How can I recover data from my DiskStation using a PC?

In the unfortunate event your DiskStation fails, you'll probably want to recover the data stored on its hard drives. Data stored on the DiskStation's hard drives can be easily recovered using an Ubuntu live CD and your computer. Please see the steps below.

  1. Prepare a PC with enough hard drive slots available to install the hard drives from your DiskStation.
  2. Remove the hard drives from your DiskStation and connect them to your computer. For RAID or SHR configurations, you'll have to connect all the hard drives (excluding hard drives used as hot spares) to your computer at the same time.
    Note: Please make sure the file system running on the hard drives of your Synology NAS are EXT4 or Btrfs.
  3. Visit http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop to download the Ubuntu ISO file.
  4. Burn the ISO on a blank DVD and use it to boot your computer.
  5. Install Ubuntu on an empty hard drive or USB stick.
  6. If you're recovering files from a RAID or SHR configuration, please see steps 7 to 11. For recovering files from basic storage types with only one hard drive, please skip to step 12.
  7. Go to Applications and open Terminal.
  8. Install mdadm with the following commands.
    Ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo -i
    root@ubuntu:~$ apt-get install mdadm

  9. Select No configuration and complete the installation.
  10. Install lvm2 with the following commands.
    root@ubuntu:~$ apt-get install lvm2 (otherwise vgchange won't work)
  11. Run the following command to mount all of the hard drives from your DiskStation.
    root@ubuntu:~$ mdadm -Asf && vgchange -ay
  12. Now you'll be able to browse all the shares and files on the hard drives. You may also connect a USB drive to the PC, copy required files to the USB drive, and then transfer the files to other devices.