so my NAS lost all its shares over night somehow... the data was still there according to the hdd sizes reported back.. i just couldn't access them.
QNAP emailed me a fix that required a factory reset and a few other parts that just seemed scary despite the promise I wouldn't loose data!
Here however is my fix which worked flawlessly you can skip steps 1-6 if you don't have capacity/time
(this part can be skipped)
1, Insert a spare drive large enough to take the capacity of the data that is missing.
2, create a new share on that drive (eg "mybackupshare")
3, Enable SSH and then SSH into the QNAP device
4, cd into share/
5, ls * to locate your old shares (can get the names from this list too) and will locate your new backup "mybackupshare" folder too
6, cp -r MD0_DATA/mylostshares/* HDD_DATA/mybackupshare/
this provides a backup of the data in case the next step goes wrong.
(this will rebuild the shares and retrieve data back into those folders)
7, goto the admin panel and click "restore default network shares"
8, create your old shares using the EXACT same name (as found via step 5 above)
9, all your data/shares should be back.
No need for the factory reset at all!