How to recover data from ZyXel NAS542 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 ZyXel NAS542

ZyXel NAS542 NAS Data Recovery in 2024

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll show you how to rebuild your RAID and recover data from NAS542.

How to recover data from NAS ZyXel NAS542

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 ZyXel 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 the use of specific file-sharing protocols impact data loss risks on NAS ZyXel NAS542 devices?

The use of specific file-sharing protocols can impact data loss risks on ZyXel NAS542 devices in several ways:

  1. Encryption: Some file-sharing protocols, such as Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or Secure Shell (SSH), provide encryption capabilities. By using these protocols, data transmitted between the NAS device and other devices is encrypted, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and data interception.
  2. Access Control: Different file-sharing protocols have varying levels of access control mechanisms. For example, protocols like FTP (File Transfer Protocol) may have weaker access control, allowing for more potential vulnerabilities and unauthorized access. On the other hand, protocols like SMB (Server Message Block) or NFS (Network File System) offer more robust access control options, enabling administrators to define specific permissions and restrictions for users or groups.
  3. Authentication: File-sharing protocols differ in their authentication mechanisms. Protocols that support strong authentication methods, such as Kerberos or two-factor authentication, enhance the security of data on the NAS device. Weak authentication mechanisms can make it easier for attackers to gain unauthorized access to the device and potentially cause data loss.
  4. Vulnerabilities: Each file-sharing protocol has its own set of vulnerabilities. Some protocols may have a history of security flaws, making them more susceptible to attacks. It is essential to keep the NAS device's firmware and software up to date to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of data loss.
  5. Data Integrity: Certain file-sharing protocols, like BitTorrent or Distributed File System (DFS), have built-in mechanisms to ensure data integrity. These protocols use checksums or hashing algorithms to verify the integrity of files during transfer or storage, reducing the risk of data corruption or loss.

It is crucial to select file-sharing protocols that prioritize security, encryption, access control, and authentication to minimize the risk of data loss on ZyXel NAS542 devices. Regularly updating the NAS device's firmware, using strong passwords, and implementing additional security measures, such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems, can further enhance data protection.

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

Although NAS NAS542 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 ZyXel NAS542. 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 ZyXel

How to recover data from a ZyXel

NAS542 has 4 HDD slots, and it supports the following array types:

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

NAS supports:

  • Ext2;
  • Ext3;
  • Ext4;

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 ZyXel NAS542 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 (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 NAS542, feel free to leave a comment!
  • Tracy Hawthorne
    Tracy Hawthorne 11.09.2023 13:48 #
    Is it possible to recover data from a NAS ZyXel NAS542 device that has been affected by a hardware malfunction or component failure?
    • Hetman Software
      Hetman Software 11.09.2023 14:59 #

      Yes, it is possible to recover data from a ZyXel NAS542 device that has been affected by a hardware malfunction or component failure. However, the success of data recovery depends on the nature and extent of the hardware failure.

      In case of a hardware malfunction, it is recommended to contact a professional data recovery service or a specialized IT technician who has experience with NAS devices. They can assess the situation, diagnose the problem, and attempt to recover the data.

      It is important to note that attempting DIY repairs or data recovery without proper knowledge and expertise may further damage the device and make data recovery more difficult or even impossible.

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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 different file access levels available on the ZyXel NAS542?

    The ZyXel NAS542 offers different file access levels, including:

    1. Public: This access level allows anyone on the network to access and modify the files stored on the NAS.
    2. Private: This access level restricts access to specific users or groups. Only authorized users can access and modify files.
    3. Guest: This access level allows limited access to files for guests or users who do not have a registered account on the NAS.
    4. Admin: This access level grants full administrative privileges to manage and control the NAS, including user accounts, shared folders, and system settings.

    These access levels can be customized and configured according to the specific requirements and security policies of the NAS.

  • How can you configure file access levels on the ZyXel NAS542?

    To configure file access levels on the ZyXel NAS542, you can follow these steps:

    1. Open a web browser on a computer connected to the same network as the NAS542 and enter the IP address of the NAS in the address bar. Press Enter to access the NAS web interface.
    2. Log in to the NAS using your administrator credentials.
    3. Once logged in, navigate to the "Privilege" or "Access Rights" section in the NAS web interface. The exact location may vary depending on the firmware version.
    4. In the Privilege or Access Rights section, you will find options to create and manage user accounts and groups. Click on "Users" or "User Accounts" to create a new user account or modify existing ones.
    5. Create a new user account by clicking on the "Add" or "Create" button. Provide a username, password, and other relevant details for the user.
    6. After creating the user account, you can assign access rights to the user. This can be done by selecting the user from the list and clicking on the "Edit" or "Modify" button.
    7. In the user settings, you will find options to set access permissions for different folders or shares on the NAS. You can specify whether the user has read-only access, read-write access, or no access to specific folders.
    8. Additionally, you can also create user groups to simplify the management of access rights. By assigning users to specific groups, you can apply access permissions to multiple users at once.
    9. Once you have configured the access levels for users and groups, click on "Apply" or "Save" to save the changes.
    10. Test the access levels by logging in to the NAS using the user account you created and accessing the designated folders or shares.

    Note: The exact steps may vary depending on the firmware version of the ZyXel NAS542. It is recommended to refer to the user manual or documentation provided by ZyXel for detailed instructions specific to your device.

  • What are the security implications of different file access levels on the ZyXel NAS542?

    The ZyXel NAS542 offers different file access levels that can have various security implications. Here are some of the key considerations:

    1. Public Access: Enabling public access allows anyone on the network to access the shared files without any authentication. This can be convenient for sharing files, but it also poses a significant security risk as anyone with network access can potentially view or modify the files. It is recommended to use public access sparingly and only for non-sensitive data.
    2. User Access: User access requires authentication, ensuring that only authorized users can access the shared files. Each user is assigned a unique username and password, which helps in maintaining accountability and preventing unauthorized access. It is important to set strong passwords and regularly update them to enhance security.
    3. Group Access: Group access allows users to be organized into groups with specific access permissions. This simplifies file management by granting access to multiple users simultaneously. It is crucial to carefully assign group permissions to ensure that sensitive data is not accessible to unauthorized users.
    4. Administrator Access: Administrator access provides full control over the NAS device, including user management, access control settings, and system configurations. It is essential to protect administrator accounts with strong passwords and limit their usage to trusted individuals. Regularly reviewing and updating administrator accounts helps mitigate the risk of unauthorized access.
    5. Guest Access: Guest access is a limited access level that allows temporary access to shared files without requiring a user account. While this can be convenient for guests or temporary users, it should be used cautiously as it may bypass authentication and potentially expose sensitive data. It is recommended to restrict guest access to read-only permissions and set an expiration date to minimize security risks.
    6. Encryption: The ZyXel NAS542 provides encryption options like SSL/TLS for secure communication and AES 256-bit encryption for data-at-rest. Enabling these encryption features adds an extra layer of security to protect data during transmission and storage.
    7. Network Security: The NAS device should be properly secured within the network by implementing strong network security measures. This includes using firewalls, regularly updating firmware, enabling intrusion detection systems, and restricting access to trusted IP addresses or subnets.

    Overall, selecting appropriate file access levels on the ZyXel NAS542 is crucial for maintaining data security. It is recommended to balance convenience with security by carefully assigning access permissions, using strong authentication mechanisms, and regularly reviewing and updating access controls.

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