By dbott | February 2, 2010
This guide is designed to help users avoid some common problems when setting up and configuring their new ReadyNAS device.
Generally speaking, the ReadyNAS devices are quite easy to setup. Most units come with the drives pre-installed and configured, however, there are a few models that are available in a diskless version (notably the Pioneer Editions of the Pro and NVX, as well as some models of the Duo and NV+). Basically, you just install the disks, turn the unit on and configure the NAS. In my experience, however, I found it best to do a few things before configuring the NAS to avoid problems down the road.
This guide makes the assumption that you will be purchasing your own disks, but even if the disks came pre-installed, I recommend taking the time to follow this procedure.
WARNING: The ReadyNAS is basically a linux computer. Any [approved] disks that was used in another system will be initialized by the NAS and any existing data will be wiped. Some users expect to be able to insert a disk with data in an empty slot on the NAS and copy the data over to the array. Doing this will result in the data being wiped from the disk.
Selecting and Testing Your Disks
- Be sure to only select disks that appear on the Hardware Compatibility List. Using non-approved disks can result in various issues ranging from disks dropping out of the array to catastrophic data loss.
- Before installing the disks in the array, please take the time to test the disks using the vendor tools. Disks can get damaged during shipping and handling, as well as just be flaky straight from the factory. You will need to install each disk into a SATA-capable PC in order to test the disks. If any of the disks fail the vendor test then you should replace the drive before proceeding.
- If you are going to use HCL-approved disks that were used elsewhere (such as a computer or other device), be advised that the ReadyNAS will initialize the disk and wipe any data that exists on the disk. In order to get the NAS to initialize the disks, you may need to delete any/all partitions from the disk as the ReadyNAS may detect a valid partition signature on the disk and refuse to initialize it. Even if the disk was working fine previously, you should still take the time to test it.
Now that the disks are tested and verified to be error free, you can install them into the ReadyNAS. The ReadyNAS should come with a disk tray for each slot, as well as 4 screws for each tray.
Note: the ReadyNAS will not boot without at least 1 drive installed.
- Install the disks into the trays as per the Quick Start Guide.
- Install the latest version of RAIDar on your computer.
- Once the disks are installed into the chassis and RAIDar is installed on your computer, perform a factory default:
- ReadyNAS Duo, NV+, 1100 – http://www.readynas.com/forum/faq.php#How_do_I_reset_the_ReadyNAS_to_factory_default%3F
- ReadyNAS Pro & NVX – http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=252
- ReadyNAS 2100 – http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=180
- ReadyNAS 3200 – http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=281
- After the factory default process begins, you will have a 10-minute window to connect to the ReadyNAS using RAIDar to configure the unit for X-RAID or Flex-RAID. Select your desired level of RAID and complete the configuration. Please note that the process of initializing each disk and creating the volume can take a number of hours to complete.
- After basic configuration, but before copying any data, it is recommended to upgrade to the latest version of firmware and then perform another factory default. This 2nd factory default would allow any new firmware features to be effective (such as support for larger disks, ext4 filesystems, etc.). Check the firmware release notes for further information.
The configuration process is quite easy for the creation of users and shares, however, there are some configuration issues that can cause problems if you’re not careful. Many access problems stem from some sort of naming conflict, such as creating a share with the same name as a user account:
- Password for the Admin Account on the ReadyNAS: You should change the admin password on the ReadyNAS from the default setting (netgear1). The admin password should be different than any password used in Windows.
- Hostname for the NAS: By default, the ReadyNAS will be named something like “NAS-xx-xx-xx” (where xx-xx-xx is the last 3 segments of the MAC address). If you decide to change it, the hostname should be a unique name on the network that is not the same as any other share, username or computer on the network.
- User Accounts on the NAS: You should create a user account for each user that requires access to the ReadyNAS. Usernames must be unique and cannot be the same as any share or computername on the NAS or network. When you create each user account on the NAS, a private user share will be created for that user.
- Share Names on the NAS: Share names must be unique and cannot be the same as any username or computername on the NAS or network. For example, you should not create a share with the same name as one of the user accounts, as the NAS is configured to create a private share for each user at the time of account creation.
- User Accounts in Windows: In order to provide seamless/transparent access from Windows to the ReadyNAS, it is recommended that your Windows Login Account be the same as your ReadyNAS User Account (same username and password). This way, when the NAS challenges Windows for credentials, Windows will send the current username and password to the NAS for authentication and the user will have the appropriate level of access that has been granted. It is also recommended that you not login to Windows using an account called “admin”, as this may create problems when connecting to the NAS.
There are a number of additional unofficial guides on this site that can help if you run into problems such as poor wireless performance in Vista/Windows 7 or a NAS disappearing from the network, as well as how to use the NAS for WINS or DHCP or Wake-on-LAN.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that although network attached storage devices can help protect against a failed disk, they are still not immune to other sorts of problems like multiple disk failures, accidental or intentional deletions, fire, flood or theft. It is always advisable to make sure that you have multiple backups: http://www.readynas.com/?p=3153.