How to recover data from Synology DiskStation DS1520+ 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 Synology DiskStation DS1520+

Synology DiskStation DS1520+ NAS Data Recovery in 2024

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to rebuild your RAID and recover data from DiskStation DS1520+.

How to recover data from NAS Synology DiskStation DS1520+

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

Can the use of specific backup and recovery strategies help reduce potential data loss risks on NAS Synology DiskStation DS1520+ devices?

Yes, the use of specific backup and recovery strategies can help reduce potential data loss risks on NAS Synology DiskStation DS1520+ devices. Here are a few strategies that can be implemented:

  1. Regular backups: Implement a regular backup schedule to ensure that important data is backed up frequently. This can be done using built-in backup features of the Synology DiskStation, such as Snapshot Replication, Hyper Backup, or Time Machine.
  2. Offsite backups: Store backups in an offsite location to protect against physical damage or theft of the NAS device. This can be achieved by utilizing cloud backup services, remote replication to another Synology NAS, or by manually transferring backups to an external storage device kept offsite.
  3. RAID configuration: Configure the Synology DiskStation with a suitable RAID level to provide data redundancy. This will help protect against data loss in case of a hard drive failure. Common RAID configurations include RAID 1, RAID 5, or RAID 6.
  4. Multiple disk redundancy: The DS1520+ supports the use of an expansion unit, allowing for additional hard drives to be added. By utilizing multiple disk redundancy, such as RAID 6, data can be protected even if two drives fail simultaneously.
  5. Regular firmware updates: Keep the DiskStation's firmware up to date to ensure it has the latest security patches and bug fixes. This helps to minimize the risk of vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.
  6. Disaster recovery plan: Develop a disaster recovery plan that outlines the steps to be taken in case of data loss or system failure. This plan should include details on how to restore data from backups, rebuild RAID arrays, and recover the system to a functional state.

By implementing these backup and recovery strategies, the risk of data loss on NAS Synology DiskStation DS1520+ devices can be significantly reduced.

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

Although NAS DiskStation DS1520+ 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 Synology DiskStation DS1520+. 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 Synology

How to recover data from a Synology

DiskStation DS1520+ has 5 HDD slots, and it supports the following array types:

  • Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR);
  • RAID 6;
  • RAID 5;
  • RAID 10;
  • RAID 1;
  • RAID 0;
  • Basic;
  • JBOD;

NAS supports:

  • Btrfs;
  • EXT4;
  • EXT3 (External Disk Only);
  • FAT32 (External Disk Only);
  • exFAT (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 Synology DiskStation DS1520+ network-attached storage keeps DSM (DiskStation Manager) 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 (1)

  • 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 DiskStation DS1520+, feel free to leave a comment!
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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 benefits of using the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ for data backup on a NAS?

    The Synology DiskStation DS1520+ offers several key features and benefits for data backup on a NAS:

    1. High storage capacity: The DS1520+ comes with five drive bays, allowing for flexible storage options and up to 80TB of raw capacity. This enables users to store large amounts of data and backup multiple devices.
    2. Data protection and redundancy: The DS1520+ supports various RAID configurations, including RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10, which offer data protection and redundancy. In case of a drive failure, the NAS can automatically rebuild the data from the remaining drives, ensuring data integrity and minimizing downtime.
    3. Backup applications: Synology provides a range of backup applications, such as Synology Drive, Hyper Backup, and Active Backup Suite, which offer different backup methods and functionalities. These applications allow users to easily back up their data from various sources, including PCs, servers, virtual machines, and cloud services.
    4. Snapshot technology: The DS1520+ supports Synology's snapshot technology, which creates point-in-time copies of data. Snapshots can be taken regularly to provide an additional layer of protection against accidental deletion, ransomware attacks, or data corruption. If data is compromised, users can easily restore files or even entire volumes from a previous snapshot.
    5. Remote access and collaboration: The DS1520+ offers remote access capabilities, allowing users to access their data and backup files from anywhere using mobile apps or web browsers. It also supports collaboration features, such as file sharing, version control, and permission management, making it suitable for teams or businesses that require seamless data access and collaboration.
    6. Scalability and expandability: The DS1520+ is designed to be scalable, allowing users to expand their storage capacity as their data needs grow. It supports additional drive bays through expansion units, enabling users to increase their storage capacity without needing to purchase a new NAS.
    7. Energy-efficient and eco-friendly: The DS1520+ is built with energy-efficient components and features, such as scheduled power on/off, hibernation mode, and Wake-on-LAN, which help reduce power consumption and lower operational costs. It is also designed to be eco-friendly, with RoHS compliance and recyclable packaging materials.

    Overall, the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ provides a reliable and feature-rich solution for data backup on a NAS, offering high storage capacity, data protection, backup applications, snapshot technology, remote access, scalability, and energy efficiency.

  • How does the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ ensure data integrity and reliability during the backup process?

    The Synology DiskStation DS1520+ ensures data integrity and reliability during the backup process through various mechanisms:

    1. RAID Protection: The DS1520+ supports various RAID configurations, including RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10. These RAID levels provide redundancy by distributing data across multiple drives, allowing for data recovery in case of drive failures.
    2. Btrfs File System: The DS1520+ utilizes the Btrfs (B-tree file system) to ensure data integrity. Btrfs includes data checksums that are stored with each file, allowing the system to detect and correct data corruption issues automatically.
    3. Snapshot Replication: The DS1520+ supports snapshot replication, which creates point-in-time copies of data. These snapshots can be used to restore files or folders to a previous state in case of accidental deletion or data corruption.
    4. Data Scrubbing: The DS1520+ performs regular data scrubbing, which checks the integrity of data stored on the drives. It identifies and repairs any inconsistencies or errors found during the process, ensuring the reliability of the stored data.
    5. SMART Monitoring: The DS1520+ supports SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) monitoring, which continuously monitors the health of the hard drives. It detects potential issues, such as bad sectors or imminent drive failures, and notifies the user to take appropriate action.
    6. Network Redundancy: The DS1520+ supports link aggregation and failover, allowing for network redundancy. By combining multiple network interfaces or having backup interfaces, the system ensures data transfer reliability and availability even in the event of network failures.
    7. High Availability: The DS1520+ can be configured in a high availability (HA) cluster, where two DiskStations work in tandem. In case of a hardware failure on one unit, the other unit takes over seamlessly, ensuring uninterrupted access to data and backup services.

    These features collectively ensure data integrity and reliability during the backup process, minimizing the risk of data loss and providing a robust backup solution.

  • Can the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ be easily integrated with existing backup software and systems for seamless data backup and recovery operations?

    Yes, the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ can be easily integrated with existing backup software and systems for seamless data backup and recovery operations. The DiskStation supports a wide range of backup protocols and applications, including Synology's own backup solutions like Hyper Backup and Active Backup for Business. It also supports popular third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image, Veeam Backup & Replication, and more. This allows you to integrate the DiskStation into your existing backup infrastructure and manage your backups centrally, ensuring efficient and reliable data backup and recovery operations.

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