Monthly Archives: March 2013

Recovering Lost Files from Iomega’s Home Media Network Drive

Executive Summary

Iomega Home Media NAS drives may have an XFS file corruption that results in existing files not being listed in a file browser. The xfs_repair command with forced Log Zeroing (-L option)  can fix this.

The Iomega Home Media NAS seemed to have lost my files. I could see the original  folder “shares” in the file browser, but these folders were empty.

This was the second time this breakdown occurred. The first time I didn’t care, as I had backup and I could not easily find a working solution from my web search.  But the second time it happened, I decided to investigate the cause and the fix.

The following is the working sequence I took to correct the problem, which turned out to be file-corruption on the NAS device.

1. Home Media Web UI

  • On the Home Media web UI, went to Home – Disk.
  • I noted that there was a lot of disk space taken, which could only be true if  the files were still there.
  •  I pressed the disk repair button. This did not fix my problem.

2. Web Search for Specific Problem

  • People who actually lost the share folders as well were told to to go to the device’s web graphical user interface and recreate the folder with the same name and the files will reappear. I experimented with deleting a minor folder I had created previously myself,  and  then recreating it.  No good.
  • Note that some providers of file recovery software are the pros of viral marketing con jobs. Doing a web search for  “I lost my hard drive files I’m desperate What do I do?” often brings you to one of pages and pages of authentic-looking  forums. One member-slash-viral-infector writes “I had the same problem and it was fixed by the SuperRecover program at SuperRecover.com.”  A cohort of the infector  says, “Thanks for the advice. It worked! It was well worth the $80 I spent.”  You buy the software and it doesn’t work for you. You’ve been scammed and you are still desperate for a real solution.
  • Concerning non-NAS hard-drives, I have a single word of advice for someone dealing with a hard-drive failure on his or her Windows PC: “Knoppix“. Boot your PC from the Knoppix CD and you have a linux operating system that does an end-run around the Window’s system so that you can retrieve your files and move them somewhere safer.
  • The legitimate Iomega forums always suggest to recreate the folder, and that the files will magically reappear. If the files don’t reappear, the form leaders are strangely mute. That is because the solution requires breaking into and working with the Home Media operating system directly. This likely voids the Iomega warranty. (e.g. http://www.iomegasupportforums.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=58667&highlight=missing).

3. Breaking into the Home Media NAS.

  • This NAS is a computer, running the Linux operating system. Enable telnet and root access on the device. Nas-central.org has the code to do it, specifically at  http://iomega.nas-central.org/wiki/Home_Media_Enable_Telnet_And_Root_Access.
  • I downloaded “enable_telnet.tgz (4).encrypted” from nas-central.org and uploaded the file as-is to the the device through its web UI at System – Sytem Tasks – Firmware Upgrade.
  • I telnet-ed into my Home Media with the nascentral name and password provided in the documentaion. Wow, I was inside my box and in the familiar terrain of Linux.

4. Finding the Problem Source: XFS File Corruption

  • The “share” folders can be found under the “nethdd” folder.  Doing a listing (“ls -las”) of the root directory showed something like

  • xfs.org points the way toward this being a mounting problem.
  • Indeed, on the device, “/var/log/dmesg” shows the fact that there is file corruption, so the mount of nethdd failed:

  • Corruption in this case may be due to the way a 32-bit machine fails to handle a 64 bit long btree pointer in the version of Linux that the Home Media device uses. See: “http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0901.2/01965.html“.
  • Additional look into logs indicated that corruption took place when automatically backing up an ISO image and some other huge single files.
  • I found the mount command parameters in “/etc/nasmon_conf.sh”:

5. Repair

First, unmount nethdd’s device  if, somehow, it is mounted.

(Update: A simple umount may not work, thus not allowing xfs_repair and showing “fatal error – couldn’t initialize XFS library”. In that case, a commenter recommended trying “umount -l /dev/sda2″, whereby xfs_repair should work.)

Second, repair and force Log Zeroing:

Third, reboot to let the normal startup process mount the nethdd filesystem:

 Executive Summary

Iomega Home Media NAS drives may have an XFS file corruption that results in existing files not being listed in a file browser. The xfs_repair command with forced Log Zeroing (-L option)  can fix this.

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