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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Continuing from my posts on the Lenovo forums:

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Iomega-Desktop-Network-Storage/IX2-DL-Will-not-boot-after-firmware-update-and-now-in-contant/m-p/3336410/highlight/false#M7421

I had recently tried upgrading the firmware on my IX2-DL device and now it appears to have bricked it.

I have managed to find Lenovo's official imaging software download link to build a USB stick imager for the old firmware, but my question is whether this can be performed without having the hard disk installed?

Reason why I ask is because Lenovo says that the re-flash is data destructive and I wish to re-install the old drive and not lose the data. Can the drive be re-fitted after a successful re-flash and the partition be recognised by the device? (no re-formatting)


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 5:54 pm 
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The only difference (AFAIK) between a DL and an NG is that the DL is sold without harddisk, and for that reason it has extra flash, to be able to initialize a BYO disk. The NG is shipped with only a bootloader in flash, and an OS on harddisk.

An NG cannot be recovered without disk, as it needs an OS to start with. Recovering an NG doesn't touch the flash, so recovering without disk is pointless anyway.

I don't know how exactly a DL boots, and why your box is a brick. This thread suggests that a DL cannot boot without harddisk either.

Maybe you can recover with some random, empty disk inserted. But if that only touches the disk, the box will be back to brick if you put the old disk back.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:11 pm 
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Thanks Mijzelf,

I think you have answered the question before and confirmed my thought that a 'fresh' hard disk is required to restore it.

Now, if I attempt to put a new HDD in there of the same capacity in bay #1, is it possible to put the original disk into bay#2 and perform a copy (repair?)

Does the software have the ability to do this? (copy from Disk 2 to disk 1)

Is this the best approach? Or should I be backing up my partition and files using a disk partition utility and just starting fresh on a new drive?


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 9:44 am 
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steveappcity wrote:
Now, if I attempt to put a new HDD in there of the same capacity in bay #1, is it possible to put the original disk into bay#2 and perform a copy (repair?)
If you mean a rebuild of a raid array by adding bay#1 to the array on bay#2? Almost certainly not. The firmware will assume bay#1 as 'his disk', while the other is a 'foreign disk'. A sync will be done the other direction.

Quote:
Or should I be backing up my partition and files using a disk partition utility and just starting fresh on a new drive?
At least that's the most safe approach. (Well, I wouldn't use a utility. I'd plug in a 2nd disk, and if the box doesn't automatically format it, I'd plugin the old disk, login over ssh, mount the old disk, and copy files over. If the box *does* format the disk, connect the old disk to a Linux PC, and do the same.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:34 am 
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I thought I would post back with my outcome and my experience in the hope that it will help someone else.


After numerous emails back and forth between Lenovo APAC support, they were able to provide me with a download link to build an imager USB stick based off an older firmware release 4.1.204.33661.


Prior to their final support email I had been trying numerous other imager solutions which I had found from various other NAS forums (see my links above in previous posts) but I had no success. The resulting re-boot left my IX2-DL in a constant flashing white LED state and not booting up.


It wasn't until a particular tip was given by Lenovo support, that it dawned on me why the previous imagers hadn't worked. Quoting their email: "(Please download, uncompressed and use Win 7,8 OS to run setup.exe which will install software on a flash drive for re-imaging )



Also, please ensure that the flash drive is showing up as a ""Removable Disk"" under My Computer.

It will not work if the flash drive is shown as a hard disk."



I had been trying to build the imager USB using Windows 10. I tried running the imager software on another Windows 7 machine and noticed that the USB took longer to build. I'm guessing their imaging software was only written exclusively for Windows 7 or 8 and upon re-imaging the NAS, it was able to be booted up and web access was possible and I was able to configure it as new. (I also swapped in a brand new disk, as I had removed the old one to perform data recovery from)


What has frustrated me the most was the process involved in accessing the data on the old disk to be readable and able to be copied back onto the new disk.


Not having access to or enough knowledge of Linux, the only solution I found that I found useful on a Windows machine, was a data recovery software package called "UFS Explorer".

I was able to access the EXT4 partition (is this Linux based?) and clone the partition to the new disk, but upon reboot of the NAS, it didn't recognise the data on the partition. My guess is that folder structure is stored on the OS partition of the NAS and this was why my old data would not appear on the freshly configured NAS.


The only way I was able to recover my data from the old disk was to hook it up to my Windows 10 machine, run UFS Explorer and manually copy the data to a spare USB HDD and then connect this USB HDD to the back of the NAS and manually copy the files back across to the native NAS disk. (USB disk appears as a NAS folder to copy from)

This solution was by far faster than attempting to copy across my network.


Taking away from this whole experience has me questioning why Lenovo doesn't have the necessary tools or software to perform a hassle free data recovery on their IX2-DL line.


Although Lenovo support were helpful, I will be considering another brand of NAS for the future, as this isn't a workable solution and lacks ease of use for data recovery/backup.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:55 pm 
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steveappcity wrote:
I will be considering another brand of NAS for the future, as this isn't a workable solution and lacks ease of use for data recovery/backup.

Do you think any other brand has tools to recover the data?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Mijzelf wrote:
steveappcity wrote:
I will be considering another brand of NAS for the future, as this isn't a workable solution and lacks ease of use for data recovery/backup.

Do you think any other brand has tools to recover the data?


I'm guessing not. Do all NAS devices work off this same file system? (EXT4)

My biggest gripe is not being able to add the 2nd disk (old data) back into the IX2-DL and being able to rebuild the data back onto disk#1 without the device wanting to wipe the 2nd disk to create a RAID set.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:40 am 
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steveappcity wrote:
Do all NAS devices work off this same file system? (EXT4)
No. Most NASses are Linux based, and have a Linux filesystem. When looking at relative recent boxes I have seen ext3, ext4, btrfs and xfs for data filesystem. In most cases this filesystems are embedded in a Linux software raid container.
Your box has yet another layer, the filesystem is in a LVM container on a raid array.

Quote:
My biggest gripe is not being able to add the 2nd disk (old data) back into the IX2-DL and being able to rebuild the data back onto disk#1 without the device wanting to wipe the 2nd disk to create a RAID set.
I understand that's a pain. The problem is that a GUI is almost by definition limited. I mean, you have to write a a fancy picture for each possible case, which cannot be done.
Of course you can copy the data on the NAS itself, (assuming the filesystem and it's containers are intact) but not by GUI. It can be done on the commandline, and fortunately all recent Lenovo and Iomega boxes provide ssh access.


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