How to recover data from QNAP VS-2104L 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-2104L

QNAP VS-2104L 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-2104L.

How to recover data from NAS QNAP VS-2104L

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-2104L devices?

Data redundancy techniques such as mirroring or replication can enhance data availability and protect against loss on NAS QNAP VS-2104L devices in the following ways:

  1. Mirroring: Mirroring involves creating an exact copy of the data on one disk to another disk in real-time. In case of a disk failure, the mirrored disk can take over seamlessly, ensuring continuous availability of data. QNAP VS-2104L devices support RAID 1, which is a mirroring technique that provides redundancy by writing data to two disks simultaneously. This protects against data loss if one disk fails.
  2. Replication: Replication involves creating multiple copies of data and distributing them across different devices or locations. QNAP VS-2104L devices support various replication methods, such as remote replication or snapshot replication. Remote replication allows you to replicate data to a remote QNAP NAS, ensuring data availability even if the primary device fails. Snapshot replication creates point-in-time copies of data, allowing you to restore data to a previous state in case of accidental deletion or corruption.
  3. High Availability (HA): QNAP VS-2104L devices also support High Availability, which ensures continuous availability of data by utilizing two NAS devices in an active-passive configuration. In this setup, one NAS serves as the active device, while the other remains in standby. If the active device fails, the standby device takes over seamlessly, minimizing downtime and data loss.
  4. Data Scrubbing: QNAP VS-2104L devices offer data scrubbing functionality, which periodically checks and repairs data integrity issues on the disks. This helps to identify and correct errors before they lead to data loss or corruption.

By implementing these data redundancy techniques, QNAP VS-2104L devices can enhance data availability by providing continuous access to data even in the event of hardware failures or disasters. Additionally, they protect against data loss by creating redundant copies of data and allowing for easy restoration in case of accidental deletion or corruption.

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

Although NAS VS-2104L 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-2104L. 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-2104L 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-2104L 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-2104L, feel free to leave a comment!
  • Waldo Westcott
    Waldo Westcott 18.09.2023 19:50 #
    Are there any specific recovery methods for NAS QNAP VS-2104L devices with striped or mirrored data configurations?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 18.09.2023 19:59 #

      Yes, there are specific recovery methods for NAS QNAP VS-2104L devices with striped (RAID 0) or mirrored (RAID 1) data configurations. Here are the general steps for each configuration:

      Striped (RAID 0) configuration:

      • Remove all hard drives from the NAS.
      • Connect the hard drives to a computer using a SATA to USB adapter or a compatible enclosure.
      • Use data recovery software (such as R-Studio or UFS Explorer) to scan and recover data from each individual hard drive.
      • Save the recovered data to a different storage device.

      Mirrored (RAID 1) configuration:

      • If one of the hard drives fails, replace it with a new one of the same capacity.
      • The RAID array should automatically rebuild itself using the data from the remaining functional drive.
      • If both drives fail, remove them from the NAS and connect them to a computer as mentioned in step 1.
      • Use data recovery software to scan and recover data from each individual hard drive.
      • Save the recovered data to a different storage device.

      It's important to note that data recovery from striped configurations (RAID 0) is generally more complex and less reliable compared to mirrored configurations (RAID 1). It is recommended to consult a professional data recovery service if the data is critical or if you are not confident in performing the recovery process yourself.

Post comment
Leave a reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 functionalities of the web interface in the NAS QNAP VS-2104L?

    The QNAP VS-2104L NAS (Network Attached Storage) device comes with a web interface that provides various features and functionalities. Some of the key ones are:

    1. Dashboard: The web interface offers a dashboard that gives an overview of the NAS system, including system information, storage usage, and network status.
    2. File Management: Users can easily manage files and folders stored on the NAS through the web interface. They can create, delete, copy, move, and rename files and folders.
    3. User and Group Management: The web interface allows administrators to create and manage user accounts and user groups. They can assign permissions and access rights to different users and groups for secure file sharing.
    4. Multimedia Streaming: The NAS supports multimedia streaming, and the web interface provides a media player to stream videos, music, and photos directly from the NAS to connected devices.
    5. Backup and Restore: Users can set up scheduled backups of their data using the web interface. It supports various backup methods such as RTRR (Real-Time Remote Replication), rsync, and cloud backup.
    6. Remote Access: The web interface enables remote access to the NAS from anywhere with an internet connection. Users can access their files, manage settings, and perform tasks remotely.
    7. App Center: QNAP NAS devices have an App Center that allows users to install additional applications and features. The web interface provides access to the App Center, where users can browse and install various apps like surveillance software, media servers, and more.
    8. Security and Encryption: The web interface provides options to configure security settings, including user access controls, IP blocking, and SSL/TLS encryption for secure data transmission.
    9. System Monitoring and Management: The web interface offers system monitoring tools to check resource usage, network traffic, and system logs. It also provides options to manage system settings, network configurations, and firmware updates.
    10. Mobile Apps Integration: QNAP provides mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and the web interface allows users to integrate and manage these mobile apps for enhanced functionality and convenience.

    Overall, the web interface of the QNAP VS-2104L NAS provides a comprehensive set of features and functionalities for efficient file management, data protection, multimedia streaming, and system administration.

  • How user-friendly is the web interface of the NAS QNAP VS-2104L, and what customization options does it offer?

    The web interface of the NAS QNAP VS-2104L is generally considered user-friendly and intuitive. It provides easy access to various features and settings. The interface is designed with a clean and organized layout, making it easier for users to navigate and find what they need.

    As for customization options, the NAS QNAP VS-2104L offers a range of options to tailor the system to individual preferences. Some of the customization options include:

    1. Dashboard customization: Users can customize the dashboard layout by adding or removing widgets, rearranging them, and choosing which information to display.
    2. App Center: The NAS has an App Center that allows users to install additional applications to expand the functionality of the device. This provides customization options to add features and services according to specific needs.
    3. File management: The web interface provides options to customize file management settings, such as file access permissions, sharing options, and file organization.
    4. User management: The NAS allows customization of user accounts and privileges. Administrators can create multiple user accounts with different access levels and permissions.
    5. Network settings: Users can customize network settings, including LAN configuration, DHCP settings, and port forwarding options.
    6. Security settings: The NAS offers various security customization options, such as setting up firewalls, enabling antivirus scans, and configuring network access rules.
    7. Notifications and alerts: Users can customize notification settings to receive alerts for specific events or system conditions, such as storage capacity warnings or system updates.

    Overall, the web interface of the NAS QNAP VS-2104L provides a user-friendly experience and offers a range of customization options to meet the specific needs of users.

Hello! This is AI-based Hetman Software virtual assistant, and it will answer any of your questions right away.
Start Chat