Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ReadyNAS NV+ failure to update firmware fix and some notes.

In the world of NAS devices there are now a ton to choose from with a lot of features...not so back in 2007.

Back then I bought the Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ and added 4 500GB drives. in RAID5.   Now back then 500GB drives were pretty big, so a RAID 5 system was a pretty good amount of  redundant storage.

Some time later, Netgear bought out Infrant and all further ReadyNAS devices had the Netgear label on them.

I actually have two of these.  One a brand new Infrant, the other a used Netgear off ebay (a few years newer) (with 2GB drives in X-RAID).   Since I bought them I haven't have any trouble other than a couple of dead drives, and one blown power supply (magic smoke and all).

In my network, the older Infrant device holds all documents/pictures.   The newer Netgear holds all media files.

BTW, the RAID 5 system shares redundancy across the disk array, so if you lose only one drive, you can replace that drive and the RAID will rebuild it self.   You lose some storage, but the speed is pretty good.

X-RAID is a Netgear technology which has redundancy across the drives, but also allows for different sized drives and expandability by putting larger drives into the array.

These are older NAS devices, and there are better newer ones...but these still work, and are still supported with firmware updates from Netgear.

Which brings us to the point of this post.

The Netgear one I have has sucessfully accepted firmware updates, up to and including the latest.  4.1.14 as of 13 Oct 2014.

However the Infrant has balked on firmware updates since 4.1.12 from 2013.   By balked I mean I got the following message "invalid image" and other vague unable to update messages.   I attempted the update through both the web interface direct download, and by downloading to my computer and letting the web interface find it there.

No dice.   To add a bit more pain, the Infrant seemed to run a bit erratically when it came to network access, i.e. disconnects, slow connections etc.

I was really getting close to doing a wipe on the whole machine and starting over.   I had done backups to an external USB drive (that funny enough could hold the entire RAID.)  But I didn't really want to start over.

 A lot of websites mentioned that the log file on the OS partition might be full...well I didn't have SSH access, so I couldn't manually clear them.

Quite by accident I noticed an unrelated problem solution...the solution was to do an OS reinstall.  An OS reinstall would not touch any of the file structure or data, simply reload the last firmware installed as if it was new...only the admin password would change to default.   (admin netgear1 for this version of firmware).

I had nothing to lose, and this shouldn't damage anything...and I had a backup...

So, to do the OS reload on the Netgear (or Infrant) NV+ with a 4.xx firmware-

1. power off device.
2. use paperclip to press and hold reset button on back of case near USB ports.
3. power on device and release reset button when drive lights first come on.   (if you wait till second flash it will completely wipe the system.)

4. profit

After the normal long boot process (I watched using the Netgear RAIDar software)  the NAS booted up with 4.1.13.  (before I did this, it did not display a firmware version).

Once it was up, I changed the admin password back to the one I was using, and had the web interface to an update...the update went just fine, and it rebooted to 4.1.14 (the latest firmware)

There are plenty of websites with some pictures of this process...but it wasn't difficult, just for whatever reason the previous update or the one before that jammed the system.

It works fine now, and works better than it has in a few years.

No comments: