Buffalo LinkStation loading data : Buffalo Technology

Buffalo LinkStation loading data

imageWow…a technical post! These have been a bit thin on the ground recently!

I wasn’t able to get at the web interface or the shares on a we have on one of our clients sites.

I was able to ping it..but that was all! Having asked the client to power cycle it I still couldn’t do anything with it so I duly went to site.

I fired up the NAS Navigator software which found the device ok. However it reported the NAS was in (or Emergency Mode Mode if you’re ) which basically means the device couldn’t load the firmware from the hard disk.

* Disclaimer – if you try anything I mention below you run the risk of data loss – it’s not my fault if you lose anything! *

So the normal advice for getting out of EM Mode is to download the and install that, which I did. However, once I’d done this I wasn’t able to login with the password that had been previously set. The default password didn’t work either.

My next plan of action was to perform a factory reset.

The steps for this are:

Power the NAS off, hold the function button on the back and power it back on, once you start to get some flashing lights on the front press the function button again.

It took a little while to get the timing right for this but it appeared to work as the IP address reset back to default.

I still couldn’t login though.

A little puzzled I decided to investigate my options as to cracking the password. There is a lively community around the Buffalo NAS devices where they modify the stock firmware to do lots of things it wasn’t originally intended for (media servers, etc)

I did come across a couple of potential options but nothing really worked and I was very worried about totally “bricking” the device.

So my next train of thought had me wondering that if the main firmware is ran from the hard disk, what would I do if a hard drive needed to be replaced?

Not a stupid question apparently, and, I managed to get it working.

imageIn short, if the device can’t find anything to boot from it’ll look for a TFTP server on 192.168.11.1 – it’ll then use this to load a very basic firmware which can then be discovered in NAS Navigator where you can then reload the latest firmware.

Here’s what I did:

I took the hard disks out, plugged them into my PC and removed all the listed volumes (there were several)

Next I set the IP address on my laptop to 192.168.11.1

Then I downloaded and ran the TFTP Bootloader

I put the drives back into the NAS and started it up. It booted and the status light on the front flashed red to indicate there was nothing to boot from.

Pressing the function button caused it to connect to the TFTP server and download the boot files.

After a bit of waiting around the device finally appeared back in the NAS Navigator software which also indicated the NAS was in EM Mode.

I was then able to use the firmware update utility to force a reload and rebuild the partition table.

Once this completed ok I reset my static IP on my laptop and on the NAS using NAS Navigator I was able to browse to the web interface and login with the default user name and password.

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