How to recover data from QNAP VS-5012 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-5012

QNAP VS-5012 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-5012.

How to recover data from NAS QNAP VS-5012

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 frequently should data be backed up to prevent loss on NAS QNAP VS-5012 devices?

To prevent data loss on NAS QNAP VS-5012 devices, it is recommended to back up the data frequently. The frequency of backups depends on various factors such as the amount of data being generated or modified, the importance of the data, and the tolerance for potential data loss.

However, as a general guideline, it is advisable to perform regular backups at least once a day or even multiple times a day if the data is critical and frequently changing. This ensures that in case of any hardware failure, accidental deletion, or data corruption, you have a recent backup to restore from.

Additionally, it is also recommended to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule, which suggests having at least three copies of your data, stored on two different storage media, with one copy stored offsite. This provides an extra layer of protection against potential data loss.

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

Although NAS VS-5012 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-5012. 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-5012 has 5 HDD slots, and it supports the following array types:

  • RAID 6;
  • RAID 5;
  • RAID 10;
  • RAID 0;
  • RAID 1;
  • JBOD;

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-5012 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-5012, feel free to leave a comment!
  • Wilbur Hoole
    Wilbur Hoole 17.09.2023 13:46 #
    Are there any specific hardware requirements for data recovery from a NAS QNAP VS-5012 device?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 17.09.2023 14:59 #

      There are no specific hardware requirements for data recovery from a NAS QNAP VS-5012 device. However, it is recommended to have a computer with sufficient storage space to store the recovered data. Additionally, a stable internet connection may be required if you need to download any recovery software or tools.

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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 specifications of the NAS QNAP VS-5012 that make it suitable for use as a media center?

    The NAS QNAP VS-5012 has several key features and specifications that make it suitable for use as a media center:

    1. High-performance hardware: It is powered by an Intel Xeon D-2123IT quad-core processor and supports up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory. This ensures smooth and efficient media streaming and transcoding.
    2. Multiple storage options: The NAS supports up to 12 hot-swappable 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, providing ample storage capacity for media files. It also has two M.2 NVMe SSD slots for caching to enhance overall system performance.
    3. 10GbE connectivity: The VS-5012 comes with two 10GbE SFP+ ports, allowing for high-speed data transfer and smooth streaming of 4K media files.
    4. HDMI output: It features an HDMI 2.0 output, enabling direct connection to a TV or monitor for media playback without the need for an additional media player.
    5. Virtualization support: With virtualization technologies such as Virtualization Station and Container Station, the NAS can run multiple virtual machines or containers to provide a dedicated media server environment.
    6. QTS operating system: The NAS runs on QTS, QNAP's intuitive and user-friendly operating system. It offers a wide range of multimedia applications, including the QTS media center, Plex Media Server, and more, for easy management and streaming of media files.
    7. Expandability: The VS-5012 supports expansion units, allowing for additional storage capacity when needed. It also has multiple USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for connecting external devices such as USB drives, printers, or input devices.

    Overall, the NAS QNAP VS-5012's powerful hardware, high-speed connectivity, storage options, and multimedia features make it an excellent choice for use as a media center, providing a seamless and enjoyable media streaming experience.

  • Can the NAS QNAP VS-5012 support popular media formats and streaming services, such as 4K video playback and Netflix?

    Yes, the QNAP VS-5012 NAS can support popular media formats and streaming services, including 4K video playback and Netflix. The NAS is equipped with a powerful processor and hardware acceleration capabilities that enable smooth playback of high-resolution videos. It also supports various media formats and codecs, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of media files. Additionally, the QNAP NAS has apps and plugins available, including the Netflix app, which allows you to stream content from Netflix directly on your NAS device.

  • Are there any limitations or considerations to keep in mind when using the NAS QNAP VS-5012 as a media center, such as storage capacity, connectivity options, or software compatibility?

    When using the QNAP VS-5012 as a media center, there are a few limitations and considerations to keep in mind:

    1. Storage Capacity: The QNAP VS-5012 comes with a pre-installed storage capacity, but it can be expanded by adding additional hard drives or connecting external storage devices. However, the maximum storage capacity will depend on the number and size of the hard drives you install.
    2. Connectivity Options: The QNAP VS-5012 offers various connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, and network ports. However, it's important to ensure that the connectivity options meet your requirements. For example, if you plan to connect multiple devices simultaneously, make sure the NAS has enough USB or HDMI ports.
    3. Software Compatibility: The QNAP VS-5012 runs on QNAP's operating system called QTS. While QTS is compatible with various media center applications, it's essential to check the compatibility of specific software or media center applications you intend to use. Ensure that the software you want to install is supported by QTS.
    4. Processing Power: The QNAP VS-5012 comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, which should be sufficient for most media center tasks. However, if you plan to use demanding applications or perform resource-intensive tasks, you may need to consider a NAS with a more powerful processor.
    5. User Interface: The user interface of the QNAP VS-5012 may take some time to get used to, especially if you are not familiar with NAS systems. It's recommended to explore and understand the user interface before setting up the media center to ensure a smooth experience.
    6. Cooling and Noise: The QNAP VS-5012 may generate some heat and noise, especially if it's running resource-intensive tasks. Ensure that you have proper ventilation and consider the noise levels if you plan to place the NAS in a living room or bedroom.

    Overall, the QNAP VS-5012 is a versatile NAS that can function as a media center, but it's important to consider factors such as storage capacity, connectivity options, software compatibility, processing power, user interface, and cooling/noise levels to ensure it meets your specific requirements.

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