A Buffalo Link Station in Emergency Mode – Help and Advice

“We have all our data stored on a Buffalo LinkStation Duo. We had bought a second one about 18 months ago onto which we were going to install a RAID 1 configuration but before getting round to it we received a message saying

Failure – into Emergency Mode

Tried Firmware update as noted in dialogue box. Resulted in message saying:
“Linkstation has booted in Emergency Mode – Updating may have failed Reboot Linkstation”

I would like to recover our photographs and documents etc from these discs
(Raid 0) and install onto our new Linkstation duo”

So, assuming I understand this right, you have 2 Buffalo LinkStation Duo’s. The first is set up as a RAID 0 and is your original system. The second is your new system that you intend to run as a RAID 1 but before you were able to copy your data across from the old system to the new one, the old system failed and went into Emergency Mode. You then noticed that your old LinkStation reported that your firmware was out of date so you performed a firmware update. Now your old LinkStation boots into Emergency Mode and reports that the firmware update failed. You are also unable to access any of your original data?

Ok, it seems that you have two problems here. The first is the original failure that caused the RAID 0 to enter the Emergency Mode in the first place. The second is a result of the failed attempt to upgrade the firmware. Let’s take the second problem first and look at the firmware issue. Firmware is the computer program that runs your hardware, in this case, it’s the program that actually runs the LinkStation. The firmware is not stored on the LinkStation’s hard drives, instead it’s stored on the Linkstation’s motherboard and is independent of the hard drives. Therefore because it has nothing to do with the hard drives, for the sake of data recovery purposes, we can discount this problem. Yes, the failed firmware update is a problem, but is not related to recovering the data, which is the important factor here.

Now let’s concentrate on the original failure – there’s very little information to go on here. No error codes or similar information that identifies or even gives a clue as to the type of problem your LinkStation has. Therefore, we need to turn our attention to the hard drives. Your LinkStation Duo has two hard drives, and because the system is set up as a RAID 0, each file on the LinkStation is split across both drives. This means that 50% of each file resides on the first drive and the other 50% is on the second drive. Because the data is split in this way it means that a failure on either drive will result in the total loss of your data. Recovering the information from just one drive is not enough – the data from both hard drives needs to be recovered and then the files can be carefully pieced back together again.


Check the status of each hard drive in the LinkStation’s management utility. To do this, go the the Buffalo’s Web Admin Interface and navigate to System > Storage. Both drives should be visible on the menu screen. If none or only one of the drives is visible in this menu it implies that there’s a serious error on one or both drives. Switch your system off and contact us – the faulty hard drive(s) will have to come into the lab for repair and recovery.

However, if both drives are visible on the Web Admin Interface, you can run the Check Disk utility from the same menu. You’ll notice the front of the LinkStation flash whilst this operation is running and it’ll take several minutes to complete. This will check the health of your hard drives. If this test passes the health of both hard drives is fine and it’s most likely that you have some form of logical corruption on your LinkStation: this is problem with the structure of the data, not the hard drives and as far as the seriousness of problems go, this is often minor and your data should be fully recoverable.

If the Check Disk utility does report an error, it will be an error with one or more of the hard drives. Errors like this begin as minor issues but if left untreated, this is a problem that can quickly become worse and will ultimately lead to a loss of data, so it’s best to get the data recovered before the state of the system gets any worse.

See our page on Buffalo NAS recovery here: https://www.dataclinic.co.uk/data-recovery-buffalo-nas-terastation-linkstation/