I've seen similar posts around, but no answer that fits my needs (seems that most people just want to format their drives or they run linux?). But it I've missed an answer and this is a duplicate, I apologize.

Here's the issue:

  • I want to access/recover data from an older Western Digital NAS-device that doesn't start anymore when pressing the power button.
  • I've taken out the HDD itself from the NAS and attached it to a laptop using USB-interface cables. It's an ordinary 3.5 SATA HDD (1TB).
  • When I set power to the HDD I can hear it starts spinning, but it doesn't show up as an external found device in Windows 7 (64 bit) (no drive letters are assigned).
  • I hope the disk is fine and only some prints on the NAS is broken...

Anyway... If I enter Disk Management it shows the drive (Disk 2):

Screenshot from Disk Management

I cannot assign a drive letter to any of the partitions as they are marked as grayed out when right clicking on a drive.


  1. Any suggestions on how to access the files stored in the partitions?
  2. Would it be fine to run GetDataBack on the drive if it turns out the drive is broken? Or might it do more harm by overwrite/change partitions/data?
  • Do you know the model number of your NAS? It might help to understand what file systems the partitions are. – Jonno Jan 16 '16 at 15:49
  • @Jonno The model is "MDL: WD10000G032-001". It's not my own HDD. I'm helping a family member. And I asked him if he knew what file system he might have formatted the drive to. As he remembered it he just plugged it to his network and started using it. I guess it has already been pre-formatted. – SanSaurus Jan 16 '16 at 16:00
  • @Jonno After browsing a little around it looks like the model is pre-formatted to a linux file system (ext-). Maybe I should try mounting it on a linux laptop somehow instead...? – SanSaurus Jan 16 '16 at 16:09

Looking up this device, it appears to be formatted in a Linux file system (I'd assume ext2/3/4). (Manual found here).

enter image description here

As such, Windows has no native support for this filesystem. You have three options off the top of my head:

  1. Fastest if you only have Windows - Tools such as ext2fsd will allow you to mount the partitions within Windows. This can have variable success, but won't cause any harm to try and would be my first attempt if you don't have Linux to hand.

  2. Best - Mount the drive from a Linux distro. Either grab a machine with it installed or set up a live boot drive for now.

  3. Last resort - Run a drive level file recovery utility over it. Something like EaseUS, Recuva or R-Studio.

From the symptoms I'd say you have a very good chance of recovery, as it sounds like the NAS or it's power supply failed.

  • Thanks... I'm going to give it a try in the order you mention! :-) – SanSaurus Jan 16 '16 at 16:16
  • @SanSaurus How did you get on? Any luck? – Jonno Jan 17 '16 at 10:57

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