Friday, June 21, 2013

Netgear ReadyNAS 104 -RN10400-100AJS - Tips and Tricks

Bought one of these NAS device 2 weeks back with 3 TBx4 Configuration.  Sales person remarked  “Jesus! That’s plenty of storage”. I smiled. Storage can and will never be plentiful.  But that is not the story I’m going to write in here. If you like you can read about my storage woes over the years from here. (Not published yet) 

Device is okay. Not too good. Hardware design has its own problems and the software it runs on (Debian Linux, 7.0 Wheezy) is not the most stable system as I have found out. But I still love it and 2 days back went and bought another one with 2TB x 4 configurations. Yes!  I did run out of space on my 1st one. 


1. Placing the Drives in to the screw less caddies
This can be easy or can become a pain in the arse.  Out of the box, the plastic plates that holds the drives can be in stuck position and sliding them down can be challenging or next to impossible. You might not want to put too much force on these fragile slips as they can break easily. 

There is a small slit on the side of the metal caddy. Put a blunt/flat screwdriver through it and derail the plastic slip slowly, first from the corner. Once you de-railed and got the plastic slip out of the caddy, scrape it’s top with a sharp knife to lower it so that it slips easily in and out of the metal rail.

Once you are happy with the amount of gray plastic scraps on the table put back the slip in to caddy and test.

2. Using used/unsupported Disk Drives.

If you have inserted used/unsupported Disk Drives, System will not boot up. It will throw up "ERR: Could not mount Root RAID device" warning.

Restore the system to Factory default.

- Switch off the system. I just pulled the plug because for the life of me I couldn’t find a way to switch it off.
- Power On the system and press the Reset button in the back
- Press back up Button and choose from the menu -> Factory Default
- Press the Reset Button (in the back) to choose the option.

This will reset the storage system to factory settings, erases all data, resets all defaults, and reformats the disks to X-RAID5.

Incase you are looking, the default credentials for the web console after the reset is: admin, password.

Fixes we describe from now onward require shell access to the devise. Enable SSH access to the device by going to 
System->Settings->Services->SSH in the web console.

Once enabled, Use PUTTY or other SSH client to access the devise. Login as root and the password will be the admin password you have set up during the initial setup.

3. Sometimes External USB drives will not mount. Even if they got mounted, their contents will not show up.

SSH in to the device and manually mount them. Once mounted, they will show up in the web interface.

Example Command: mount -t ntfs /dev/sde1 /media/USB_HDD_1

4. Bulk Transfer data to the devise. 
Transferring contents from a  high capacity external drive to the NAS over the network will take weeks and might fry your switch.  Not to mention that the web interface is a pain to use when it comes to moving files around.

Use terminal to copy files across.

External USB devices are mounted in /media
Main NAS storage is located in /data

Copy files across these locations using Linux cp command.

Example Command: cp -R /media/USB_HDD_1/MyFolder /data/NASStorage/ 

Once copied, you need to reset permissions. Otherwise you will not be able to do any files/folder operation due to lack of permissions. 

Example Command: chown -r Tiraj:Creators /data/NASStorage/MyFolder

5. Moving Contents from one NAS devise to the other.

In this case you will have to use the network. Use SCP command to directly transfer files from one devise to the other with out involving a PC in the middle. 

Example Command:  scp -r /media/USB_HDD_1/MyFolder root@NORIKO:/data/NASStorage/ 

You will not be able to get Gigabyte LAN speeds with the supplied LAN cable. They are susceptible to too much interference thus degrading the speed. To get the maximum thru output, use short, Cat6e, triple Shielded LAN cables.

Happy NASing.

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