Out of blue hard disk on my Lacie Network Space 2 failed completely. I’ve been using computers for 25 years and this was the first time I’ve had a complete hard disk failure. I mean standard recovery programs can’t find anything on the old hard drive and the hard drive makes noises which are more from a horror movie soundtrack than anything else.
I thought the easiest fix would be to get a new hard disk and carry out a factory reset to create partitions etc. and start using the NAS unit again. Furthermore I also thought why should I settle with a 1 TB drive when a 2 TB drive really doesn’t cost that much more. As usually, it wasn’t this easy. I hadn’t realized that the firmware was actually installed on the failed hard disk, so my plan really backfired.
Thankfully there is an active community around Lacie NASs so it was easy to find a walk through installation guide on how to install firmware on a new hard disk (available at http://lacie.nas-central.org/wiki/Installing_firmware_on_a_new_disk_(Network_space_2)). The only downside is that it is for replacing the hard disk with a 1 TB hard disk. I started realizing that something was wrong, when I started receiving “No space left on device” errors while populating the newly created partitions.
dd: writing to '/dev/sdb8' : No space left on device
After banging my head on the wall for an hour, I realized that the problem was that my partitions were actually too small and this was because the hard disk is of different capacity therefore e.g. 105 cylinders wasn’t enough for partition 8. After playing around with fdisk for a while, I reserved 270 cylinders for extended/logical drives as follows:
Disk /dev/sdb: 2000.3 GB, 2000398934016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 1 270 2167751 5 Extended /dev/sdb2 271 243201 1951343257+ 83 Linux /dev/sdb5 1 33 263024+ 82 Linux swap /dev/sdb6 34 35 15041 83 Linux /dev/sdb7 36 37 15041 83 Linux /dev/sdb8 38 150 906648+ 83 Linux /dev/sdb9 151 260 882551 83 Linux /dev/sdb10 261 266 47171 83 Linux
When adjusting these settings, the only important thing is that the amount of blocks is the same or higher than in the walk through guide (http://downloads.lacie.nas-central.org/Users/Mijzelf/Networkspace2/1.0.2/Partitiontable.txt).
After I had successfully populated partitions, I thought I was home free, but… The NAS did not boot because it appears that XFS partitions created with OpenSuse are not compliant with the ones that the NAS wants. Luckily this is a common problem and a solution was provided in the walk through. The only thing I messed up here was that while creating the public key, I copy pasted it from console, because I was too lazy to write the full path to cp command. I didn’t realize that it actually copied my key in four lines instead of one line, and it took me almost two hours to figure this out.
Finally, four hours after starting, the NAS was up and running again. Then I noted that the new firmware had and “SFTP” option, which I switched on. Really nice, but that also prevented me from logging in via SSH and after disabling this service, SSH was no longer available at all Again some head banging while I was wondering why settings under hdX8 are OK, but they don’t seem to have any effect on the unit. At one point I remember seeing a forum post where somebody was saying that once the NAS has been set up, it actually reads the settings from hdX9 so I was editing the correct file, but under wrong partition. After modifying sshd_config file under hdX9, SSH was up again and accepting key logins.
Once I had regained my shell access, I installed ipkg using tutorial found at http://lacie.nas-central.org/wiki/Category:2big_Network_2#Install_ipkg. Some additional programs, 24 hours of file transfers and Bob’s your uncle.
Knowing that the new drive will eventually fail, I think it would be cleaver to clone the non-storage partitions e.g. with Clonezilla, but I’m obviously too lazy to do that. What I know is that I will be cursing a lot when I’m installing yet another new hard drive in X years time and thinking “why was I too lazy to take the backup”. This time the only thing that was lost forever were all TV recordings. A small loss, but made me think maybe it would be time get a RAID 1 system and a NAS unit which natively supports e.g. NFS. Maybe I’ll just bite my lip and buy a QNAP TS-212 and another 2 TB drive.