D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

USB RAID storage for photographers, music producers, movie collectors
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Fredownsyou
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Joined: 09 Oct 2021, 05:02

D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

Post by Fredownsyou » 09 Oct 2021, 05:30

So I have/had a D5-300 that has been a nightmare. My use case is rather limited as I was using it as an on/off cold storage for data archiving.

Original drive would occasionally chew through a HDD, but suspected the drives were at fault.
Then the D5-300 wrecked 4 drives in the same bay over the course of two weeks so the problem was clearly the device.

Contacted support and got a warranty replacement, but had to shell out $50 in shipping to send back the defective unit.

Good news - Drives no longer get chewed up
Bad news - New unit is also apparently defective

Unfortunately it looks like my D5-300 suffers the 'unexpectedly powers off during use' problem others have reported on the forums. I just didn't notice the issue for a year because of my use case of power on > write to archive > disconnect > power off.

Contacted support and I've been told for $36 sent to their paypal account they'll ship me a new power button without any explanation of why or how this will address the issue of a defective device.

The 5 drives in the array are still healthy and good. I can see them in the Terramaster Raid manager for brief moments while it lives before powering off again.

Any ideas how I can salvage these 5 drives and this Raid so I can connect to it and get my data off? I have no internal space or a spare computer with a raid controller. I do have a 5 external HDD bay (no raid controller), but I would need to get the raid configuration into a software raid controller.

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TMsupport2
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Joined: 05 Dec 2019, 15:33

Re: D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

Post by TMsupport2 » 09 Oct 2021, 14:43

Thank you for contacting TerraMaster. Just checked with the US tech support about your case, your D5-300 was purchased in Dec 2017 and it has passed the 2-year warranty. The automatic power cycling issue indicates your D5-300 should have been hardware failed and this problem should be caused by the power button. The most cost-effective way to resolve this issue is replacing the power button. Please respond to support_us(at)terra-master.com if you'd like to proceed as suggested. If you have any other thoughts, please also communicate with the tech support in the email. For your information, the RAID solutions among different brands or models are different, and the hard drives could not be trans-used.
To contact our team, please email the addresses below, remember to replace (at) with @:
Technical team: support(at)terra-master.com (for technical support only)
Service team: service(at)terra-master.com (for purchasing, return, replacement, RMA service)

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Fredownsyou
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Joined: 09 Oct 2021, 05:02

Re: D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

Post by Fredownsyou » 10 Oct 2021, 03:46

Thank you for responding support team.

The point of this post was to ask for suggestions or ways to reconnect to the RAID on the healthy disks. I currently have an external 5-bay enclosure without a raid controller, so I was looking for suggestions of a process people have had success with or a software raid controller that would be able to identify and connect to the RAID so I can get my data off of it. The most ideal solution is if there was a software version of the Terramaster raid controller I could use to identify the drives as a Terramaster device raid and connect to it via my existing hardware and then use it to pull the data off. Less than ideal would be some other form of software raid controller that could do the same.

Yes, the support team did suggest replacing the power button and, as stated before, asked for $36 in order to be sent the part in question. However, I asked for additional details and have not heard back from them in over a week.

1) WHY is the issue the power button? Its seems like an odd component to cause intermittent shut off of a device in the middle of an active workload and report no error. If this is a hardware defect, its pretty crappy to have spent the $50 for a warranty replacement to get a lemon of a replacement unit.
2) What is the process involved in replacing the power button? By design that component is not modular or hot swappable so I assume it would involve disassembling and replacing that specific part. There do not appear to be any videos or instructions on this process from a quick search so I do not know how complicated this '$36 dollar fix' is to implement. I also do not make it a habit of disassembling and reassembling otherwise functioning enclosures so there is the inherent risk involved in doing so with a component not designed to be replaced by a 'layman'.
3) Is the hardware defect a design flaw, result of specific behavior, or just a faulty component? I've had issues where component replacements string on endlessly where the replaced component is also faulty (see warranty replacement unit in this specific case even!) so without a root cause for why this is an issue or how it will 'fix' the problem you have to understand why I need more details before taking the 'quick fix' that I have to pay for each time.

I already described my workflow and how I can go long periods with cold backups to the external RAID. I do not want another situation where the replacement part does nothing and weeks/months down the line the intermittent problem resurfaces as it was never resolved. Hell, at least with my initial enclosure while it chewed up and destroyed drives in Bay 2, it would still function with the unstable array an do its read/write jobs properly. With the warranty replacement I cannot consistently perform read/write jobs as I do not know when the device will shut off mid process and potentially corrupt the data it was working on. As you stated I am already outside the warranty period so any additional faults from either the replacement component or potential damage suffered during disassembly/reassembly would be my responsibility so I'd rather go for a fix than a patch of the problem.

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TMroy
Customer Service
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Joined: 10 Mar 2020, 14:04

Re: D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

Post by TMroy » 10 Oct 2021, 11:56

Here is more information for your reference:
1. D5-300 is a hardware raid configuration, the raid manager app is used to control the raid controller, so I do not think you can just install a third-party software raid and just get your raid back to works on another device.
2. The tech team confirmed there is a hardware failure on the power button module, one component on the module failed. but you have to replace the whole module.
3. As your device is out of warranty now but drives are good, you have two options to make your data back. A: buy another same model; B: buy a power button module and replace the defective one by yourself. if you confirm you like B option, as soon as you order a new module, we will send you an instruction how to replace the module.

As your case is very clear, and the tech team is talking to you by email, I do not think you need to repeat it here. please just follow the guide from our tech team to fix your issue.
To contact our team, please send email to following addresses, remember to replace (at) with @:
Technical team: support(at)terra-master.com (for technical support only)
Service team: service(at)terra-master.com (for purchasing, return, replacement, RMA service)

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Fredownsyou
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Joined: 09 Oct 2021, 05:02

Re: D5-300 - Recover data off the disks

Post by Fredownsyou » 22 Nov 2021, 09:12

Figured I'm post a final update to cap off the conclusion to what happend.
I paid the $36 for the replacement part and it was shipped to me successfully.

The part itself includes the power LED board with a connected cable that has been secured with glue. This cable is supposed to feed and plug into the IO board.

The part did not include instructions, but support was able to write some and send them to me in a few days with some pictures.

Disassembly of the case was not difficult once you disconnect the fans that holds everything together after the screws are removed. The complications came with the actual replacement.

So the unit has the IO board connected to the LED display board via a cable and that cable snakes between some supports so clearance is rather limited to access the part and connectors. The obvious disconnection point is between the IO board and the raid controller board as it simply slots into place. The cable connecting the IO board to the LED board is NOT intended for replacement as the cable is secured with a thick layer of glue on the connectors.

Since the part had the cable secured to it already the process was:
1) Remove the glue from the new part by applying ethyl alcohol and wiping clean repeatedly to allow the alcohol to dissolve the glue in stages.
2) Remove the glue from the old part by applying ethyl alcohol and wiping clean repeatedly to allow the alcohol to dissolve the glue in stages.
3) Remove the cable secured to the new part.
4) Remove the cable secured to the old part.
5) Remove the old part and replace with the new part
6) Reconnect cabled removed from old part to the new part
7) Secure cable to new part (optional) and reassemble

Complications - There is a LOT of glue. They REALLY do not want people to disconnect the LED board from the IO board. So multiple applications of alcohol is required to slowly eat away at the glue. In my case some of the glue would not dissolve with ethyl alcohol regardless how many times or how long it was applied. This meant either ripping it out (with bad leverage due to how the part is situated in the unit) or attempting to cut the connector free. This would also complicate reconnecting the boards because you'd have residue in the new part and residue on the old connector making the connection difficult.

After trying multiple times I asked if I could get an IO board so I can swap out the IO/LED assembly entirely as that appears to be how they are functionally divided. This was rejected since apparently the IO port is where the majority of the device cost is and it was suggested I just buy a replacement unit.

So I did. The replacement unit arrived and I was able to migrate my drives and access my data without issue. I left the drive running idle afterwards to make sure there was no issues and after a week of being left idle the new unit started to shut off/on unexpectedly.

Packed it up and returned it because I'm not dealing with two defective units.

TL'DR - The LED board is NOT user friendly for replacement and I would strongly suggest against this solution unless you are an expect in assembly and have experience disconnecting parts that have been secured together to prevent disconnection and doing so safely and cleanly. I bought a replacement unit and it exhibited similar failure behavior after a week of use so I was either REALLY unlucky to get two back to back or the problem commonly pops up after a long period of use.

It is entirely possible the unit I was trying to 'fix' was an internally refurbished unit as it was a warranty replacement that was just shipped to me 'defective'. That would explain the difficulty removing the glue so it is possible that an untouched unit may not have these problems. Still not something I'd wager on as I'm out $36.

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