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I have one half of a RAID 1 array (from a LaCie 2big Network NAS), from which I'm trying to recover the data.

I've connected the disk to my desktop PC (Ubuntu 11.04) using a Sitecom SATA/USB adapter, but it only sees an unformatted disk of size 0 (in Disk Utility).

How can I proceed?

(I'm also going to try using the NAS itself, but that may not work [at the moment it looks broken], so this question is about getting the data through other means.)

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To my knowledge, md supports several types of superblock structures. So if you set up a software raid (in a Live CD for example), with that drive, it might be usable. Make an image of your last RAID drive before doing anything! – Oliver Salzburg Mar 6 '12 at 11:01
@OliverSalzburg Before I randomly try to put the disk in an array, is there a way to read what kind of structures are in use on the disk? Also, can I make an image with dd if the disk is reported as size 0? – Bart van Heukelom Mar 6 '12 at 11:06
If I remember correctly, it's just running, mdadm --assemble --scan. Either it can use the device or it can't. You should always be able to make an image of the device using dd. See how to get the correct size: – Oliver Salzburg Mar 6 '12 at 11:13
@OliverSalzburg blockdev reports size 0 as well. – Bart van Heukelom Mar 6 '12 at 11:18
That's a little scary. Sorry, don't know how to proceed properly. Good luck. – Oliver Salzburg Mar 6 '12 at 11:21
up vote 0 down vote accepted

According to this thread: it seems to be a md array with xfs :

Somebody described success with some (expensive) commercial recovery software (it's in the thread). If LaClie won't do support and you're not feeling confident about mdadm and xfs, then a data recovery shop is probably the best option.

That said... if the data is too important... even if you do feel confident with mdadm and xfs, a data recovery shop might be the best option. Sit down with your boss and do some risk analysis.

(Amateur recovery tip: when I do this kind of work, I do a dd of the disk, make a second copy of that dd image, then perform all my recovery operations on the duplicate image file using loopback.)

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Have you tried conneting to the LaCie Network device. If only one drive has failed, it should be available. Such a device would rebuild whena replacement drive is installed. As noted in the link you provided:

In the event that an individual hard disk fails in the LaCie 2big, please contact your LaCie reseller or LaCie Customer Support. Please replace a defective hard drive only with a new drive provided byLaCie. Replacing a drive involves two main steps, installingthe new drive (section 5.3.1) and initializing the new disk on the NAS administration page (section 5.3.2).

It might be possible to get the specs from the drive and obtain a similar replacement as LaCie likley uses drives from one of the big three makers. However, firmware may be unique.

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I am not saying this is the correct way to recover your data, just trying to advise!

Start by reading this blog entry

Some NAS Drives run on ARM architecture and normal CPU's cant read the blocks becasue they exceed the filesystems memory allocated to handle these reads.

There are work around obviosly.. but it can be a bit tricky


If they are stripped sets then, You need both drives to recovery anything sensible. Files and data are scattered on both drives. One drive is useless.

-But if they are mirrored then 1 will do. Sometimes the NAS boxes will not let you run the single drive on its own.. without putting a new one in and resynchronise them... i find it pretty annoying.

You can also try tools like WinHex, or go and visit HDDGuru Forums and read some threads there are really good ones there

If you got some really important data on there and you start feeling uncfortable then you need to stop. There are good data recovery centers out there, for reasonable prices.. if you need help let me know.

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This is reported as RAID 1 which means data is duplicated on both drives. – Dave M Mar 6 '12 at 16:34
oh yea.. oops - then most likely some sort of unsupported usper block used during mirroring... should be easy to mount with the correct driver / emulator – ppumkin Mar 7 '12 at 18:02

I had success in your situtaion with Ubuntu and a USB-SATA cradle. Only Ubuntu was in a VMWare virtual machine, and the LaCie disk came from a standalone Network Storage, not from a RAID. The Ubuntu virtual machine mounted the drive with no fuss.

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