Recoving lost files

May 10 2010

I bought that QNAP TS-210 NAS last Friday afternoon, with the intention of making it new home of the two 1.5TB drives that currently reside in my Win 7 HTPC.  The NAS would serve/stream the media files, including Music, as well as provide a backup location and probably a download device.

On arriving home on Friday evening, my first thoughts were 'Should I backup the drives first or just place them in the NAS and then copy the data to other machines' (would require the available capacity of more than just one PC on my home network).

I decided on the non-backup option (a stupidly non geek thing to do).

The first thing the NAS did was display "Initializing", and as it took a while I hoped it wasn't initializing the drives.  Once it stopped "Initializing", I took the drives out and put them back in the HTPC.  Sure enough, they were re partitioned.  With the data gone, I put the drives back in the NAS and started to build the NAS as originally intended.  First I tweeted my failings and then built the RAID 0 array and formatted in Ext4 format (NAS only offers Ext3 or Ext4).  Chris, a friend that works in a PC shop at Milton rang me mid RAID build asked what happened and put me on to Recover My Files (     I put the drives back in Windows and deleted the partitions, as told by Chris.

I grabbed a copy off Uncle Torrence and fired it up.  It detected a bunch (300,000+) of files starting with LostFiles_, after about 14 hours of searching (still had about 25% to go! - on 3TB drives).  I stopped it because I was concerned about LostFiles_* meaning the filename would be unrecoverable.  I did a search on Google for the best file recovery tools and recovermyfiles was right up there anyway, so I downloaded the lastest version from their website (the software performes the scan without requiring purchase of a license key, so you can see what will be retrieved and if it worked).  I restarted the scan and let it run all night (all Saturday night) and by mid Sunday it had found all my files again J.  So I started copying off onto my 500GB USB drive and other the other drives I had spare (took a trip of the USB drive to my main pc and moving from there to the main).

So in the end I got my files back and I thoroughly recommend the software ($70).

I should have practiced what I preach to my non-geek friends.

  1. Always backup
  2. Do research products before purchasing.  Even if your research doesn't lead to a changed opinion, being well informed is always a good thing when it comes to technology
  3. RTFM

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