DNS-323 with ALT-F firmware - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-26, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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DNS-323 with ALT-F firmware

I am thinking I might try the ALT-F firmware for my DNS-323.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/alt-...e=typ_redirect

It seems pretty stable with lots of configuration options.

Has anyone else tried it?

I am thinking I will run raid-5 (3x500GB) using the free USB port for the 3rd drive.

My reasons are my DNS-323 periodically drops a drive and I have to restart it. Then it presents you with a reformat option, which you ignore and restart again to get it back up. It also falls off the network and short of a reboot it will not come back. It does not report any of this to me since I use gmail and need a SMTP account apparently to receive notifications.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-26, 02:29 PM
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That firmware would be a great improvement to it, but unfortunately the USB port on your DNS-323 is only 2.0, so while you could go ahead and build a 3-disk RAID5 array the way you describe, the whopping speed difference between the internal SATA and external USB2.0 buses means that your 3 sequential disk operations would be fast-fast-snail fast-fast-snail fast-fast-snail over and over again, not to mention the parity bits also being written in that chug-a-chug-a manner. More than likely the result to a human would be speeds only reaching what that USB2.0 disk can achieve...

You could put the 2 internal disks on a RAID0 with a third USB2.0 drive in overlapping RAID1 with the first array, which would give you survivability, but unfortunately would also suffer that same over-all slowdown as above because over-all system read/writes would be from/to that RAID1 array:
Code:
 -----------------
| internal disk 0 |
|                 | 
|    (RAID 0)     |        external USB2.0 disk
|                 | 
| internal disk 1 |
 ----------------- 

|<----------------- RAID1 -------------------->|
The external USB2.0 disk would have to always be up and running.

The best option is to not have the external disk in any RAID array. Set up the internal RAID0 as above and then schedule regular backups from it to the external drive using rsync. If the RAID0 crashes, you can delete that array, replace the dead disk, rebuild the RAID0 array, and then do an rsync restore from the external disk.




Last edited by stampeder; 2015-03-26 at 02:50 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-26, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Good point. But the DNS-323 was never great at read/writes speeds over gige. It hovers around 15MB/s. I guess the processor is the limiting factor. Certainly much less than typical USB2 speeds. Since this is for backups, read/write speed is not a priority as long as it is stable and secure.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 12:23 AM
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Have one at work. Never toyed with funplug or Alt-F, but I'm pretty sure we get better than 15 MB/s on backups, but not spectacular speeds. Could also be the HDD limiting the read/write speeds. We use WinRAR for the backup, and it travels over a GigE LAN including a DIR-655 to our Dell computers.

What type of internal HD are you using? We're using two WD Red's in RAID 1. I agree that RAID 5 wouldn't be your best option; you want to use that USB port as little as possible, maybe just for scheduled backups if they're small enough.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 05:17 AM
 
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I have just install Alt-F on my trusty ancient DNS-321. Looks like a nice piece of software but it is insisting that my system needs fsck run manually but it does not have its own shell prompt and wont let me load Debian until it has done a full fsck itself...which by the look of it will take a day or so. I am sure it is preserving the disk contents but I am regretting this. I do have a uptodate backup of the 350 Gb or so fortunately.

The DNS-321 does not have a USB port.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 05:56 AM
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Which file system does the DNS-321 use on the internal disks? You might be able to force a clean flag to be set on the array with fsck's -n option to get past the fsck complaint. If they have used a pure implementation of the fsck utility you are fine because it is not an automatic tool - it will require interactivity to make any changes, which you can override. OTOH if they've wrapped it to force the automate option their version could possibly be destructive.




Last edited by stampeder; 2015-03-27 at 06:11 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 02:20 PM
 
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How do you run Fsck on Alt F? Needs a command prompt. I am surprised that there is not one built in.


File system is EXT2 on the 321


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timlocke
but it does not have its own shell prompt
Evidently I wasn't awake when I first read that... Unfortunately it would seem that you need to just let fsck run its course.



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 02:55 PM
 
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fsck runs and 'finishes' with an error.

"Checking md0 finished with status code 8: fsck 1.41.14 (22-Dec-2010)
e2fsck 1.41.14 (22-Dec-2010)
The filesystem size (according to the superblock) is 121834951 blocks
The physical size of the device is 121834928 blocks
Either the superblock or the partition table is likely to be corrupt!
Abort? yes
"

The details of the error text in the wiki say to run fsck manually. To do that one needs a prompt where one can type fsck /dev/mdo But there is no prompt anywhere available. There is a suggestion in the wiki that one can telnet into the box. which would mean finding a Windows Telnet...should be several on the web somewhere.
I am considering reflashing with the original firmware.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 02:57 PM
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Download putty.exe on your windows box and then you can telnet into the DNS-321 and run fsck manually.



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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 03:24 PM
 
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Ok it is in progress now. I suspect it will be hours. The file system is 2 500GB disks 75% full.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-27, 05:01 PM
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I see that ext4 is supported, which would be better suited to this kind of task than ext2.



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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-28, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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TUX I have two 500GB drives.

WD WD5000AAKS
Samsung HD401LJ

I would go with EXT4. Not sure what they are currently. EXT3 I believe with the 1.09 firmware.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-28, 05:02 AM
 
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Having got Alt-F working I am pretty sure it is definitely faster than the DNS-321 software/firmware. Anyway I copied everything from the DNS and I am going to reformat as Raid 1 Ext 4 and replace the files in some meaningful directories as suggested. A nice project for a cold weekend!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 2015-03-28, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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That is my plan. Make a single backup of my current data, partition, format and install. Now to find a quiet weekend.
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