about to post "once you get the drives out, plug one of them into a Linux machine (or any other machine booted off a decent LiveCD) and it should detect what-ever filesystems are on there".

A quick search shows my first thought to be wrong though - apparently a standard boot sector and partition table is not present on the drives. See this page and the ones it links to for more detailed information including how to rectify the situation manually andmaybe get at the data. Be very careful when writing to the drive to try update the partition table and get the data off - I recommend backing up a full image of it to another drive if you have one big enough lying about (using compression you need not use a drive as bit as it is, unless the data is encrypted).

As you have it configured as RAID1 both drives should contain identical data, so if one has properly failed you can use the other to try read your data. Of course if the device has gone propely mental and damaged that data, you might find it to be equally damaged on both drives...

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your link might be about the MSS, not MSS-II; i'm not certain but it looks like the MSS-II may be using a fairly standard MBR: scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Open_MSS-II ... obviously, the OP should verify his model #s and make sure he follows instructions for his specific device. –  quack quixote Feb 14 '10 at 5:04
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