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I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo network backup system with two drives in it. The data is accessible through the network, but when I remove a drive to get the data off in another computer, it shows that the drive is un formatted. I was thinking that maybe it is encrypted, or maybe I'm doing something wrong.

The question is: How can I get the data off of either of the drives in an external environment?

  • What OS did you try reading the drive in? Linux can read an awful lot of formats, and it's possible the drives are in a RAID type setup too. – Xen2050 Jan 26 '16 at 3:30
  • @Xen2050 I tried reading them in Windows, but I can try Ubuntu – jo99blackops Jan 26 '16 at 3:49
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    Windows really likes to advise formatting anything it can't read - don't do it (obviously ;-) I found some helpful looking info, posting an A now – Xen2050 Jan 26 '16 at 3:57
  • @Xen2050 No luck with Ubuntu :( – jo99blackops Jan 26 '16 at 5:20
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    Was the drive detected? Anything in lsblk, blkid, gparted, gnome-disk-utility, messages in dmesg/ /var/log/syslog? Just read other message, keep tryin. It might be possible that the drive is failing too, but I'd expect windows to see something else wrong besides just "unformatted" – Xen2050 Jan 26 '16 at 5:26
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Apparently a ReadyNAS can use either EXT4 or BTRFS filesystems, and may use a RAID for multiple drives (like yours might).

Windows does not natively read those filesystems (currently), some 3rd party drivers are available, I've found their effectiveness to be mixed.

I found some interesting links with info on reading a non-RAID drive, and most linuxes (linuses? linuxii?) - most any Linux distribution - can read ext4 & btrfs.

This link Restoring Data from Netgear ReadyNAS Duo Hard Drive has instructions for non-RAID drives, should be worth a try. It sources this very very long forum thread as a reference. I'm sure there are RAID instructions available from a regular web search, if required. The basics are:

  1. [to 6. on the original link] Get a Linux going that can read your hard drive

  2. Here, some newer distributions may already be able to see & mount the hard drive's partitions.

    If your file manager lists devices, it's possible that just clicking on the hard drive there may mount & open it.

    Easiest way I can think if would be to try running Disks / gnome-disk-utility and see if it can mount them with a few clicks. (Disks can also erase or overwrite partitions with a few clicks too, so BE CAREFUL!).

    Or system-config-lvm is a gui lvm manager, probably not required though.

  3. modprobe fuse This command is used to add modules to linux to be able to "talk" to the HDD

  4. vgscan scans all SCSI, IDE and other disk devices on the system looking for LVM physical volumes

  5. vgchange -ay c allows you to change the attribute of the HDD volume groups to "activate" and name the volume group as C

  6. mkdir /mnt/lvm create a mount point for the volume group

  7. mount -v /dev/c/c /mnt/lvm to mount the volume/group. [Original page's command was ext2fuse /dev/c/c /mnt/lvm but it's apparently no longer in Ubuntu or Mint or Ubuntu's software repositories (there is a fuseext2 package & fuseext2 binary...) It would've used the installed ext2fuse utility to support the mounted EXT3 file system. You will notice a slight delay in output until this is displayed:

    /dev/c/c is to be mounted at /mnt/lvm fuse-ext2 intiailized for device: /dev/c/c block size is 16384

    Once this is displayed, your HDD should be accesible.

  8. [Use a file manager/browser to read your files in /mnt/lvm]. Or Open another terminal window and enter cd /mnt/lvm. You should notice a few folders such as Media, Home, etc. If you enter in cd media then ls, this will list the files/folders in the Media folder.

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  • I'll try this right now and keep you posted.. – jo99blackops Jan 26 '16 at 5:26
  • Ok, I'm stuck at step 7. It says the command "ext2fuse" is not found – jo99blackops Jan 26 '16 at 5:40
  • That command wasn't available in Mint either, or in the mint/ubuntu software repos apparently. Just mount /dev/c/c /mnt/lvm should work, it should auto-detect the type, or -t ext4 (or ext3/ext2, whichever type you've got) should work? – Xen2050 Jan 26 '16 at 6:03
  • Most Linux distributions would have the ext* driver available. No need for FUSE or anything the like. – Daniel B Jan 26 '16 at 7:54
  • That's what confused me too, even in 2011 (when the instructions were posted) I'm sure ext2/3/4? was pretty standard. And instructions the last page of the reference thread replaced the fuse command with a plain mount too – Xen2050 Jan 26 '16 at 8:07
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I was able to gain read access (I did not require write access and did not seek it) to a ReadyNAS Duo (v1) drive (X-RAID - the two drives were acting redundantly) in Arch Linux by following a process similar to that laid out in this blogpost and this other blogpost:

  1. lsblk (before and after plugging in the drive via USB) to identify the path to the device (in my case /dev/sdb)
  2. vgscan to confirm that c was the appropriate drive group.
  3. vgchange -ay c to activate the c drive group.
  4. fuse-ext2 -o allow_other,ro /dev/c/c /mnt/readynas to mount the disk. I had to use Fuse (fuse-ext2 from the AUR). The standard mount command returned an error.
  5. When finished, unmount the disk: fusermount -u /mnt/readynas

Note, however, that I was only able to read the "left" drive (in bay 1) with this process. The "right" drive (bay 2) has no partitions according to fdisk -l and does not appear in a vgscan.

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It seems that the disks are in encrypted state, then

  1. get a.s.a.p. some disks that have at least the same size of the disks in the NAS (Don't forget - in case of many disks to number them with a pencil etc.)

  2. By above stated Linuxes the best are PartitionMagic/Universal Boot CD, Systemrescue CD Linuxes

  3. Make of each disk a with the linux shell command ddrescue (or the integrated cloning util, like clonezilla) disk clones - or (Get the disks out of the nas) - put them in a USB3 Cloning station (Price about 30-50 $).**

  4. If the disks are readable by the above mentioned rescue Linux, you have luck, otherwise

  5. try to use crypto-LUKS to decrypt and/or LVM stuff (The steps to mention here are too many, so do a stackoverflow/google search)

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