Ex4100 - son ejected two disks HELP!

Hi, I really hope someone can help me.

I have three 4TB disks on a Raid5 in my EX4100 and my son ejected 2 of the three disks.

It would not rebuild the raid, so i rebooted the NAS. It now says everything is healthy.

…BUT the folder structure seems to be damaged, so instead of displaying as folders they are displaying as files and i can no longer access any of my data.

I really hope someone can help me fix this as my business depends on it.



So i spoke with WD Support and they took all of the info and i am waiting for a response.

I took 2 of the drives out of the NAS and put them in a old pc and ran Ease US data recovery tool. This was mainly for my sanity to make sure all of the files were still there (like i thought), which they were. It started finding the files. I decided stop the process as I have thousands of folders with 20-30 files in each. It seemed to be extracting the files, renaming them file1,file2 etc and grouping them by type jpg etc. For me, getting the files back like this would be like trying to assemble the raw ingredients from bread dough.

So from what i can gather, basically the folders(sub folder shares in public) either don’t know they’re folders anymore or don’t point to the correct location on the disks anymore?

Does anyone at all know if there is a way to fix this. I don’t have high hopes for WD support getting back in touch with me based on other peoples experiences.

Yours faithfully.

A desperate man.

So i have tried using Putty to look into the folder structure

Again my folders appear to be in the public folder but for some reason appear green?

Not sure what this tells me to be honest.

So i’ve been investigating with putty a little further and this doesn’t look too good. Would anyone care to enlighten me on what this means? inparticular the failed, failed, failed part…

So after speaking with WD tech support they advised me that the drive in bay 3 was faulty, so i have now replaced this and rebuilt the raid. The issue is still the same though. Still no access to the folders in public.

So after minimal help from WD support and no obvious answer to my problem (although they did inform me that one of my drives was faulty, although this doesn’t explain why the raid would just rebuild correctly) i had to cut my losses and turn to data recovery. I was quote £1000 by 2 companies and £1000 - £2500 by another to recover the 3TB of data.

As i’m not scrooge McDuck i decided to look for a DIY solution. After trying a few different options (trial versions) i settled on Recovery Explorer Professional by Sys Dev Labs. It cost £160 with a discount code and has managed to recover all of my lost data, taking about 3 days of scanning and copying to get it off the drives.

So i’m pretty much back to square one, i now have x4 4TB drives in working order, but i’m not quite sure the best way to configure them? I am begining to dislike raid’s as i now feel if something goes wrong it is extremely difficult to get your data off the discs without specialist software. Maybe just a JBOD would make more sense for my needs.

Although there has been zero help from using this forum i hope this post helps someone in a similar position.

Peace out.

Sorry to see your loss.

From my own history with my EX4100, I suspect you’ve identified your way forwards: just use a JBOD. (And another drive/device, preferably offline, for mission critical backups.)

My EX4100 is happy swapping disks in and out of a JBOD. By shutting down, doing the physical swap, and then following the prompts on the next boot. At least you get mass storage, on a NAS, this way. (Be sure to name your folders differently to avoid any potential for clashes at any stage.)

With a JOD, you’ll just have to manage file backups/redundancy via another drive/device.

From what I can tell, none of the consumer level NAS devices are equipped to handle RAID-tastrophies. But they do tend to work fine while enough disks are healthy enough to support the established RAID function. They won’t necessarily tell you of any impending RAID failure though; they leave your expertise to determine that and if you don’t have it, the expertise, then you’re screwed. They usually give you access to SMART to monitor disk health, and some might even prompt warnings from SMART, but most don’t seem to. So…

They work while they work but you’re sh!t out of luck when they don’t.

I suggest a much higher shelf or a tightly strung pair of boxing gloves for the next setup. :wink:

The last part did make me laugh. Luckily i can still laugh after this :joy:

All sound advice. I’ve set it all back up again using raid 10 now, so essentially a mirrored JBOD and i’m also keeping some additional backups just for piece of mind…and it’s no on a really high shelf (the most important part)

Thanks again.

I’m glad life hasn’t taken a big hit from the drama.

These are no help in this situation but If I leave them here they might help someone who comes looking…

One of the drive bays in a multi-bay My Cloud device displays a Red LED. The Dashboard indicates that the drive has failed.


How to perform a Manual RAID Rebuild on a Western Digital My Cloud Network Attached Storage Device


Well, I have a EX4100 with 4 x 6 Tb drives in a RAID 5 and extremely satisfied.

The situation you described, to pull out 2 of 3 drives in a RAID 5 setup would cause massive problems in ANY RAID system in the world, don’t matter the model. It’s just the way RAID works, the guaranteed loss is ONE drive in this case. More than that and you have a serious problem. I as a computer tech have dealt with similar problems in another brands of NAS, like EMC and Iomega.

I think isn’t fair to blame WD for something your son did. In your case I would recommend a NAS from QNAP. Why? Because they have models with key locks on HDDs, so you can’t remove them without a proper key. Would have avoided you the problem.

If it’s to use in a JBOD setup, then why to spend money on an EX4100? There are much cheaper alternatives. I have an EX4100 just because I need RAID redundancy and FTP access. If one of my HDD fails, I just have to buy another and swap it and my data is safe. But I don’t allow unauthorized physical access to my device by anyone.

But congratulations in being clever about the DIY solution, the software is way cheaper, and now you have the tool to fix future problems or maybe another people’s problems and earn something.

I must ask, with all the terrors of RAID and impossible to recover solutions, why even do it with modern day technology on a small user scale?