Using Synology to recover data from another hard drive

So, you have a disk filled with data you need and no external case or something similar (extra slot in your PC, server, …) that can be used to recover this data – if you have a Synology NAS device (with one or more free slots), you can use it to easily accomplish your task. Smile

Note: This may work with any other NAS device, but I’ve tried it only on Synology (the only devices I have access to – if you have some “extra” hardware from another vendor, send it to me and I’ll be happy to try it out on your preferred vendor’s equipment Smile).

I’ve had the Synology DS-411j device (yes, I know… but it’s budget friendly and works just fine, at least) and a Seagate 320 GB SATA drive (NTFS-formatted, holding all the data that needs to be recovered):



Couple of steps that should be done before the “fun part” (a.k.a. “hardware steps”):

  • shut down the NAS device (maybe not necessary, but if your device is located “back there, under all of that useful stuff (actually junk, but…)”, it’s recommended Smile)
  • open the enclosure (there are 4 screws on the back of the device which can, hopefully, be removed just by hand)
  • insert the hard drive you’re recovering from into an empty slot
  • close the enclosure (or leave it open if you’ll be removing the drive just afterwards)
  • start the device


And now the “fun part” (a.k.a. “software steps”):

  • open the device’s administration website by using your favorite web-browser
  • check Storage Manager to see if the newly added drive is visible (as Not Initialized)


  • enable Telnet or SSH (if not already enabled) (under Control Panel Terminal & SNMP)


  • open a Telnet or SSH console session to your NAS device (PuTTY is one of the tools that can help you)


  • enter the following commands into your console window:

And there you go – you can copy or move (i.e. recover) your files to Synology shares (or somewhere else). When you’re finished, you can easily unmount the hard disk drive or even leave it inside (initialize and use it), as you wish.

Thanks for reading!