Just last week, I was given a Netgear Stora MS2110 NAS to look at. I was shown that when powered on, only the orange HDDLED2 would light up – a symptom of it not working. They wanted the photos that were stored on it, that I expect were from many years ago. I could hear the internal disk drive spinning up, which was a good sign.
The disk drive is a Seagate Barracuda LP of size 1TB. The front cover slides off the NAS and then the single disk drive can be ejected using a lever at the back. This NAS could handle two disks, but only one had ever been installed. The first thing that I usually do, is to connect it to my Linux test machine. However, in this case – my test machine would not boot. It had occasionally done this in the past, but usually has then worked after a couple of tries. I plugged in my diagnostic card – which goes into a PCI slot, then powered on to see what was going on.
The diagnostic card shows that the motherboard has stopped when checking the memory – DIMM. Ok, so what is wrong with the memory – it was a pair of 2GB DDR2-800 memory sticks. I checked my stock, and I had a Kingston 4GB set of DDR2-800, so swapped them in.
Now, it boots – ok, to proceed with the data recovery. I opened a terminal session, then ran “dmesg | grep sd” to check which disk is the 1TB drive – it was sdb. Here is the result of “dmesg | grep sdb”
From this output, I can see that there is a partition called sdb1 on this disk drive. Next is to see what kind of partition it is.
It is a partition type “0xfd” – Linux RAID partition. I needed to run the fdisk with the sudo command as a normal user cannot access disk devices directly. Since this was a single disk RAID, it is safe to assume that if the partition can be accessed, that the data is most likely intact.
Generally, the Netgear Stora uses a xfs partition which is slightly different to other common linux file systems. Ubuntu which is running on my test machine can handle xfs partition types, so to do this – I need to mount it. Just a word of caution – you will note that I haven’t copied the disk as yet – the reason is that my network storage is a bit full and cannot handle an extra 1TB of disk image. Anyway, I am just going to mount the partition and check the contents – if it is small, I can copy everything from it quickly without having to image the disk.
The first command is to create a mount point for the disk, that I have called /mnt/nasdisk. The next command mounts the /dev/sdb1 partition as a xfs file system type in read-only mode. Then a ls command to list the files and folders shows folders.
I opened this mount point in the graphical File Manager and can see that I can access 0common and going in, I could see various folders and the like – so I quickly copied those out to my network drive. The other folders with the X have permissions which I cannot access, so I will need to be the root user to get to them. I also checked with the df command to see how much was used in all of the file systems – only 11GB or so on this disk.
To do this, you need to run the File Manager with root permissions – which requires the package gksu to be installed in Ubuntu. I did this, then ran the command “gksudo thunar” and then navigated to this mount point.
Success, the other folders now were accessible. This time, the File Manager has this orange line that tells you to be extra careful – as it is easy to do things when using the root account that could destroy your computer. I then proceeded to copy any other folders that contained file. All in all, there was just over 10GB of data – I ignored anything that had to do with the Stora software – like web pages and the like.
The Netgear Stora hardware seems to have failed – it could occur for many reasons, and could possibly be repaired but as I was just asked to get the data, then Recover.IT is what I did.
[Note] It seems that many people on the internet have had problems with the Netgear Stora – but it might be that if you look for anything at all, you might find that everything also has problems. I did see though, that a lot of people had problems accessing xfs partitions – but that may be due to the various linux flavours. FreeBSD for example had read-only support for xfs in 2005, then removed it from version 10 in 2013. Maybe that is why I stay with Ubuntu.
[Note 2] My original memory seems to have developed a problem. I cleaned the contacts on the DDR2 memory using alcohol wipes, as come contacts were dirty. Eventually after further testing, I could have one memory dimm installed and working but not both. The Kingston memory though would work with both dimm slots occupied.