Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Buffalo HS-DH500GL Hard drive swap

(note: this was in the draft folder for some reason...I did this project over a year ago...)

I picked up the Buffalo HS-DH500GL GigaBit LinkStation a few years ago...I was using it as a portable FTP server for a IP camera capture.

And haven't used it since. So I fired it up and started to use it...and immediately filled the drive. 500GB just doesn't go as far as it used to.

On clearance I picked up a pair of 1.5TB WD My Book Essential USB drives. I figured I could plug them into the LinkStation for more space. Bad idea. Twice the drives went blank...just lost the data, and then both started creating nested directory copies...apparently infinitely. And because of this activity the LinkStation kept overheating and shutting down.

So I had a great idea...I would use those 1.5TB drives for something else. I thought about using them in my ReadyNAS NV+...but they weren't on the approved HD list.

So then I had the bright idea of putting one of the 1.5TB drives into the hard could that be?

I won't get into disassembly of the LinkStation...there are web sites with that...but it is one screw for the front cover, pull a cable, two screws and slide the drive out, then two screws to remove the interface. The WD My Books are snap together plastic with two screws holding the electronics to the drive.

Needless to say I did a lot of research before I attempted this...and much of it was wrong.

I used a HD to USB adapter to do all this. Specifically the Apricorn Drive Wire Universal HD adapter. (SATA, IDE, laptop IDE)

I used partimage on Ubuntu to make an image of the first two partitions (in my case sde1 sde2).

I ALSO wrote down what partitions were where, what kind, and how big.

I then swapped drives and ran Gparted on the 1.5 TB drive. I deleted any partitions on it.

I made the following partitions in order so they would match the original. And I made them all slightly larger so that partimage wouldn't complain later (it still did once).

sde1 - 206MB EXT3
sde2 - 520MB XFS
sde3 - 10MB ext3 (it didn't show in the original, but I wanted (needed?) to make the partition numbers match

sde4 - then I made an extended partition for the rest of the drive (1.4TB)

sde5 - 140MB linux swap
sde6 - the rest of the drive XFS (1.4TB)

Then I used partimage again to write sde1 and sde2 to the drive.

Then I put it in and turned it worked right away.

Of course it was attempt 5 that actually worked right away...I tried just doing one partition and then a firmware update (wrong) the first time I tried to copy the sde2 back over the partition was too small...even though it was larger than the I had to re-partition the rest of the drive again...1.5TB...and the last attempt after re-partitioning...I forgot to copy the sde1 and sde2 over.

So this took me a couple of days until I got the right procedures (I had to screw the interface back to the drive every time I wanted to test it...then it took about 2 hours.

And I have a 1.5 TB NAS. BTW, the reverse was easy, I put the 500GB drive in the WD My Book, and it wiped it and reformatted automatically.

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