HP Media Vault recovery

HP Media vault recovery - case study

The HP Media vault stored files on multiple disks. The most notable indicator is that the boot sector of the first disk has the string “Broadcom NAS Version 1.1 MBR Tag” at the start, and there is no partition information in the boot sector. The second sector is used to look for the Reiser FS partitions.

It is fairly common for the controller in the HP Media Vault to fail, but normally the drives are still OK. However, no standard PC will read the drives and so a special tool, such as CnW Recovery is required.

The Media Vault package was designed to be configured in a few different modes, namely single disk, RAID-1 and JBOD. There were originally ideas for RAID-0 and RAID-5, but these were not implemented. Single disk and RAID-1 are in effect the same when it comes to data recovery, and the RAID option is not required. The normal logical format of the disk is ReiserFS. The Broadcom system had the ability to add disks, even when the disks were different physical sizes.

The version we saw recently was two disks, of different sizes, but logically in the NAS it looked like a single disk. It is actually configured as a Job Bunch Of Disks (JBOD). This means there is no redundancy, and the data is stored over the multiple disks, in this case in three areas. Fortunately, the areas of the disk are stored in control sectors, and so it was possible to reconstruct the logical area of the disk.

When the Analyse function is selected in the JBOD configuration, the parameters for the HP vault disk will be read and be displayed on the screen as the JBOD stripe values. The critical values for the stripe information are stored in the second sector of each disk is 8 byte big endian numbers, giving both physical disk offset, and length in sectors for each stripe.

Once a logical disk had been reconstructed using the RAID features of CnW, it was possible to read the data as a standard ReiserFS disk. CnW Recovery will read many deleted, or otherwise lost Reiser FS files. The directory structure will not always be recreated correctly, but file names and sizes etc will be correct.

Thus, with the CnW RAID option, it is possible to recover data from the raw disks, even when the RAID hardware has failed. For further details of CnW RAID option, please contact CnW. In order to evaluate the RAID option as part of the demo, use the registration code ‘RAID’ rather than ‘DEMO’. Download the free demo now and try it.

Not all HP Media Vaults are entire RAID configuration. They can also be partly RAID-1 and partly just partitions. Also, the boot sector may not be valid at all, but just ‘random’ data. The important sector is sector 1 (starting counting at 0) which shows the start location and length of each logical partition. It is then necessary to look at the partition start to determine what the partition actually is.

Some disks are actually totally RAID-1. This means that both disks are mirrored, and so can be recovered using the normal Reiser FS routines. Some HP Media Vault are actually just 2 Reiser drives with a Broadcom headers. CnW Recovery software will handle all variations.

For more details on the disk structure k0lee.com/hpmediavault/diskformat/ and also CnW HP recovery
There has been a very high success rate of recovery for both type of MediaVault disks - see testimonials