How to recover data from Instek NR5400-2U NAS

Is your network drive gone, and you are wondering what to do? Has a RAID system crashed, and your files are no longer accessible? Does your device display an error while booting? Have you accidentally rebuilt your RAID system? Are several hard disks out of order?

How to recover data from NAS Instek NR5400-2U

Instek NR5400-2U NAS Data Recovery in 2024

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to rebuild your RAID and recover data from NR5400-2U.

How to recover data from NAS Instek NR5400-2U

Recover data from damaged RAID arrays inaccessible from a computer.

Why can’t ordinary software tools restore files from RAID?

Conventional hard disks keep user’s data by writing it to their surface in a consecutive way, and this is how an entire file is stored on a single hard disk. However, when data is written to a RAID system, a file is divided into several parts. Then these parts are written consecutively to all hard disks within such array. The size of such parts may range from 2 KB to 2 MB, so each file is stored on several hard disks at the same time.

Such approach helps to speed up read and write operations, and it is evident that saving two parts of a file having the size of 1 GB to two hard disks simultaneously is much faster than saving the same 1 GB of data to one hard disk. However, this peculiarity makes file recovery more complicated.

Various RAID levels store information in different ways. Additionally, manufacturers like Instek also introduce some modifications to this process, and that is why data can be written to hard disk in a wide variety of ways.

Are there any known limitations or performance bottlenecks that can increase data loss risks for NAS Instek NR5400-2U devices?

There are several potential limitations and performance bottlenecks that can increase data loss risks for NAS Instek NR5400-2U devices. These include:

  1. Insufficient redundancy: The NR5400-2U may have limited redundancy options, such as a single power supply or a single network interface. If any of these components fail, it can lead to data loss.
  2. Limited scalability: The NR5400-2U may have a limited number of drive bays or a maximum storage capacity. If you exceed these limits, you may not be able to expand your storage or protect against data loss adequately.
  3. Network bandwidth limitations: The device's network interface may have a limited bandwidth, which can lead to performance bottlenecks and potential data loss if multiple users or applications try to access or transfer data simultaneously.
  4. Inadequate backup and recovery options: The NR5400-2U may have limited backup and recovery features, such as limited support for RAID configurations or lack of support for offsite backups. This can increase the risk of data loss if a drive fails or if there is a catastrophic event at the location of the device.
  5. Lack of data protection features: The device may not have advanced data protection features like snapshotting, deduplication, or encryption, which can increase the risk of data loss due to accidental deletion, data corruption, or unauthorized access.
  6. Limited hardware lifespan: The NR5400-2U may have a limited hardware lifespan, and as it ages, the risk of hardware failure and subsequent data loss increases.

It is essential to consider these limitations and performance bottlenecks when using the NAS Instek NR5400-2U devices to ensure appropriate data protection measures are in place.

How to take hard disks out of the NAS and connect them to a PC?

Although NAS NR5400-2U can be accessed over the network, you still need to take the hard disks out of the storage device and connect them to a Windows computer. Only in this case will the software be able to scan them properly. Here is what you should do:

  1. Turn off the storage and disconnect it from the power supply.

    WARNING! Before you start taking hard disks out of your NAS device, read the manual carefully. Incorrect actions may damage your network-attached storage and/or the hard disks within the RAID system.

  2. Take the hard disks out of the NAS one by one, carefully removing them from their slots. Remember that the disks are extremely vulnerable: hitting or dropping them may result in serious physical damage.

  3. Make sure to mark each hard disk in accordance with how they were installed inside the NAS.

  4. Remove the hard disks and connect them to the computer. In this video, we have explored what ports are used to connect hard disks, and what to do if there are not enough ports or connectors.

    Go to view
    How to Order Remote Data Recovery

    How to Order Remote Data Recovery

Restoring data with Hetman RAID Recovery

Hetman Raid Recovery

This program recovers data from damaged RAID arrays and is fully compatible with Instek NR5400-2U. The hard disks that make up the RAID contain technical information about the algorithm used to save files. When launched, Hetman RAID Recovery reads this information and puts the damaged array together. Then you can open the disk and save your files. Also, you can recover the files accidentally deleted from the network drive.

Go to view
How to recover data from a Instek

How to recover data from a Instek

NR5400-2U has 8 HDD slots, and it supports the following array types:

  • RAID 0;
  • RAID 1;
  • RAID 5;
  • RAID 6;
  • RAID 50;
  • RAID 60;
  • JBOD;

NAS supports:

  • exFAT, VFAT, FAT 12 / 16 / 32;
  • NTFS / ReFS;
  • APFS / HFS+;
  • Ext2 / 3 / 4 / ReiserFS / XFS / UFS / ZFS / Btrfs;
  • VMFS / HikvisionFS;

Safe recovery from disk images

This utility lets you save an entire copy of the disk to file and then work with this image instead of the actual disk. Such feature helps to protect data on the disk from:

  • Overwriting during the recovery process;
  • Loss resulting from bad sectors;
  • User mistakes.

To create an image, do the following:

  1. Make sure that you have enough free space to save the image. The image file size usually equals the disk size.

  2. Select the disk in the main window, and choose from the menu ToolsSave Disk. You can select multiple disks to be saved.

  3. When the image creation wizard starts, you can choose to save the entire disk or select only a part of it. Specify the parameters and click Next.

    Hetman Raid Recovery: Image Creation Wizard
  4. At this stage, you need to choose a directory where to save the image. Choose any disk connected to this PC, or save the image by FTP.

    Hetman Raid Recovery: hoose any disk connected to this PC, or save the image by FTP

Where are user’s files stored?

The Instek NR5400-2U network-attached storage keeps OS Linux operating system files on a separate RAID 1 (mirrored) array. Usually, all NAS systems create several volumes on every hard disk, and the first of them takes up to 2 Gb of space. This is where operating system files are stored. Other volumes are united into a RAID array where user’s data is written.

Comparison of software for RAID recovery

Product Operating system License type RAID controller support Supported file systems Virtual RAID controller support Data recovery from damaged RAID File preview
Hetman RAID Recovery Windows Paid Yes, over 100 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ Yes Yes Yes
DiskInternals RAID Recovery Windows Paid Yes, over 100 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ No Yes Yes
R-Studio Windows, Mac, Linux Paid Yes, over 200 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ Yes Yes Yes
UFS Explorer RAID Recovery Windows, Mac, Linux Paid Yes, over 1,000 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ Yes Yes Yes
EaseUS Data Recovery Windows Paid Yes, over 20 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ No Yes Yes
ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery Windows Free Yes, over 100 controllers FAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, HFS+ Yes Yes Yes


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (5)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 9.08.2022 12:31 #
    If you want to ask a question about data recovery, from NAS NR5400-2U, feel free to leave a comment!
  • Orville Hewlett
    Orville Hewlett 9.09.2023 00:50 #
    Can data recovery from a NAS Instek NR5400-2U device be performed if there are issues with the storage controller?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 9.09.2023 01:00 #

      Yes, data recovery from a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device like the Instek NR5400-2U can be performed even if there are issues with the storage controller. However, the process might be more complex and require professional assistance.

      In case of a storage controller failure, the data recovery process typically involves bypassing or repairing the faulty controller to access the data directly from the hard drives. This can be done by connecting the drives to a compatible controller or using specialized data recovery tools and techniques.

      It is important to note that data recovery from a NAS device with controller issues should be attempted by experienced professionals or data recovery specialists. They have the necessary expertise and tools to handle such situations and maximize the chances of successful data retrieval.

  • Osric Melbourne
    Osric Melbourne 9.09.2023 00:53 #
    How to rebuild RAID on NAS Instek NR5400-2U?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 9.09.2023 01:00 #

      To rebuild RAID on the Instek NR5400-2U NAS, follow these steps:

      1. Log in to the NAS web interface using the admin credentials.
      2. Once logged in, go to the "Storage" tab or section.
      3. Click on the "RAID Management" or "Volume Management" option.
      4. Locate the RAID volume that needs to be rebuilt and check its status. It should be marked as "Degraded" or "Failed."
      5. Select the degraded RAID volume and click on the "Rebuild" or "Repair" option.
      6. Follow the prompts or instructions provided by the NAS interface to start the rebuild process.
      7. The NAS will begin rebuilding the RAID volume by synchronizing data from the remaining drives. This process may take some time, depending on the size of the RAID volume and the amount of data to be rebuilt.
      8. Monitor the progress of the rebuild process through the NAS web interface. Some NAS devices may provide a progress bar or percentage indicator.
      9. Once the rebuild process is complete, the RAID volume should be marked as "Healthy" or "Normal" again.
      10. Verify the status of the RAID volume and ensure that all data is accessible. If any issues persist, consult the NAS documentation or contact Instek support for further assistance.
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • How does RAID technology enhance the performance and reliability of the Instek NR5400-2U NAS device?

    RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology enhances the performance and reliability of the Instek NR5400-2U NAS device in several ways:

    1. Data Redundancy: RAID technology allows for data redundancy by distributing data across multiple hard drives in the NAS device. This redundancy ensures that if one drive fails, the data can still be accessed and recovered from the remaining drives. The NR5400-2U NAS device supports various RAID levels such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10, providing different levels of redundancy and performance.
    2. Improved Performance: By using RAID technology, the NR5400-2U NAS device can improve its performance through techniques like striping and load balancing. Striping distributes data across multiple drives, allowing for faster read and write speeds as data can be accessed from multiple drives simultaneously. Load balancing ensures that data is evenly distributed across drives, preventing any single drive from becoming a performance bottleneck.
    3. Data Integrity: RAID technology also enhances data integrity by using techniques such as parity checking. In RAID levels like RAID 5 and RAID 6, parity information is stored across multiple drives, allowing for the reconstruction of data in case of a drive failure. This ensures that data remains intact and reliable.
    4. Hot-swappable Drives: The NR5400-2U NAS device typically supports hot-swappable drive bays, which means that failed drives can be replaced without shutting down the system. This hot-swapping capability minimizes downtime and improves reliability as the device can continue to operate even during drive replacement.

    Overall, RAID technology enhances the performance and reliability of the Instek NR5400-2U NAS device by providing data redundancy, improved performance, data integrity, and hot-swappable drive support.

  • What specific RAID configurations are supported by the Instek NR5400-2U NAS, and how do they impact data storage and protection?

    The Instek NR5400-2U NAS supports several RAID configurations, including RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks).

    1. RAID 0 (striping): This configuration splits data across multiple drives, improving performance and capacity. However, it offers no data redundancy, so if one drive fails, all data is lost.
    2. RAID 1 (mirroring): In this configuration, data is duplicated on two drives, providing redundancy. If one drive fails, the other still contains a copy of all data. However, it reduces storage capacity by half.
    3. RAID 5 (striping with parity): This configuration distributes data and parity information across multiple drives. It offers both performance improvement and data redundancy. If one drive fails, the system can rebuild the lost data using the parity information.
    4. RAID 6 (striping with double parity): Similar to RAID 5, RAID 6 distributes data and double parity information across drives. It provides better data protection as it can withstand the failure of two drives simultaneously.
    5. RAID 10 (striping and mirroring): This configuration combines the benefits of RAID 0 and RAID 1. It stripes data across mirrored pairs of drives, offering both performance improvement and redundancy. It requires at least four drives and provides better data protection than RAID 5.
    6. JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks): This configuration treats each drive as an individual volume, allowing them to be used independently. It offers no performance improvement or data protection.

    The choice of RAID configuration impacts data storage capacity, performance, and protection. RAID 0 and JBOD provide increased capacity and performance but offer no data redundancy. RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10 provide varying levels of data redundancy, ensuring data protection in the event of drive failure. However, they come at the cost of reduced storage capacity due to mirroring or parity. The specific RAID configuration should be chosen based on the desired balance between storage capacity, performance, and data protection.

  • Can the Instek NR5400-2U NAS be configured with RAID levels other than those typically used, and what are the potential advantages or disadvantages of such configurations?

    The Instek NR5400-2U NAS is a network-attached storage device designed to support various RAID configurations. While it is primarily intended to support the commonly used RAID levels (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10), it may be possible to configure it with other RAID levels depending on the capabilities of the device's firmware.

    Advantages of using non-typical RAID configurations:

    1. Improved performance: Some non-standard RAID configurations may offer better performance characteristics for specific workloads. For example, RAID 0+1 or RAID 10+0 can provide both improved performance and redundancy.
    2. Enhanced data protection: In certain scenarios, non-standard RAID levels might offer better data protection. For instance, RAID 3 or RAID 4 can provide dedicated parity disks, which can prevent data loss in case of drive failures.
    3. Customization: Non-typical RAID configurations allow for more customization options, enabling users to tailor the storage system to their specific requirements.

    Disadvantages of using non-typical RAID configurations:

    1. Limited compatibility: Non-standard RAID configurations may not be universally supported across different hardware and software platforms. This can limit the portability of the data and make it challenging to recover data in case of system failures.
    2. Complexity: Non-typical RAID configurations often involve more complex setups and management. This complexity can increase the risk of configuration errors, leading to potential data loss or reduced system reliability.
    3. Reduced usable capacity: Some non-standard RAID levels may result in reduced usable capacity compared to traditional RAID configurations. This reduction occurs due to the need for additional redundancy or parity information.

    It is important to note that the specific capabilities and limitations of the Instek NR5400-2U NAS should be referred to in the device's documentation or by contacting the manufacturer to determine the supported RAID configurations.

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