Friday, June 3, 2016

Readynas NV+ errors (LED lights) and how I fixed it.

Usually the Readynas is good at letting you know when something is failing...I didn't catch it this time.

I have two of these, one has documents and photos in a RAID5 configuration (you give up about a drive worth of data for redundancy...lose one drive and it will rebuild the data).  Of course a RAID is not a good backup, so I have a USB drive plugged into it that takes a backup of the RAID, and the most important things are also backed up to the cloud.

The second Readynas NV+ is set up in their RAID-X configuration, which is sort of like a RAID5 but you can add drives to increase the size.  I use that one for media, audio and video,

Both NASs are plugged into a UPS, but only one is connected electronically to the UPS to get autoshutdown alerts...so the second one, when the power was out for a long time, was basically unplugged.

When I went to power them up, the first one booted up fine, the media one did not.

The problem...

The biggest issue with this smart NAS is unless it boots up completely, you have to guess what is wrong.


So the second one booted up with the LCD dark and blank, the LEDs for Drive 1 and 3 on...and nothing else...great.

Looking it up, those LEDs indicate the RAM is bad...I had put a 1gig ram into it replacing a 512meg one...I pulled the 1gig ram and put in the 512m ram...now when I try to boot it said something about OS not found...

...great...more googling later and I find that I need to do a USB OS install...You download the USB OS install firmware from Netgear (you have to know what version etc...luckily I knew I had the latest...see previous post about these drives).

I put the stuff on the USB thumb drive, put it in the slot and boot (instructions at Netgear, or here)

It get going along installing...and stops at drive 3...just kind of quits...no error message, but Drive 3 LED is flashing.  Drive 1 and 2 are on steady.

At this point I assume that drive 3 is bad...so I put a spare drive in (I keep a qualified, unused spare drive in case I get a drive failure like this...usually I can keep using the old drive somewhere else)

I try again with brand new -virgin out of the sealed antistatic bag- drive...I get the same exact result.

Well luckily they still sell the RAM, so I got on Amazon and ordered a replacement (using the part number off the 1gig ram I pulled.   Meanwhile I ran a ram test using the NAS (it has some self test capability even when it won't boot)  512M ram was bad also apparently....great

New ram comes a week later...I pop it in, do the USB OS install...this time that is successful, so I go for a boot...LCD says "Booting..." Drives 1,2,4 are on steady, drive 3 is flashing.

Remember that I have the new virgin drive in the #3 slot...ok I put the old drive back in...no change.

Now after another few hours of googling, I find that I now need to do an OS reinstall...I did a USB OS install, but that only get loaded to the NAS...I guess the OS Reinstall moved the OS from the NAS to the drives themselves...or something like that.


Success!   Now it boots properly, LCD shows the drive info and IP address.   I go to log in using the web console...won't log in...bad password...great.

So apparently when you do these type of USB OS installs or maybe the OS reinstall, the login goes back to default...well for the older OSs it is admin/infrant1   ... the newer ones use admin/netgear1  ... other new versions use admin/password.    So I tried them all, but mine had defaulted to  admin/netgear1

Now I can finally view what the heck is going on...meanwhile while I was trying to figure out the password, I ran the RAIDar.exe  (a piece of software from Netgear that allows initial admin of NAS before they are set up)  It showed the problem NAS and said that drive 3 was bad.

So I was right, the #3 drive was bad...but why didn't putting in the new drive fix that?

My guess is that the last status of the system was that drive#3 was bad, and it kept that status stored on the RAID itself...so until the RAID gets fixed with a new synced drive...the light will flash.


So right now the NAS has resynced about 26% of the data...only 7 hours to go until the RAID is rebuilt and again redundant.

Now I need to see why the 8TB usb drive I plugged in to it is not registering....


...a day later...

I still haven't gotten the 8TB usb drive to register properly on the Readynas...I plugged it into an Ubuntu system and used Gparted to take a look...there is a small windows partition at the front of the drive...probably for use as a live recovery drive or something...so I removed that partition and I am reformatting the entire drive...10% complete after most of a day.

So while waiting for that to go, I put my eSATA Raid as a network share and pointed the Readynas at it to do a backup...soon after the backup started it quit with a bunch of errors.

 (something along the lines of "cannot allocate memory" for each file failure)

...this was the solution for me...

Laserdisc repair...sort of part 2, or follow up on part 1

In our previous episode we noted that sound of exploding capacitors and the smell of magic smoke escaping occurred while playing Star Wars on laserdisc.

The follow up is as follows...

...I replaced ALL the caps on the power supply board...

...huge PITA to unhook the board...they use a connector similar to the ones that clamp onto flat-flex, but they are clamping on solid wire ribbon...well unhooking is easy...hooking is PITA.

...more PITA, the power cable comes through a strain relief plug...then is soldered onto the power board...so I had to cut off the wires...and when it is up and running I will have to resolder them on AFTER installing the power board...ridiculous.

Anyhoo...all caps were replaced, I noticed quite a bit of heating near the one big regulator on the AC side (I think).

Hooked it back up to AC (using test leads) still smells like it is burning up, and machine didn't power up.

Now I will have to pull it out again and start checking regulators...I don't know if I have a schematic with test voltages on it...


I am not working very quickly on this...because I already got a replacement player...but I want this broken one as a backup in case the main one dies.

to be continued

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Laserdisc player repair...and repair some more...

I have a bit of  nostalgia for the era of my youth...or even a decade ago...

I still listen to my vinyl...I have a pile of cassette tapes, and a tape deck to play them...I have a nice VCR...but I only use it to transfer from videotape to digital...

I have this memory from the mid 80's when I was at a record/video store and they had a laserdisc player up front, connected to a large TV and playing U2's Under a Blood Red Sky concert from Red Rocks...note that I said Laserdisc, not VHS, not DVD (didn't exist yet) (BTW that concert wasn't released on DVD until a couple of years ago).

I always wanted a LD player after that point, but of course they were very expensive, and the LD themselves were expensive and hard to find, depending on where you lived.

For the last year or so I have been researching LD players etc...Finally settled down on a few models, and finally picked on up...it wasn't on my list of players to get, but it had a large collection of LDs with it that I wanted.

Well...the shipper did a piss poor job of packing and it arrived smashed/squished in the front.








Well you can imagine that I was as crushed as the player...the seller gave me a partial refund, and I kept the disks.

So I have this busted LD player for free...now what?...I guess I will try to fix it...

Let me say that I got very lucky...yes the front panel is smashed, and the circuit board corner near the jog/shuttle is broken...but luckily it is not necessary for operation.

I won't waste time describing the mess...I didn't take any pictures because I didn't think I would have any luck.

Let me just say that I had to bend a lot of the steel frame back to somewhat shape...I had a straightedge I checked with...I took the entire top assembly apart, I took the optical system out and straighened some sheetmetal there...I had to spend a lot of time adjusting how the optical system flips from side A to side B...and finally about 2 hours trying to get the tray back in with the entire loading system back in sync.

Well all that worked, it correctly played disks and flipped to the B side.  I watched about an hour of Star Wars IV with all the glorious film artifacts, and where Han shoots first...no CGI in sight.

...then near the end of the second side it died...

It shut completely down and I quickly pulled the plug...I was afraid that more magic smoke would escape.

I will admit that when I ran it, there was an eletronic smell...so I figured something would give out eventually...

And you know with the older electronics that you can expect the the capacitors will have been of minimal quality and will eventually dry out and fail.

Well yup it happened...



That cap I am holding in my hand is just the aluminum cap...the fuzzy mess at the middle of the upper picture is what is left of the cap...just above it is it's matching cap.


So I just ordered some caps from Digikey, and will replace all on this board...15 caps total, about $15...Hopefully nothing else was damaged in the process...BTW the cap lid was near the center spindle...about 6" away from where it blew up.

...stay tuned...