I have a ReadyNAS NV+ whose better days are behind it. I've replaced the power supply once, replaced a few drives, etc. Recently this unit stopped booting. It powers up and then gives me a blinking blue power light. I've read many forum posts about this light and looked at the reference chart for the LEDs. Originally I believed that the unit was completely dead, without hope. So I called Netgear for some confirmation and to get an idea as to how I can get my data off of the drives. (I have a backup, but it is a few months old. Not too big a deal.)
So I call Netgear expecting the same great service I've gotten from back in the days when it was still Infrant. (Every time I've ever called in the past, I have never had problems getting great support from a very knowledgable person, and at no additional charge.) Unfortunately my experience was much different this time.
The person who takes my call gives his name and ID number (41029 or 11029, maybe) and I explain that I am looking for confirmation of the condition of my drive and some suggestions as to a next step. He doesn't bother to take my name, serial number of my drive or any other details about my or the situation I am dealing with. Rather than try to troubleshoot my problem and confirm what the status is, he just assumes my drive is, in fact, dead.
I ask whether I can plug my drives into a newer ReadyNAS unit and just pick up where I left off. He flat out tells me no. I now understand this to not necessarily be true, as long as I have a unit based on the same architecture. Regardless, he tells me no.
So then I ask if there is any hope for retrieving my data. He then proceeds to tell me that all I have to do is plug the drives into a computer and copy the data off. My ReadyNAS is setup as RAID 5, if I remember correctly.
Now, maybe I'm getting a little rusty, but I told him I didn't think that was right. I've been working with RAID for years, and my understanding is that the data and parity bits are spread across drives such that you need N-1 drives to have a full copy of the data. I try to explain this to the person I was talking to, and he tells me to just plug one drive in after the other and copy the data off. Again, I tell him I think he's wrong. We go back and forth on this issue for a while before I simply thank him and quickly hang up.
So, am I wrong? Is he right? Can I just plug the drives into a computer?
Since that call, I have decided to try new RAM to see if that resolves the problem. At $5 for a replacement chip on Amazon, it is worth a try. But if that fails, I'll need a solution to try to get access to my data. New NV+ units are also available, and I may try that. My only concern is that I don't know what firmware revision I was on prior to the unit dying.