XFS data recovery

XFS is a Linux file system commonly utilized in pre-assembled NAS devices manufactured by various vendors. Buffalo has selected XFS as the primary file system for its TeraStation NAS devices, and many other NAS vendors such as NetGear, Thecus, LaCie, and others actively incorporate the XFS file system in their devices. In the realm of do-it-yourself (DIY) NAS setups, there is a trend where individuals intending to build a NAS more frequently lean towards either one of the reliable EXT versions or the latest and fashionable ZFS file system.

Since XFS is typically employed in NAS devices operating under the Linux OS, the XFS file system typically functions in conjunction with the md-raid driver. Therefore, if you encounter difficulties accessing data on the XFS volume, you may be dealing with one of the following scenarios:

  • XFS filesystem failure,
  • md-raid driver failure,
  • simultaneous failure of XFS and md-raid.

The first two scenarios can be resolved using ReclaiMe File Recovery software, as this software can read XFS file systems on Windows. The third scenario, as well as severe cases of md-raid failure, necessitate the use of both RAID recovery software to restore RAID configuration and data recovery software to extract the data.

XFS Data Recovery Using ReclaiMe

Before initiating the XFS filesystem data recovery process, it is essential to remove the disks from the device and connect them to a Windows PC. If you are dealing with a Buffalo device, we recommend checking our video on how to extract disks from the Buffalo NAS. Be sure to label the disks for easy restoration of the original configuration if necessary. Additionally, prepare the storage device where you intend to copy the recovered data; this could be external drives, network drives, another NAS, or a different storage solution. To proceed with XFS data recovery, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install ReclaiMe File Recovery.
  2. Launch the tool and choose the volume or disk for recovery. If the disks originated from the NAS device, you will find your XFS volume in the Linux MD RAID volumes section. In case there are multiple volumes, select the largest one.
  3. select XFS volume in ReclaiMe
  4. Wait until the software completes the analysis and check the recovery result using the Preview function. It is not necessary to wait until the end of the scan since ReclaiMe File Recovery prioritizes handling XFS filesystem records first.
  5. Check XFS recovery quality
  6. Check XFS Recovery Quality. If you are satisfied with the XFS folder tree and files you see, purchase the license key and begin copying the recovered data.

When You Need to Recover RAID Configuration

If you do not see the required XFS volume in the list of ReclaiMe File Recovery software, it is likely that a significant md-raid failure has occurred. In such a case, you need to recover the RAID configuration using ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery first and then proceed with XFS data recovery as described above.

XFS Specifics Regarding Data Recovery

During formatting, the XFS filesystem driver divides a disk into groups, similar to what the EXT driver does. Each of these groups contains a superblock describing the general filesystem parameters. Additionally, each group contains various filesystem structures, with the most crucial being the inode table. An inode is a filesystem record describing a specific filesystem object, such as a file or folder.

Each specific group has an inode table containing records that describe objects in that group. The significant difference between XFS and EXT is that the inode tables of XFS have a variable size and location. Therefore, when an XFS volume is formatted, only the minimally needed parts of the tables are overwritten, as opposed to overwriting the entire table, as would happen in the EXT filesystem. This increases the likelihood of successfully recovering XFS data even after the volume has been formatted.

Still have questions?