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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:33 pm
Posts: 34
[quote="stiltonsandwich"]I have just installed Debian 8.3 jessie on my HS-DH320GL (HS-DHGL) LinkStation Live (v1).
/quote]

I had Debian running on my old arm based Live HS-DH250GL for the last few years and I think the drive has finally bit the dust. I'm getting 6 error lights and no fan.

My question is this: If I drop in a new blank drive, what do I need to do to go about installing debian again? Since I was running it before, will the basics be in the firmware such that I can telnet in and restart the installation process or do is there more to it. It has been so long since I went through this and all of the guides assume you are starting from stock firmware, that I'm not sure where to pick up.

Also, assuming I don't need more space, any recommendations for a simple drop in replacement? SSD?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:10 pm
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brownjd wrote:
If I drop in a new blank drive, what do I need to do to go about installing debian again? Since I was running it before, will the basics be in the firmware such that I can telnet in and restart the installation process or do is there more to it.

In the LS-DH320GL v1, the bootloader is stored in flash, so it's possible to TFTP boot the Debian installer with a blank drive installed, and perform the installation over SSH, which is what I would recommend.
There won't be any remnants of your old Debian installation, which will be purely on the old HDD.

My first post in this thread outlines the basic steps:
stiltonsandwich wrote:
Knowing what I know now, I would probably do it something like this:
  1. Install new blank drive in LinkStation.
  2. TFTP boot into stable relase LSPro Debian installer.
  3. Install Debian, partitioning drive appropriately. (2TB partition size limit requires attention.)
  4. Attempt to boot LinkStation. If it fails, TFTP boot into foonas to check U-boot environment. Make corrections if necessary.
  5. Boot Debian and configure it.


I went into more detail in my original post, but here is a rough outline of the process:

When the HDD is blank, the Linkstation's bootloader will beep repeatedly and make repeated attempts to download files named uImage.buffalo and initrd.buffalo from a server hosted at 192.168.11.1. Before starting, obtain these files from a Debian mirror (e.g. this one).

Run some TFTP server software on a computer and place the downloaded uImage.buffalo and initrd.buffalo in the TFTP server's root directory. To verify that your server is set up correctly, check that you can download these two files using a TFTP client, e.g. running on the same computer. Then connect the LinkStation up to the computer's Ethernet port, configure the computer to use the IP address 192.168.11.1, and power on the LinkStation.

When the LinkStation's bootloader successfully downloads the files from the TFTP server, it will stop beeping and start booting the installer it just downloaded. If it can't download anything after several attempts, it will power off. You can turn it on again to keep trying.

One detail which I probably didn't make clear in my original post is that the Debian installer for the LinkStation, once booted, is accessible via SSH. Before SSHing into the installer, you will need to connect the LinkStation to a network that provides Internet access. Perform this network change as soon as the TFTP transfer has completed, and before the installer has finished booted up, so that when the installer's boot process gets to the stage of configuring the network interface, it is able to obtain an IP address via DHCP. The installer beeps briefly to indicate that it has finished booting and then you can SSH into it at whatever IP address it obtained via DHCP.

As described in my original post, I would suggest making sure you download the LSPro Debian installer, not the Kurobox one.

brownjd wrote:
Also, assuming I don't need more space, any recommendations for a simple drop in replacement? SSD?

Personally, I would just install a new 1TB or 2TB drive. I certainly wouldn't install a 320GB HDD, because those are getting hard to find now, and likely to be new old stock which could have reliability issues.

Because the stock bootloader requires a MS-DOS partition table and 512 byte sectors, you're limited to a maximum of 4 TiB for the size of the drive, and it must support "512e" (512 byte sector emulation). Anything greater than about 2 TiB requires some careful planning of the partitioning to work around the 2 TiB partition size limitation.

I don't think it's worth using an SSD. You won't see an appreciable performance improvement in this application. The CPU is a bottleneck, the gigabit Ethernet is a bottleneck, and the SATA interface is probably only SATA I or SATA II. Having said that, provided the SSD supports 512e, it should work. It just won't be very fast.

SSDs are of course more or less silent in operation, which might be a consideration, but on the other hand, mechanical HDDs seem to have become quieter too, in the years since the HS-DHGL range came out.

One thing to consider if you install an SSD is that micro-evtd uses the HDD's temperature sensor to control the system fan, which cools the CPU. If the thermal readings are different with an SSD, you might need to manually set the fan speed to avoid either excessive or insufficient cooling.


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