Question Recover Files From Hard drive From Synology DS110j


Active Member
Hi all.

As per the title I have a Hard drive with some personal data on which was fitted to a DS110j. I have put this in my Computer and the drive does not show in the explorer system but I can see this in windows disc management.

I have googled this and found that I could try loading Ubuntu to a USB stick to try and recover the disc so it can be seen within windows.

Would anyone be able to shine some light on this for me as I seem to be a bit out of my depth if I'm honest?

I will appreciate any input on this.



Well-known Member
Synology uses ext4 file system. There used to be a free ext4 reader for windows.

I found this, 3 Ways to Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows

or google

There is a saying you only lose important data once, for ever after you back up.

(off to bed now)


Distinguished Member
To flesh out the explanation a little - Windows does not have the software to read/write "Linux" type file systems such as the aforementioned ext4. Hence Windows will see the disc, but not recognise what's on it.

So you can either:

A) Boot the computer into a Linux OS, which does understand ext4 and (usually) the file system Windows uses most often which is called NTFS, then copy files from one to the other. Of course, this could be a bit scary if you are not used to using Linux.

B) Load some extra software into Windows that can read/write ext4.

C) Run something that that can reformat the disc from ext4 to NTFS without destroying the data. There used to be a Windows tool called Partition Magic that did this, though IIRC it no longer exists, but there will doubtless be similar tools out there. The key item here is "without destroying the data" - many disc partitioning tools (including the one built in to Windows) will erase the data if you just change the partition format from one thing to another.

The latter is of course risky, so you would really want a backup before you tried it.
Last edited:
I have recently had problems with having to recover files from a corrupted NAS HDD someone here pointed me to this which worked well for documents, pictures and music files but i couldn't recover a whole lot of video files on another disc they this.



Distinguished Member
Things like this are basically "smart" sector editors (we used to write them as a training exercise when I was younger.)

A lot of people know, when you "delete" something from an computer disc, you don't actually erase anything - you just remove the pointers to it. It's kind of like tearing up the index cards in a lending library - you may not be ble to "find" them in the catalogue any more, but the actual books are still there on the shelves until they get "overwritten".

Tools like this are basically examining all the disc blocks and trying to reconstitute the files from any data they find that's still there. It works best for small files that fit into a single block, but gets harder as files are spread across multiple blocks - especially if they are distributed about the disk . Obviously, the bigger the files (such as video) the harder it gets to find all the fragments and stick them back together in the correct order. And the more likely some part of it will have been overwritten.

For anyone paranoid that "deleting your files doesn't actually delete your files" - to really get rid of them you need to use something called a "shreader" (my anti-virus comes bundled with one) that writes "garbage" (or zeros) to actually overwrite the data. Or something like Microsoft's SDELETE which junks or zeros all the free space on a disc.

(Incidentally, "zeroing out" is good for anyone doing virtualisation and wanting to compress disc images and/or store them on a file system, with good sparse file support.)
Last edited:


Distinguished Member

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: LCD TVs for Movies, Laser Projectors, RIP Ennio Morricone, AV & Movie news, B+W Matt Damon
Top Bottom