June 17, 2020

The Most Common Causes of Data Loss from NAS Devices

If you’re using NAS to store and share data, possibly you think that your documents are not at the risk of data loss. This is because NAS is known for providing a safe data storage solution. There’s no doubt that modern NAS units provide better data security than other storage media, but it can still break down at both physical and logical levels.

Many businesses use NAS because this device allows users to collaborate and share data. As a data storage server, Network-attached Storage (NAS) is connected to a computer network providing data access to multiple users. This system works best for teams that are remotely located. It is like a private cloud that connects to a home, or business network.

NAS has become popular because of the benefits it offers such as remote data access, additional storage capacity, simple configuration, easy file sharing over a network, and data security. However, even if NAS provides more security than third-party cloud services and other storage media, data loss cannot be completely ruled out. In fact, considering the huge volume of data stored in this device, NAS failure can lead to catastrophic data loss and downtime.

NAS Failure & Data Loss

Even the best NAS devices like Synology, Seagate, Netgear, QNAP, ASUSTOR, Buffalo, and Western Digital are not immune from system failure or data loss. All these devices are prone to common causes of data loss such as logical failures of the operating system, virus infection, and accidental file deletion. In addition to these issues, NAS units could also suffer issues like operator errors during RAID re-configuration, NAS software failures, or faulty updates. Each case of NAS failure and data loss can be different but there are some frequently occurring scenarios. So, let’s take a closer look at possible causes of NAS failure that leads to data loss.

Users’ Mistake

The most common cause of data loss from the NAS system is human error. Like any other storage media, NAS could also suffer data loss due to accidental file deletion, overwriting the drive, inappropriate installation, and re-formatting the device. Sometimes, users also try to change the NAS configurations either to increase storage capacity or to form a redundant RAID configuration.

Whatever reason you may have, make sure your NAS unit allows such configuration. This is because even those units that claim safe NAS modifications (like Drobo) are not 100% safe from failures during configurations. Unless you’re sure, replacing a wrong disk or improper rebuild could lead to NAS data loss.

Power Failure

All devices, including the NAS system, are vulnerable damage due to power failure or voltage fluctuations. Power outages or voltage fluctuations during RAID rebuilding can be fatal for the NAS. The RAID arrays could get damaged due to power surge or power cut that results in the loss or corruption of RAID metadata.

The loss of metadata could lead to volume failure or RAID boot failure. Also, the NAS may switch to the degraded mode or there can be loss of the partition table. In all these situations, it becomes necessary to take the disks out from the NAS box and perform the NAS data recovery procedure to retrieve your data. It is recommended to find an expert for Asustor Data Recovery to replace the drives if they have broken down.

Firmware Upgrades

When users encounter any issue, they seek the assistance of the NAS retailer’s support team. In most cases, the support team advice users to perform firmware upgrades to resolve the problem. This solution may work well for some users but there is also a chance of complete loss of the data stored on the device. This happens because firmware upgrades involve modifications that could be incompatible with old data storing methods.

Mechanical Faults

RAID/NAS system continues to work even if a hard drive has failed. However, continuous use of the NAS system in the degraded state exerts more pressure on the remaining hard disks. This could result in further disk failures and data loss. Also, other issues like system overheating and defective NAS controllers may cause data loss.

Your NAS system is also vulnerable to physical damage like fire or water damage. Whether it’s physical damage or logical error, rebuilding the NAS system require special knowledge and tools that only professional NAS data recovery service providers possess.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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