NAS recovery software comparison

NAS recovery is the process of recovering data from complex NAS devices like NETGEAR ReadyNAS, Buffalo, QNAP, and others. Typically, NASes use Linux operating system which determines the choice of software RAID drivers – md and LVM - , and the choice of filesystems - EXT2/3/4, XFS, and BTRFS.

NAS recovery tools have to be able to recover NAS RAID configuration either by reading metadat from a NAS, or by analysing data on disks, and then recover a filesystem used in a particular NAS device.

Testbed

I used disk image files from real NAS devices – NETGEAR (one disk set with EXT and the other with BTRFS) and Buffalo (with XFS filesystem). NAS metadata on one of the sets was intentionally damaged so that I can understand which tools can recover NAS configuration in those cases where it is impossible to just read NAS metadata.


Parameter Home NAS RecoveryA ReclaiMeB RuntimeC UFS ExplorerD ZARE
User experience and price
Price Free1 or per-disk 199.95 USD 99 USD 199.95 EUR 69.95 USD
Ease of use Easy Easy Average Complex Average
Compatible NAS types
Classic NAS2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
XFS-based3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced RAID4 No Yes Yes Yes No
BTRFS-based5 Yes Yes No No No
Features
Automatic missing disk detection Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Automatic hot spare detection Yes Yes No Yes No
Recover NAS with damaged metadata Yes No Yes No Yes6
A Home NAS Recovery version 1.16, www.nas-recovery.software
B ReclaiMe File Recovery Ultimate build 2715, www.reclaime.com
C Runtime NAS Data Recovery version 2.42, www.runtime.org
D UFS Explorer Professional Recovery version 5.18 (64-bit), www.ufsexplorer.com
E ZAR X build 130, www.z-a-recovery.com

1 Free recovery for most popular NASes, 1-disk and 2-disk configurations.
2 NAS devices from DLink, QNAP, Seagate, Thecus, Western Digital, using MD-RAID technology.
3 Buffalo NASes like Buffalo LinkStation and Buffalo TeraStation, using XFS filesystem.
4 NetGear X-RAID2 and Synology SHR technologies, using a combination of LVM and MD-RAID.
5 Modern NetGear NASes, using a combination of MD-RAID and BTRFS filesystem.
6 Requires RAID Recovery mode to be used first, if metadata is damaged.

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