Need Help, Disaster Recovery!

Hi everyone, this is my first post on here and I usually don’t like making post for help but this is a pretty serious situation and I don’t know what to do.
So a couple of days ago I backed up my computer to TrueNAS in preparation to wipe my computer, in that backup was my configuration backup for TrueNAS.
I wiped my computer, reinstalled windows and started the process to get all my data back on my computer. I ended up not finishing getting everything back on my computer.
I woke up this morning and the boot drive on my trueNAS took a dump and now I cant access TrueNAS or my computer backup.

Here is what I did wrong

  • I used a 2 USBs as the boot drives, I know its a horrible idea but its just temporary untill I can buy a better solution
  • I know I should have backed it up to google drive or OneDrive, but I did not think of that at the time.

What I need

  • I need to know if there is some sort of way to be able to access the data in my NAS in my server while TrueNAS does not have a working boot drive. Or just any way I can get that configuration backup.
  • Or, I have not written anything to my HDs on my computer, is there some way I can recover the files from that? If I remember properly it was living on a m.2 SSD.
    Really any help is greatly appreciated, and if I am screwed I rather just be told that I lost all my data and start rebuilding everything.

Let’s take this slowly.

You say you have two boot drives, they should be mirrored. If true, continue.
Power on your computer and go into the BIOS, boot screen, and select the other flash drive as the boot drive. Some BIOS’s will present you a boot option right when it powers on, that is fine as well.

Let’s say that does not work because you can’t make the BIOS play nice. So power off, unplug one of the USB devices. Power on, see if you can make it boot up, and yo may need to fiddle with the boot drive in the BIOS again. If that fails, swap out the USB drives and do it again.

The reason I don’t like mirrored boot drives is because there is no automatic failover. However in this case it may save you some grief.

Try these things first.


Also, next time you post asking a question, please include your system details, it may help use provide a better answer. But I hope your USB drive was mirrored. If that fails, you can use a different USB flash drive and install TrueNAS to it, then Import your pool(s). You will need to reconfigure everything but this work most of the time.

Thanks you so much, I tried what you said right away. It looks like while I was writing this post it rebooted and some Dell Bios magic picked up the right drive and hopefully I have enough time to grab my backup.
Yeah I had an issue with the USB failing a while ago so this time I got 2 cheap ones hoping they would failover and last long enough for me to get a proper boot solution.
My data is safe for now haha
Thank you!

I don’t really like to push a project I’ve been working on a lot however the Multi-Report scripts (in my links) does a few things, one is to send you an automated email weekly with the TrueNAS configuration file attached, as well as the Multi-Report config file. It has saved people. It also gives you a lot of drive statistics to help you be smarter and to recognize that a drive may be failing. I will be posting an updated script as soon as I fix one problem, and none of them are easy. Anyway, just wanted you to know.



I will–it’s a very helpful script for many purposes, config backups among the lesser of them. @Can-of-Noodle, strongly recommended.


Email me configuration files, I am sold. I bet this will save me once or twice until I get the proper set up.

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most Raid1 implementations only kick in if a drive is actually dead / not responding / reporting errors, if the installed OS is corrupted, as far as most raid controllers are concerned, the drive is fine and it will keep trying to use it.

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Even without a backup of your configuration, your data is safe and it often requires just a simple zpool import poolname command to access it back… the issue is usually the massive pain in setting up shares and users and all the configuration from ground up.

Have a config backup people, and use @joeschmuck’s or a similar script.

This is true, unless you don’t have a copy of your encryption key if using encrypted datasets.