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Unofficial ReadyNAS USB Recovery Guide for Sparc-based Systems

By dbott | August 28, 2009

Warning: do not use these instructions unless you have been instructed by Netgear Support. Using these instructions without their direction can create further problems.

Written by Drago_VB
Monday, 28 July 2008 20:44

Unofficial ReadyNAS USB Boot Recovery Extended Instructions for Sparc-based Systems

Original version was located here.  These instructions are for users of the sparc-based units (Duo, NV+, 1100 and predecessors X6/600, NV & 1000s) who need to perform a USB Boot Recovery.

For the ReadyNAS x86-based NAS devices, such as the ReadyNAS Pro Business and Pioneer Editions, the ReadyNAS NVX Business and Pioneer Editions, the ReadyNAS 2100 and ReadyNAS 3200, please use these instructions:  http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=166

About the USB recovery

The USB recovery is a method to synchronize the firmware image that is stored on the flash drive in the ReadyNAS unit and the firmware image that is stored on the hard drives. You will need to download the USB firmware image and burn the image to a USB drive. In this process, anything stored on the USB drive will be destroyed. You can find the firmware images at the following link.

http://www.readynas.com/forum/faq.php#How_can_I_perform_a_Boot_Recovery_using_a_USB_flash_device%3F

When attempting to do the USB boot recovery, try to match up the USB firmware recovery version with the firmware version that you believe the ReadyNAS had installed. If you do not remember if the firmware was version 3.01c1-p6 or version 4.01c1-p2, perform the USB boot recovery with version 4.01c1-p2 and then follow the procedures to do an OS reinstall. Flashing the unit with the 4.01c1-p2 firmware, followed by an OS reinstall, will boot the unit regardless of the original firmware that was on the unit.

For more information on some of the firmware tests that I performed, please see the article at the following link.

http://www.level2wiki.com/Guides/ReadyNAS-FW-tests.html (a cached version can be found here: http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=173)

If have just received a replacement Chassis from Netgear and the ReadyNAS does not seem to boot, you may only need to do a USB boot recovery using the FW version 4.01c1-p2. After doing USB recovery, a firmware reinstall may not be needed unless you have forgotten your admin password. When having issues with the firmware on the ReadyNAS, the data should be accessible and untouched once the firmware issues are resolved. The ReadyNAS will not mount the data volume if it is unable to boot up fully. The USB boot recovery will also be needed if the TFTP boot recovery repeatedly tries to flash the ReadyNAS with the version 3 firmware when you know that you have used the version 4 firmware.

The USB recovery is also useful if you would like to downgrade to an earlier version of the firmware. To downgrade to an earlier version of the firmware, you will need to perform the USB boot then do a factory default. Please note, the factory default will erase everything on the ReadyNAS but there is no other way to downgrade the firmware.

There are a couple of methods to write the firmware image to a USB drive for the USB recovery.

Option 1.) Rawrite32 is compatible with Windows 2000 and Windows XP. This is the easiest option for Windows XP. The URL to the website for rawrite32 is listed below.

http://www.duskware.com/rawrite32/

Option 2.) NTRawrite is an option available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista 32bit and Vista 64bit. The URL to the website for rawrite32 is listed below.

http://ntrawrite.sourceforge.net/

Option 3.) The DD command is a command that can be run in a terminal in Mac OS X and Linux. The DD command is integrated into Mac OS X and Linux. You will not need to download and install any additional programs.

Rawrite32.exe instructions

Please note, Rawrite32.exe will only work on Windows 2K and XP. It is not compatible with Windows Vista. Using Rawrite32.exe, you will need to choose the USB firmware recovery image when you click on Select.

Even though Rawrite32.exe will not allow you to select a .img file, choose “All files (*.*)” under the file type and then select the .img file

Next choose the Target drive letter where the image will be written. If you are unsure of the drive that you should choose, you can right click on My Computer and select Manage. In the new Window that opens, select Drive Management on the left and you should see some additional information about the drives that are currently connected to your computer.

The Write to Disk button should now be active. Click on that button and then click on Yes at the “are you sure you want to write this image” prompt. Rawrite32.exe can take a couple of minutes for it to fully complete. At times, it may seem like it has locked up but allow it to take as long as it needs.

You will know when it is completed as it will now say “Image successfully written to disk” in the main window. After that, Eject the USB drive and connect it to the ReadyNAS.

NTRawrite instructions

NTRawrite is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista (32 and 64 bit) operating systems. Ntrawrite can be found at the following website.

http://ntrawrite.sourceforge.net/

NTRawrite is a program that will be run at the command line. It will be best to move the ntrawrite.exe and USB recovery image file to a location that is closer to the root of the hard drive. For the example below, I moved the “NTRawrite-1.0.1” folder to c:\ntrawrite. I moved the USB recovery image (originally named ReadyNAS_USB_Flash_Recovery-4.01c1-p2.img) to the same folder as usb.img. The USB drive was given drive letter “M” by Windows.

To run the ntrawrite utility, you will open the command line and type the following commands.

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
C:\Documents and Settings\user\Desktop>cd \
C:\>cd NTRawrite
C:\NTRawrite>NTRawrite -h
NTRawrite v1.0.1 by Blake Ramsdell < bcr@users.sourceforge.net >
Creates a diskette from a diskette image file.
usage: NTRawrite [--noverify] [--reverse] [-n] [-h] [-f image_file] [-d drive]
--noverify Skips verification step.
--reverse Saves diskette to image file instead.
-n Don't wait for the user to insert a diskette.
-f image_file Disk image file to place on diskette.
-d drive Drive specifier to put diskette image on.
-h Display usage.
C:\NTRawrite>NTRawrite -f c:\NTRawrite\usb.img -d m:
NTRawrite v1.0.1 by Blake Ramsdell < bcr@users.sourceforge.net >
Please insert a diskette and press any key.
Copying image file c:\NTRawrite\usb.img to floppy drive M.
.......................................]

As the image is being written, the periods will begin changing to asterisks during the write process. The write process may take a couple of minutes like rawrite but you will see the program reporting the status. After the firmware image is copied, it will verify the image and will report if it has completed.

C:\NTRawrite>NTRawrite -f c:\NTRawrite\usb.img -d m:
NTRawrite v1.0.1 by Blake Ramsdell < bcr@users.sourceforge.net >
Please insert a diskette and press any key.
Copying image file c:\NTRawrite\usb.img to floppy drive M.
****************************************]
Verifying image file c:\NTRawrite\usb.img with floppy drive M.
****************************************]
Completed!

Using DD comand on MAC OS X (tested on Mac OS X 10.4.1)

Open finder, go to /Applications/Utilities folder and open the Disk Utility. When you take a look at your USB pen drive, it should have a Device ID for the partition on the USB drive. In the example to the left, the device ID is “disk1s1”.

Before you attempt to use the dd command to burn the image to the USB drive, you will need to unmount the partition on the USB drive. If you attempt to burn the image with the partitions mounted, you will write the image inside of the partition instead of to the partition. In the disk utility window, highlight the first partition that is on the USB drive and click on the unmount button at the top of the window. The drive will be removed as an Icon from the desktop and the partition icon on the right will be greyed out.

Now you will need to open the terminal to burn the image to the USB drive. The Terminal application is located in the same /Applications/Utilities folder that the Disk Utility is located. Before you start the dd command, you can run “ls /dev/disk*” command to ensure that the computer still sees the USB drive as being connected. If the computer still sees the Device ID, it should be able to write the image to the drive.

The command will be something like the following example.

Dd if=/Users/User/Desktop/USB.img of=/dev/disk1s1

When you are typing in the path after “if=”, you can drag the icon over to the command line and it should fill in the path to the image file for you. The destination will be the device id that we saw in the Drive Utility. During the dd command is running, you will not see any indication of the progress. Once it has completed, it will tell you how long the process took.

Using DD comand on Linux (Tested on Ubuntu 7.10)

These instructions were performed using Ubuntu 7.10 on a laptop. These instructions were performed using a 256 MB USB drive that was previously formatted as FAT32. First, you will need to open the terminal and type in “fdisk -l”. The fdisk command will show you the partition information that the computer is able to see. We have run this command to find the device id of the USB drive.

user@user-desktop:~$ fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sdc: 257 MB, 257949696 bytes
8 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1015 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 496 * 512 = 253952 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 1 1015 251719+ b W95 FAT32

Now that we have the device id, we will need to unmount the USB drive to write the image to the drive. If you attempt to write the USB image to the USB drive while it is mounted, it will write a lot of corrupted files to the USB drive. If you are able to, you should try to unmount the drive using the GUI interface.

If you are unable to unmount the drive through the interface, you can still do that through the command line. The next command that we are going to run is the mount command to see what the drive is mounted as. The command will be “mount -l -t vfat”. In the example listed below, the USB drive at /dev/sdc1 was mounted as /media/disk.

user@user-desktop:~$ mount -l -t vfat
/dev/sdc1 on /media/disk type vfat
(rw,nosuid,nodev,shortname=mixed,uid=1000,utf8,umask=077,usefree) [256 MB]

You will now need to run the umount command to unmount the USB drive. The command will need to be run as a super user or as the root account. You will be prompted for the password to complete this command.

user@user-desktop:~$ sudo umount /media/disk

After the drive is unmounted, you can run the “mount -l -t vfat” command and then the “fdisk -l” command to ensure that the drive is not mounted but still being recognized by the system. Now you will be able to run the DD command to burn the image to the usb drive.

user@user-desktop:~$ dd if=/home/user/Desktop/usb.img of=/dev/sdc1
123623+0 records in
123623+0 records out
63294976 bytes (63 MB) copied, 78.3751 seconds, 808 kB/s
user@user-desktop:~$

As it shows in the example above, this command can take over a minute to process. You will not see any indication of progress until it is finished.

Performing USB recovery information

Before doing the USB boot on the ReadyNAS, remove any additional USB devices (UPS, Printers, etc..) that are connected to the ReadyNAS. Connect the USB flash drive to any USB port and hold down the power button for 20 seconds until after the hard drive lights blink the 4rth time. While you are holding down the power button, you will see the hard drive lights flash at 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec and finally at 20 seconds. After you let go of the power button, you will see the following information on the LCD screen during the USB boot if you have a ReadyNAS NV+.

bios info:
USB init
[drive 4 light on]
Ln1: Found USB image
Ln2: Reading...
[drive light 1 flashing. Activity light off until finished. Power light will be
pulsating until finished]
Ln1: Found USB image
Ln2: Verifying...
[drive light 1 on. 2 is flashing]
Ln1: Found USB image
Ln2: Writting...
[drive light 1 and 2 on. 3 is flashing]
Ln1: Found USB image
Ln2: Verifying...
[drive light 1, 2, and 3 on fully. 4 is flashing]
Ln1: Found USB image
Ln2: Successful!
[power, drive, and activity lights will be off, fan will be off]

You should be able to hit the power button and the ReadyNAS will power on. If you have just received a replacement ReadyNAS, you may not need to do anything else. You can follow the additional instructions on how to do an OS reinstall if the ReadyNAS does not come back online within 5 minutes.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 August 2008 11:59 )

Topics: ReadyNAS, Tech | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Unofficial ReadyNAS USB Recovery Guide for Sparc-based Systems”

  1. Unofficial ReadyNAS USB Recovery Guide for x86-based Systems | The Bott Blog Says:
    September 12th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    […] Unofficial ReadyNAS USB Recovery Guide […]

  2. Pawan Kumar Sharma Says:
    March 25th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    where is the link for additional instructions on how to do an OS reinstall if the ReadyNAS does not come back online within 5 minutes.

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