How to recover data from QNAP VS-2012 Pro 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 QNAP VS-2012 Pro

QNAP VS-2012 Pro NAS Data Recovery in 2024

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to rebuild your RAID and recover data from VS-2012 Pro.

How to recover data from NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro

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 QNAP also introduce some modifications to this process, and that is why data can be written to hard disk in a wide variety of ways.

How can data redundancy techniques such as mirroring or replication enhance data availability and protect against loss on NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro devices?

Data redundancy techniques such as mirroring or replication can enhance data availability and protect against loss on NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro devices in the following ways:

  1. Mirroring: Mirroring, also known as RAID 1, involves creating an exact duplicate copy of data on multiple drives. In the case of a QNAP VS-2012 Pro, you can configure two drives in a mirrored setup. This ensures that if one drive fails, the other drive still contains a complete copy of all the data. This enhances data availability as the system can continue to function without interruption even if a drive fails.
  2. Replication: Replication involves creating multiple copies of data across different NAS devices or locations. QNAP devices support various replication methods such as RTRR (Real-Time Remote Replication) or Snapshot Replica. By replicating data to another QNAP NAS device, you create an additional copy of the data that can be accessed in case of a failure or disaster. This protects against loss and enhances availability as the replicated data can be quickly accessed and restored.
  3. High Availability (HA) Cluster: QNAP VS-2012 Pro devices also support High Availability clustering. In an HA cluster, two QNAP NAS devices are configured to work together as an active-passive pair. Both devices continuously synchronize data between them, ensuring that if one device fails, the other takes over seamlessly. This provides high availability and protects against data loss by ensuring uninterrupted access to data even in the event of a hardware failure.
  4. Snapshot Technology: QNAP NAS devices also offer snapshot technology, which allows you to take point-in-time copies of data. Snapshots provide an additional layer of protection against accidental deletion, ransomware attacks, or data corruption. If data becomes compromised, you can easily revert to a previous snapshot to restore the data to a known-good state.

By implementing these data redundancy techniques, QNAP VS-2012 Pro devices can significantly enhance data availability, protect against data loss, and ensure business continuity.

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

Although NAS VS-2012 Pro 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 QNAP VS-2012 Pro. 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 QNAP

How to recover data from a QNAP

VS-2012 Pro has 2 HDD slots, and it supports the following array types:

  • RAID 1;

NAS supports:

  • ZFS;
  • EXT4;
  • EXT3;
  • exFAT;
  • FAT32 (External Disk Only);
  • NTFS (External Disk Only);
  • HFS+ (External Disk Read Only);

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 QNAP VS-2012 Pro network-attached storage keeps QTS (QuTS hero) 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 (3)

  • 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 VS-2012 Pro, feel free to leave a comment!
  • Howard Campbell-Bannerman
    Howard Campbell-Bannerman 18.09.2023 18:40 #
    Is it possible to recover data from a NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro device that has been affected by a virus or malware infection?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 18.09.2023 18:59 #

      Yes, it is possible to recover data from a NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro device that has been affected by a virus or malware infection. However, the process may vary depending on the severity of the infection and the extent of the damage caused.

      Here are some steps you can take to recover data from an infected NAS device:

      1. Isolate the infected NAS: Disconnect the device from the network to prevent the virus or malware from spreading further.
      2. Scan the infected NAS: Use an up-to-date antivirus or antimalware software to scan the NAS device and remove any detected threats. Make sure to use a reputable and trusted security software.
      3. Restore from backup: If you have a recent backup of your data, restore it to the NAS device after ensuring that the backup is free from any infections. This will help you recover your data without any loss.
      4. Professional data recovery services: If you don't have a backup or if the backup is also infected, you may need to seek professional data recovery services. These services specialize in recovering data from various storage devices, including NAS devices. They have advanced tools and techniques to recover data even from severely infected or damaged devices. Keep in mind that professional data recovery services can be expensive and there is no guarantee of 100% data recovery.
      5. Prevent future infections: After recovering your data, it is important to strengthen the security of your NAS device to prevent future infections. Update the firmware of the device, install security patches, use strong passwords, and regularly scan for viruses or malware.

      Remember, prevention is always better than cure. It is crucial to regularly update the firmware and security software on your NAS device, and practice safe browsing and file sharing habits to minimize the risk of virus or malware infections.

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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

  • What are the key features and capabilities of the NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro that make it suitable for use in a surveillance system?

    The QNAP VS-2012 Pro is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device designed specifically for use in surveillance systems. It offers several key features and capabilities that make it suitable for this purpose:

    1. High storage capacity: The VS-2012 Pro comes with 12 drive bays, allowing for large-scale storage of surveillance footage. It supports both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch SATA hard drives, giving users flexibility in choosing the storage capacity they require.
    2. RAID support: The NAS supports various RAID configurations, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, and JBOD. This ensures data redundancy and improves system reliability, reducing the risk of data loss.
    3. High-performance hardware: The VS-2012 Pro is equipped with a powerful Intel processor and up to 8GB of RAM, ensuring smooth and efficient operation. It can handle multiple simultaneous video streams and perform real-time video transcoding, allowing for seamless playback and remote access of surveillance footage.
    4. Video management software: QNAP provides a comprehensive video management software called Surveillance Station. It offers features like live view, playback, and event management for IP cameras. The VS-2012 Pro supports up to 64 IP cameras, making it suitable for medium to large-scale surveillance installations.
    5. Centralized storage and backup: The NAS acts as a centralized storage solution for all surveillance footage, eliminating the need for individual storage devices for each camera. It also supports backup to external storage devices, cloud services, or remote servers, ensuring data protection and redundancy.
    6. Scalability and expandability: The VS-2012 Pro supports the expansion of storage capacity by connecting additional QNAP expansion enclosures. This allows for easy scalability as the surveillance system grows over time.
    7. Remote access and mobile app: The NAS provides remote access to surveillance footage through a web browser or mobile app. Users can monitor their surveillance system from anywhere, anytime, using their smartphones or tablets.
    8. Advanced security features: The VS-2012 Pro offers various security features, including IP camera access control, HTTPS encryption, and event notifications. It also supports integration with other security systems, such as access control and alarm systems.

    Overall, the QNAP VS-2012 Pro offers a robust and feature-rich solution for surveillance systems, providing high storage capacity, performance, scalability, and advanced management capabilities.

  • How does the NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro compare to other surveillance system solutions in terms of performance, scalability, and reliability?

    The NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro is a surveillance system solution that offers a range of features and capabilities. Here's how it compares to other solutions in terms of performance, scalability, and reliability:

    1. Performance: The QNAP VS-2012 Pro is equipped with a powerful Intel dual-core processor and 4GB DDR3 memory, allowing it to handle multiple surveillance cameras and process video streams efficiently. It also supports hardware acceleration for video decoding, which helps in achieving smooth playback and recording.
    2. Scalability: The VS-2012 Pro is designed to be scalable, allowing users to expand their surveillance system as needed. It supports up to 12 IP cameras and can be expanded further by connecting additional QNAP expansion units. This flexibility makes it suitable for both small-scale and large-scale surveillance deployments.
    3. Reliability: QNAP is known for producing reliable and durable network-attached storage devices, and the VS-2012 Pro is no exception. It features redundant power supplies to ensure uninterrupted operation, and hot-swappable hard drives allow for easy maintenance and replacement. Additionally, QNAP provides regular firmware updates to address security vulnerabilities and improve system stability.
    4. Software and Features: The VS-2012 Pro comes with QNAP's Surveillance Station software, which offers a comprehensive set of features for managing and monitoring surveillance cameras. It supports various camera brands and models, provides real-time monitoring, motion detection, and event management. Additionally, it offers mobile apps for remote monitoring and supports integration with third-party applications.
    5. Cost-effectiveness: Compared to some other surveillance system solutions, the QNAP VS-2012 Pro offers a good balance between performance and cost. It provides a wide range of features and capabilities at a relatively affordable price point, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious users.

    Overall, the QNAP VS-2012 Pro is a reliable and scalable surveillance system solution that offers good performance and a comprehensive set of features. However, it's always recommended to evaluate your specific requirements and compare it with other available options in the market before making a decision.

  • Can you provide some real-world examples or case studies where the NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro has been successfully deployed in surveillance systems, highlighting its benefits and advantages over other options?

    While I cannot provide specific case studies or examples of the NAS QNAP VS-2012 Pro being deployed in surveillance systems, I can highlight some of its benefits and advantages that are applicable to various surveillance scenarios. These features make it a popular choice among users:

    1. High Storage Capacity: The QNAP VS-2012 Pro offers ample storage capacity, allowing users to store and manage a large amount of surveillance footage. This is particularly useful for systems requiring long-term retention of video data.
    2. Scalability: The NAS is designed to be scalable, allowing users to expand their storage capacity as their surveillance needs grow. This flexibility is crucial for surveillance systems that may need to accommodate additional cameras or increased recording duration.
    3. Centralized Management: The QNAP VS-2012 Pro provides centralized management of surveillance cameras, enabling users to easily configure and monitor multiple cameras from a single interface. This streamlines the management process and enhances efficiency.
    4. Advanced Video Analytics: The NAS supports various video analytics features, such as motion detection, object recognition, and people counting. These advanced analytics capabilities help improve the effectiveness of surveillance systems by providing actionable insights from the video data.
    5. Redundancy and Data Protection: QNAP NAS devices offer RAID configurations and data protection mechanisms to ensure the safety and availability of surveillance footage. This includes features like RAID 1, RAID 5, or RAID 6 for data redundancy, as well as backup options to external devices or cloud storage.
    6. Remote Access and Mobile Apps: QNAP NAS devices come with remote access capabilities, allowing users to monitor their surveillance systems from anywhere using web browsers or mobile apps. This feature is particularly beneficial for users who need to keep an eye on their premises while on the go.

    While specific case studies would provide more concrete examples, these benefits and advantages demonstrate why the QNAP VS-2012 Pro is a reliable choice for surveillance systems. It is worth researching further and exploring user reviews to gather more insights from real-world deployments.

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