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koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

1 edit
reply to Jeffrey

Re: HP MediaSmart EX485 - System Drive Failed - Questions

First and foremost, in bold to make it crystal clear:

I would not do ANYTHING with that 750GB disk until some questions can be answered first. DO NOT HOOK IT UP TO AN ENCLOSURE, NOR A WINDOWS PC. If it is your only copy of your data, DO NOT DO ANYTHING WITH IT at this time.

The HP MediaSmart EX485 is what looks to be a consumer-grade NAS: »h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prod···=3855978

This means you've bought a "black box" product and how it functions (its filesystems, how it stores metadata, what RAID model it uses (possibly something proprietary), etc.) is entirely known to only one company: HP.

You had a 1TB drive and a 750GB drive installed on the system, and if those made up "one volume", then effectively some form of RAID (or RAID-like) is in use. You need to give more details about that configuration. Give as much detail as possible.

Now, that's just the disk configuration. Next we have what actual filesystem it uses -- do you know what filesystem this black-box product uses? Does it run Windows? Does it use NTFS? Does it run Linux? Does it use ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs? Again: unless it's in the product documentation, the only people who know this is HP.

This is why I often warn people of buying products like this -- if you purchase these kinds of solutions, you need a support contract with the company who makes it, because they're the only ones who know how the device operates/behaves/etc..

Is it *potentially* possible to get your data off that disk? Yes, but again, without knowing if RAID was in use, and without knowing what filesystem the NAS chooses to use for its storage, it's very hard to say. Again: if this is the only copy of your data that you have, do not stick it in a system "to find out".

The safest thing I can think of would be to hook the disk up to a FreeBSD or Linux-based PC natively via SATA (DO NOT use a USB enclosure or anything of that nature; all this will do is make troubleshooting worse) and do some actual data forensics to see if the data is interleaved (i.e. RAID-0) or if it's RAID-1 (actual mirror). But you need to know what you're looking at / looking for. Hooking it up to a Windows-based PC is a bad idea, since Windows is crazy and enjoys trying to do things to the underlying disk the instant it shows up on the bus (*IX OSes don't generally do this).

And that's assume the drive even spins up -- when power-related problems occur (especially recurring brown and black-outs), the most likely failure point is the power-related circuitry. If the drive doesn't spin up, there are ways to solve that, but they're tricky and somewhat dangerous.

I can do the forensics/analysis for you if you send me the drive, but I can't make any promises that I can restore any of the data. I wouldn't charge you for the time, only any of the parts needed (i.e. replacement bits if the power circuitry turns out to be blown, and a spare/new hard disk which would have all of your data on it). I'd send you back 2 drives (the old/original and the new), assuming I was successful. Let me know.

Footnote question: why is this device not hooked up to a UPS? >:/ My advice is to hook it up to one ASAP. I can personally recommend the CyberPower CP850PFCLCD, although higher-capacity and lower-capacity models will work just as well (and will cost more/less respectively). These work wonderfully for power conditioning, emit an actual sine-wave signal rather than stepped/emulated, and (of course) will run off battery power when the power goes out. All I use mine for is avoiding the exact situation you just experienced with your HP product -- power outages in my town tend to be very short blips (under 1 second), and often repeat themselves at very short intervals (0.5 seconds), which is extremely rough on computer hardware.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
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Reviews:
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said by koitsu:

First and foremost, in bold to make it crystal clear:

I would not do ANYTHING with that 750GB disk until some questions can be answered first. DO NOT HOOK IT UP TO AN ENCLOSURE, NOR A WINDOWS PC. If it is your only copy of your data, DO NOT DO ANYTHING WITH IT at this time.

Thanks. I have not done anything yet. It's not a rush.

The unit has been excellent, and I've never needed to troubleshooting with it. WHS is nice, but as I hear, discontinued after the most recent iteration, which is a shame.

Thank you for the offer to look at the drive, I appreciate it, but it's not necessary. The data on here was not vital - in the grand scheme of life - so it's not of huge concern. More of a "is there a trick I don't know about" kind of thing.

The unit was hooked up to a UPS, however the battery was drained after an 8-day power outage due to hurricane Sandy and I did not fully charge it yet.

I'll work on getting the details about the file system.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

Debunking the 2012 hysteria. | Always looking for a new job | Begging the Wilpons to sell the Mets.


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
So reading between the lines, it sounds like the HP device runs Windows, yes?

Chances are it uses NTFS then. However, whether or not it uses "dynamic disks" is unknown -- my guess is that's probably what it uses. Really don't know at this point though. As you can see from the documentation (bottom of page), there are multiple models/methods available. If striped (that means RAID-0) then the data is lost (n+0 bytes would be on the 1TB disk, n+1 bytes would be on the 750GB disk). If spanned (concatenated), there may be recoverable data but I'm not sure. if RAID-5, the data is lost. If mirrored (RAID-1), I would say the data is probably recoverable.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
said by koitsu:

So reading between the lines, it sounds like the HP device runs Windows, yes?

Yes, it's WHS and I believe my unit is the original version of WHS, not the newest (last) iteration, so mine is based on Windows Server 2003 R2.

said by koitsu:

Chances are it uses NTFS then. However, whether or not it uses "dynamic disks" is unknown -- my guess is that's probably what it uses.

Thanks for the link and the information. This weekend I'll be able to dig deeper into it.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

Debunking the 2012 hysteria. | Always looking for a new job | Begging the Wilpons to sell the Mets.