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Recovering data from dead Lacie EDMini v2 drive

Posted on 2009-07-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07

I have a Lacie EDMini (Ethernet Disk Mini) v2 750GB hard drive that's suddenly gone dead. Data from it cannot be read over the network and it won't even respond to ping anymore. I've tried connecting the drive to the PC using USB but the PC is unable to detect the drive. The lights on the drive do turn on and the network LED also lights up on the switch when the Lacie is plugged into the switch.

I have warranty left for the drive but my data on the drive is more important and I'm willing to tear it apart if that will get me the data back.

I was thinking of opening the case and taking out the actual hard drive which I can then plug into a PC to read data off it. Does anyone know what interface (IDE/SATA...) the Lacie EDMini v2 uses and what file system it uses. My guess is it would be using XFS, can anyone confirm?

Appreciate all ideas and plans for testing this drive and getting data off it. I have limited Linux and more Windows experience so would appreciate a bit of explanation if the solution involves tinkering with Linux.

Question by:netstarukltd
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24864930
You can use something like that VANTEC CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter. If you take the hard drive out of it's enclosure the hard drive with be IDE or SATA...with adapter has both...then you'll connect to USB...or you can take the drive out of the enclosure and put it into your computer as slave...depending your computer is ide or slave.

Here's some software to try...

    1. R-Studio

    2. EASEUS

    3. GetDataBack

    4. DiskInternals
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24864942
netstarukltd - please ignore that software...there mean't for Windows...but of course if you have or find a Windows machine...it could work. I try to find something else for you.

Author Comment

ID: 24865039
Hi Jeremy

There's a good chance the actual disk in the box may be intact and not damaged at all which I don't know yet. In this case, no recovery software should be required. The disk will just need mounting in an OS so data can be copied off.

Any idea what the file system is and if it can be mounted in Windows and if not, easiest way to do this in Linux. I've found this tool that could be relevant.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24865183
<Any idea what the file system is>
Well..if the LACIE drive turned on...in Windows you can just right the drive...select properties...under file system...it would tell you what file system it is.

In your question you say <I've tried connecting the drive to the PC using USB but the PC is unable to detect the drive. The lights on the drive do turn on and the network LED also lights up on the switch when the Lacie is plugged into the switch.> It's possbile that the hard drive is fine...it's just the enclosure that the hard drive is in...that could be faulity.

<There's a good chance the actual disk in the box may be intact and not damaged> that's the enclosure...the box.

The software won't find the hard drive because the enclosure "box" might be faulity. That's why it may be best to take the hard drive out the enclosure "box" and plug it in USB and see if you can access your data...or you can try putting it into another Windows machine PC as slave.

Expert Comment

ID: 24866175
Documentation on the drive states that the drive is pre-formatted in the FAT 32 File system.  The connector is a SATA connector.  If you have a SATA connection available inside your PC you should be able to install it, boot up Windows, and the drive should start to install automatically.

The device does have the functionality for supporting other filesystems such as EXT3, HFS/HFS+, and NTFS.  As I understand it though this would have been done after factory and you most likely would remember reformatting it.

If you have issues installing the device in Windows I'd be happy to provide a way to mount the drive in Linux.

Expert Comment

ID: 24866183
For more information a link to the manual for this product is provided below.


Author Comment

ID: 24866769
Thanks guys

Yes, Jeremy, the plan is to plug the drive into a PC and see if I can read data off that. That's why I wanted to know the file system which I cannot tell until the drive is plugged in.

Aschuete, the documentation is for EDMini; what I have is EDMini v2. Unofficial information on the internet suggests the file system on this is XFS and it boots into linux from the disk itself. I've downloaded an Ubuntu Virtual Machine which I'll try to connect the drive to and move data off to a regular FAT32 or NTFS disk.

What are you suggestions regarding mounting the drive in Linux as it's unlikely it'll work in Windows (unless there's a way to read XFS in Windows).

Thanks again.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 24867348
i would not be surprised you can't read the disk(s)
in some cases, 2 disks are joined with an overlay software, so taking them apart makes them unreadable..
you may be lucky if it's just 1 drive though..
good luck !

btw, if you NEED the data, i suggest these guys (not free)  : http://www.gillware.com/      

Author Comment

ID: 24867538
Thanks nobus.

EDMini's are normally single disk, I think.

I'd like to avoid data recovery companies and do it myself. Ta.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 24868133
post back the results...then we can offer more help

Accepted Solution

aschuete earned 1500 total points
ID: 24869844
My apologies, the manual's front cover says v2.0 underneath the title.

If the drive is XFS windows is not going to be able to mount the drive thus it will be unavailable to the virtual machine that you create.  Your best bet is to download a Ubuntu iso that will be compatible for your machine burn it to disk with a proper iso burner and run the live OS.  You'll then have to mount two hard drives; your hard drive that contains your windows OS or a spare hard drive formatted in FAT 32  (this will be where the data will be moved to), and the drive we are recovering data from.

# Make the directories to mount the hard drives to first the move to dir, second the old data
mkdir /mount/datadrv
mkdir /mount/olddata

# List the available partitions. You should see the something like /sda1, /sda2, /sda#, /sdb1, /sdb2, sdb#, etc.. or /hda1... depending on how the drives are connected to your computer
# This will tell you what type of partitions it is as well.  
sudo fdisk -l

# Mount command for XFS partitioned drive*
sudo mount -r -t xfs /dev/sda# /mount/olddata

## Below are mounts for NTFS and FAT32 depends on the filesystem of the drive you are choosing to use to move the data to*
# Mount a NTFS partition
sudo mount -w -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda# /mount/datadrv -o force
# If it says ntfs-3g does not exist install it with the command below then repeat
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

# Mount a FAT32 partition
sudo mount -w -vfat /dev/sda# /mount/datadrv

* = replace sda# with the appropriate device (sda1, sdb1, hda1, etc..)

# Open a file browser with root permissions so there's no question about permissions
sudo nautilus /mount/olddata
sudo nautilus /mount/datadrv

# If you have any problems with passwords the following command sets passwords for the Ubunutu
# For your account
# For root account
sudo passwd root

If you have any questions or run into trouble just ask.

Author Comment

ID: 24881361
Hi Aschuette

I've had a fair bit of success with my plan but I'll award you 200 points anyway for relentless attempts to help.

The VM idea worked. It was quite simple. I tore apart the Lacie and took out the SATA drive inside it, which I put in a USB caddie and connected to my XP machine where I'm running VMWare Workstation. VMs can connect to USB devices connected to the host so my Ubuntu running in a VM picked up the hard drive. I didn't even bother installing Ubuntu and downloaded a preinstalled VM which saved a lot of time. Then I plugged in another USB drive and made my Ubuntu VM pick it up. Mounting the drives didn't require the use of any commands as Ubuntu picks up USB removable disks automatically and mounts them for you. Then I could easily copy data from the XFS drive to my own FAT32 drive which I can use in Windows.

I've had only one problem with this and if you can explain that and help me fix it, I'll award full points to you. If anyone else can explain this or help, they get partial points too.

The problem is that Ubuntu seems to get *tired* after copying some (fair amount) data. The copy process then just sits there and doesn't move on till you restart the Ubuntu VM. It kept getting from good to bad to worse and eventually my Ubuntu VM wouldn't even start copying or do just a very small amount before getting stuck. I then deleted the VM and started over with a new VM which started copying data again. Now this new VM again is stuck at copying a 4.6GB file and gets stuck everytime at 1.2GB. Okay, I admit I overlooked and was trying to copy 4.6GB onto FAT32 which won't support this big file size but that's irrelevant cause it's getting stuck at 1.2. My VM has 4GB of memory, by the way. Could someone explain this and help fix it?

Also, any ideas why the native "Create Archive" utility in Ubuntu won't let me split this file into smaller size .zip files which I could then join after copying to an NTFS drive? (FAT32 being interim, of course) The split option is grayed out.

Appreciate all help Linux folks.


Expert Comment

ID: 24882206
Do you have a 64Bit version of Windows XP with more than 4GB of RAM?

By default the program that does file compression for zips doesn't support splitting.  If you want a easy way of doing it you can install rar in the ubuntu machine

sudo apt-get installl rar

Then try and archive using rar as the format and split it into volumes.
A program to use on the XP client would be Winrar to undo the operation.

Author Comment

ID: 24890993
Yes, I am running XP pro X64 with 8GB RAM. Why is this required?

I'll run this command you told me on my Ubuntu VM to install rar and let you know what the results are. Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 24894314
I was trying to find reason as to why the vm was freezing on you earlier.  It's not very common place that I run into somebody running XP Pro X64 with more than 4 GB of RAM, so I asked instead of assuming either way.  If somebody had a 32bit OS and tried using 4 GB of RAM dedicated to their vm they would have problems, which isn't the case here.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31604038
Partial solution, as recovery in Ubuntu was tiring and painful, would stop every now and then. No solution found to that.

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