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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:20 pm 
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I started my TSP today, and it reported a Raid error.

Drive 2 showed in the LCD display as 0% where the other 3 drives showed 25% as normal. The web interface recommended rebuilding the drive, but I didnt do it because i dont want to lose the data.

Thinking it might be a firmware fault I got the latest buffalo firmware, attached directly via ethernet, and began an update.

The firmware update kept resulting in "Terastation not responding. Do you want to retry?" or something to that effect. After several retries, I had to unplug the TSP.

now I get "checking DRAM" followed by "Error E04. Can't load Kernal"

I am getting reallt Pissed off with this Terastation. I bought it to safeguard my family photos, videos, etc, and have info on there that is not backed up elsewhere. How can I get this info back?

Is there a way to flash these devices after this fault?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:43 am 
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Once you get a fault reported on the RAID array you should have fixed this first before attempting the firmware update. If you had the drive formatted as RAID-5 then as long as only one drive is reporting a problem you can rebuild the drive without losing your data. A firmware update is virtually guaranteed to fail if you have already got disk problems being reported by the TSP.

Back to how to recover from the current position as to how to try and recover without losing data.

The first thing you will have to do is to get your data off safely. The only way that I know of to do this is to remove the drives from the TeraStation and attach them to another system running Linux (a PC running Windows will not do as it does not understand the Linux RAID filing system).

My suspicion is that you will now have to send the TSP back to Buffalo to get around the problem you currently have - it should still be under warranty.

If you want to try and recover yourself then I would suggest you proceed along the following lines:
- remove all partitions from the existing drive (while it is attached to the Linux system) so that the TSP will try and rebuild them from scratch.
- Put the drives back into the TSP and see if it will now boot (even if it is only into EM mode).
- If it will not you can try reflashing again to see if it recovers. Note that if the reflash succeeds the TSP will need to be rebooted to pick up the default partitions and format them. You may now need to reflash again to get the system partition loaded with system software.
- If all the above worked then rebuild the RAID array (about a 5 hour job if I remember correctly).

Just as an aside, if you have bothered to invest in a TSP, it is probably worth getting a cheap UPS to protect it against spikes on the mains that might take out multiple drives in one go. It also means that the TSP closes down tidily on a power failure avoiding a 5 hour delay on restart to check the RAID if it powered off unexpectedly.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:51 am 
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Unfortunatly I dont have access to another Linux system, let alone one that supports Raid 5.

Would it work if I can convince Buffalo to ship me a replacement TSP...Obviously I will have to pay for it. I can then swap the drives, recover my data, and send the tsp back for a refund.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:08 am 
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To be honest I do not know. It depends on whether your problem is with the firmware in the flash, or what has been unpacked to the system partition (partition 1) on the disks. If the latter, then you would get the same problem with a new TSP as soon as you put the old drives in.

Another possibility I guess is to attach the drives to a PC, and take an image of the data partition (partition 3 on each disk) using software like Drive Image or Ghost. You could then try and recover either using the methods I mentioned earlier or by getting a replacement from Buffalo. When the replacement arrived you could then connect the drives from the new TSP to a PC, and restore the image of the third partition in each case. the only downside is that if anything goes wrong you may end up with images that you know have your data on them, but that do are not accessible by you!

Conversely if Buffalo provide you a replacement TSP while you still have the old one you could try imaging Partition 1 for each disk on the new system and restoring it to partition 1 on the old disks.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:15 am 
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is the boot-partition (partition one) also stripped over all four hdds?

or is it cloned and can be seperately booted from one?

maybe a image of the first partition of all 4 hdds could help black_knight?

you can use the terastationsection for hosting that if you or someonne else creates that images

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:02 am 
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OK.

What I am thinking about trying is to take a ghost image of my drives. To do this would I attach them each 1 at a time to my PC and create an image file? Ghost should read the discs shouldnt it even though windows can't.

Then I need to try and recover the device. At least if I have a complete image of each drive I "should" be able to restore them.

I have never had so much trouble as I have with this bloody terastation. If I lose my kids photographs I will be livid.

I am waiting to hear back from Buffalo, but I am hoping to get a replacement drive cross shipped. Alternatively I will go and buy another device from a retailer and return it DOA (after restoring my data to it)

I have never been a fan of RAID and now I know why. It may be reliable but when something goes wrong it does it really F___'s up.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:04 pm 
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Is the EPROM removable in these devices?

Would it be possible (if I can convince Buffalo) to get a replacement EPROM module, even if it means de-soldering and re-soldering the chips.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:52 pm 
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The firmware is stored in Flash memory. Access to the flash without being able to boot the device is via JTAG only. I seriously doubt you will convince anybody at Buffalo to send you a replacement flash as I doubt they have any. Have you called Buffalo yet?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:08 pm 
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Thus far, Buffalo's response has been...

"I understand that sending the device in for repair is unacceptable to you, as you have no backup of the data. The warranty for our storage device states: "Good IT practice suggests that you back up your data and store the backed-up data in a secure place. [...] [T]he data on a disk drive may be inaccessible through normal operations. However, the data may be recoverable through
extraordinary means offered through a specialized data recovery service. Buffalo does not perform any data recovery services."

(not very helpful)

I am thinking what if I create a ghost image of each drive in its entirety. I will need to get a 500GB External HDD to do it, which I might get anyway. Using a utility (like this http://www.file-recovery.net/raid.htm) I could create a virtual array from the images. I will need something that supports Raid 5, device images created by Ghost, and the Linux File System.

What file system does Linux use anyway?

If the data on these drives was not so important to me, I would be having a good time playing with this. As it is I am terrified of losing my kids baby photos.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:38 pm 
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The file system is XFS. You might be able to mount copies of the partitions on a separate linux machine (think Knoppix). I would also use a linux appllication under Linux to make those copies of your partitions. You might also be able to extract the firmware from firming.bin and chroot into it and mount the partition copies to get access to your data. Mindbender has done the part with extracting the flash kernel and file system and chrooted into it with a Linkstation system. It should be similar with a Terastation. You might be better off hiring a data recovery service since the data is so important.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:02 pm 
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kuroguy wrote:
You might also be able to extract the firmware from firming.bin and chroot into it and mount the partition copies to get access to your data.


i do not think that this will be of any use. he would only chroot into the ramdisk...and not load the kernel....

is this XFS modified like the ext2/ext3 magic number on the LS-Models?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:31 pm 
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Not sure. How would I tell?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:40 pm 
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i think it would be helpful if we created an article about how recovery of the data of the XFS filesystem/striped hdds are possible.

we should think of taking out the hdds and try to recover the data somehow....at first with access to all 4 hdds....then with a missing hdd (which maybe crashes and is faulty).

i would:

1) take them out of the terastation
2) create images of the hdds that can be mounted somehow so that the striped (and alone unusabe) raw content can be accessed somehow.
3) install them back to the terastation so it can be used for its purpose while trying to recover the data
4) use tools that maybe out there to recover the data.
5) writing down all knowledge in an article

....anyone has time for that?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:01 am 
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mindbender wrote:
i would:

1) take them out of the terastation
2) create images of the hdds that can be mounted somehow so that the striped (and alone unusabe) raw content can be accessed somehow.
3) install them back to the terastation so it can be used for its purpose while trying to recover the data
4) use tools that maybe out there to recover the data.
5) writing down all knowledge in an article

....anyone has time for that?


That is the process I qould expect to follow apart from one thing. I am going to buy a 500GB USB device to recover my data to, since only 25% of my TSP was used anyway. This way I can keep my TSP drives as they where and not over-write the data on the TSP HDD's until I know my images work.

I intend on trying this weekend to...

1. connect each drive one at a time to my PC.
2. Boot to windows and create a ghost image of the data partition.
3. Find some software to create a virtual array from the drive images and extract the data.

I either need Windows based software that can read the XFS data, or if I can somehow use Virtual PC to create a linux environment and get some Linux based software to create the virtual array.

I will post my progress.

One thing is for sure. I am not messing with my TSP until I have the data off those drives. At least I get to buy a new 500GB device out of it all.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:36 pm 
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black_knight wrote:
I either need Windows based software that can read the XFS data, or if I can somehow use Virtual PC to create a linux environment and get some Linux based software to create the virtual array.


knoppix is a live cd. it can be booted directly from cd/dvd.
http://www.knoppix.org/

colinux is a linux enviroment that runs under windows..(in a window)
http://www.colinux.org/

if you are able to connect the sata-hdds to your workstation anyhow and you do not want to install linux to your hdd, then try those two distributions....

i searched a bit for xfs...
creator of XFS: http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/
wikipediapage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XFS

i did not find any windows related tools regarding XFS...it seems XFS cannot be read from windows...i am expecting that you will have to go the linux way (with one of the distributions from above) and try to mount the XFS filesystem. bigger problem should be to get the raid-stuff unstriped. anyone has some advices? i never had to deal with software-raid-systems

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