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How to recover files from FreeNAS Hard Drives?

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

Vinko

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4
Hello everyone, first of all sorry this will be a little long, I’ll try to give as much details as I can.
So I'm a windows guy, but I've been reading and watching videos to get to know FreeNAS for the last two weeks trying to help a friend after his flash drive completely died, it is not recognized in any computer.

Problem is, someone who we can't find now did the installation and configuration of FreeNAS a year ago (September 2013). After reading a lot about FreeNAS I believe it is an excellent option for sharing files, but before doing a whole new setup we want to get the information from the two hard drives working with FreeNAS before, already tried auto import disks and nothing, keep getting errors as "Error getting used space" or "The selected disks were not verified for this import rule".

I did flash drives with different versions of FreeNAS from 8.2 till the last release, some of them don't even detect the disc, after the first week trying, I decided to use some Data Recovery software in Windows (like Eaesus Data Recovery, GetDataBack and a few others) but for some reason everything that is recover with any software is dated, created or modified before FreeNAS was installed, what you think this means?. I tried different file systems, everything, but I can't get any data from after FreeNAS was installed, I tried ejecting the disk from Windows as someone suggested and try FreeNAS again but nothing.

Unfortunately I can’t give any information about how this person did the setup or how the hard drives were installed, only thing I know is they were in NTFS since they were in Windows 7 before with the files my friend wanted to share.

Any suggestion will help, at this moment we will try anything, sorry again for a very long post and thank you very much.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
9,237
Well I'm sorry to tell you but you should have never popped those drives into a Windows machine, you may have done something to the file system to harm it, but I'm not saying things were not bad from the beginning of your plight. There are no recovery tools for ZFS, not really.

The best advice I could give you is to use FreeNAS 9.2.1.3-Release since this should be easily compatible with whatever version you had running before. Boot that up with the hard drives all connected. Next try to AutoImport the pool, assuming you even had a ZFS pool and not UFS. If you have UFS then you will have to try to mount that.

You may also have to accept that the hard drives are corrupt and causing issues.

There are ZFS experts here and I'm sure someone will pop in to give a helping hand. Whatever you do, do not tryt to force mount the drive set with the -R switch unless someone give you that advice. It may work but often it can cause permanent damage and it typically a last effort thing.
 

Vinko

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4
Thank you joeschmuck, well as I said before the only thing I know for sure is that the hard drives were in Windows 7 before this person did the setup for FreeNAS but no idea what options he used when he did the setup. About auto import the pool, I can't even try that since I can't import the hard drives (assuming I have to do that before importing the pool), as you know already my experience with FreeNAS is none, except for my reading about it this last two weeks.
I will try gain with FreeNAS 9.2.1.3-Release, maybe now that I know a little more I can try different a approach. I think you are right also when you said it was a mistake to put the hard drives in a Windows Machine, but I did after a week trying with different versions of FreeNAS, I hope we still have some alternatives to recover those files.
I will try again with your suggestions, and please if you have any other ideas we will be really happy to hear them, thank you very much.
 

cyberjock

Inactive Account
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
19,526
You don't have to import the hard drives. It should be as simple as auto-importing the pool per our manual. Of course, if you didn't use a zpool then that would explain your problems with importing.

If you put all of the disks back in the FreeNAS machine and do a "gpart list" what output do you get?
 

Vinko

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4
Thanks for your answer cyberjock, unfortunately I can't answer your question now, as I said before I'm very new on FreeNAS and I've been using the WebGui only, this Wednesday I'll go to try again with FreeNAS, more reading about using command lines and I'll give it a try, crossing fingers, thank you very much, I'll post the results...
 

Knowltey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2013
Messages
430
Hello everyone, first of all sorry this will be a little long, I’ll try to give as much details as I can.
So I'm a windows guy, but I've been reading and watching videos to get to know FreeNAS for the last two weeks trying to help a friend after his flash drive completely died, it is not recognized in any computer.

Problem is, someone who we can't find now did the installation and configuration of FreeNAS a year ago (September 2013). After reading a lot about FreeNAS I believe it is an excellent option for sharing files, but before doing a whole new setup we want to get the information from the two hard drives working with FreeNAS before, already tried auto import disks and nothing, keep getting errors as "Error getting used space" or "The selected disks were not verified for this import rule".

I did flash drives with different versions of FreeNAS from 8.2 till the last release, some of them don't even detect the disc, after the first week trying, I decided to use some Data Recovery software in Windows (like Eaesus Data Recovery, GetDataBack and a few others) but for some reason everything that is recover with any software is dated, created or modified before FreeNAS was installed, what you think this means?. I tried different file systems, everything, but I can't get any data from after FreeNAS was installed, I tried ejecting the disk from Windows as someone suggested and try FreeNAS again but nothing.

Unfortunately I can’t give any information about how this person did the setup or how the hard drives were installed, only thing I know is they were in NTFS since they were in Windows 7 before with the files my friend wanted to share.

Any suggestion will help, at this moment we will try anything, sorry again for a very long post and thank you very much.
Well first of all, they won't be NTFS if they've been used in a FreeNAS.

It doesn't matter that they were previously used to run Windows 7, when you out them in FreeNAS to make a NAS data disk you completely format the disk and whatever partitions may have been on there that Windows was using and you format the disk using either a ZFS or UFS file system on FreeNAS.

Your best bet is going to be to put FreeNAS onto another USB drive, not touch the data disks until you can do that and boot a computer into FreeNAS with it to pull the data off.

Also none of the data recovery tools that you can get that run in Windows will be of any help to you, Windows simply does not recognize the ZFS or UFS file systems, and that is why you're only seeing data from the old NTFS partition. But you being able to see that data does at least tell us one piece of good news: the disks were more likely than not unencrypted. (Unless the guy that configured your FreeNAS did but just didn't do a safe initialization.) So if the zpool is still there and you didn't already accidentally format it away when you put them in a Windows Mahoney and attempt to do file recovery, you should still be able to get the ZFS volume imported, all other things being okay.
 
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Vinko

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4
Thank you Knowltey, well the last time that I tried something with FreeNAS was days ago, and I can say now that I know a way lot more that I did that day, things that now appears obvious to me "Not to do" at that moment were like "Why not?", so as I said before tomorrow I'm going to my friend's again to give a new try to this and I'm very optimistic, with the help from you guys here, plus a lot of reading and watching videos on internet I believe I will know what I'm doing.
Now as a Windows guy I can assure you everything I did, every tool I used, was only to read those hard drives and I didn't use anything that can overwrite data over.
FreeNAS will be now the tool to do everything, the only thing I did before was try to add those drives to the Storage list, but I got those errors about import rules, and when I successfully add the drives, because I got and error reading something on the drives (can remember exactly what), I didn't try anything else.
Anyways I'll try your suggestions tomorrow and I let you guys know what happen, thanks again to everyone.
 

cyberjock

Inactive Account
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
19,526
Now as a Windows guy I can assure you everything I did, every tool I used, was only to read those hard drives and I didn't use anything that can overwrite data over.

Windows has a habit of doing things behind your back though. So there's still the chance the data is gone now. :eek:
 

diskdiddler

Dedicated Sage
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
2,275
As long as he doesn't click either initialise or format, Windows shouldn't write (to my knowledge) a single byte of data to a drive with a partition system it doesn't recognise.

Initialise and format both have idiot boxes which pop right up prompting you to click, but if you don't click on those, it shouldn't write to the disk.
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
9,237
I agree with Cyberjock, windoze can and has done some odd things in he past so I don't trust it to not do anything at all, but that is true, it shouldn't do anything to a drive format it may not recognize. We also have no idea what third party applications are on that windows machine so it is possible there is one to mount UFS drives, but we won't know that unless the OP knows that. I'm just saying, you never know what can happen when it comes to Windoze. I hope the OP is able to mount the drives but so far I have some doubt that will happen.
 

Devilstompa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
42
I'm having the same problem kinda. I need to pull files off of zfs I imported pool but cant access the files? I dont understand
 

Yorick

Dedicated Sage
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
1,865

Devilstompa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
42
I think my path to the hdds is messed up. I had it under Server then Freenas would that get to the files ?
 

sretalla

Wizened Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
6,302
@Devilstompa After mounting the pool, you should be able to mount the UFS filesystem on it, as per http://blog.hani-ibrahim.de/en/freenas-ufs-datentraeger-mounten.html
You might want to watch out for the details there... that article is from 2009 and hence refers to a version of FreeNAS that still allows the UFS filesystem... although ZFS was also available too at that time.

You might want to try zfsonlinux and testdisk/photorec as a combination to see what can be recovered.
 

Devilstompa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
42
I imported the pool and I see it but when i go to network it says FREENAS and not Server what i named it. Cannot access files yet
 

Devilstompa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
42
What do you do after you import the pool to get network to access the files. Thanks
 

danb35

Wizened Sage
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
12,759

Devilstompa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
42
I'm almost there but when I click on the windows share in network it says homes instead of it saying server what I put it to. On boot up it says to mount the pool manually ? Shouldn't the files be backed up to the other 4tb hdd tho. Instead of import pool could I import disk and see the files maybe ? I accidentally erased the config settings. Could it erase data on discs tho ? Under status is says healthy. It said 2.1 tb left then it said 3.1tb left
 
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