How to recover data from a Synology NAS that’s not responding?

Network Attached Storage or NAS is effectively a ‘file server’ connected to the network and storing data for multiple users. It uses a Redundant Array of Independent Disks or RAID and is scalable, meaning that hard drives can be added to generate more storage. It is popular with small organisations that may not need a server.

When NAS is damaged or corrupted, it will need reconfiguring before it can be used. This usually involves formatting the disks. Not an option if there’s no backup of the data. Before looking at any data recovery options, follow these steps:

If the power LED indicator is blinking:

Check the motherboard by powering off, removing all drives and powering on. If it’s still blinking or not responding, it may be a motherboard fault. If you hear a bleep and the power LED is static then the motherboard is healthy.

Check the health of your drives by powering of the NAS and removing all the drives. Install a spare drive in ‘DRIVE 1’ and power back on. Install DSM on the spare drive to test if you can access it. Note that the version must by the same as the original drives. Power off, install the original drives, ensuring you leave the spare in ‘DRIVE 1’. Do the following:

DSM 7.0 and above:
Go to Storage Manager > Overview or Storage. Click Online Assemble link and assemble your storage pool/volume and recover your data.

DSM 6.2 and below:
Go to Storage Manager to check if your volume is available, then File Station to check if you can access your files.

Lastly, go to Storage Manager > Overview and click on the link to repair the partition. Run a S.M.A.R.T. test on the drives to check their status.