If you have one of the older Buffalo Linkstation Pro NAS drives (pictured below) and it is running out of space, you can simply upgrade the drive. It really isn’t that difficult if you are used to upgrading bits in your computer. Might be a little daunting if you have never opened your computer though. 🙂
I just upgraded the drive in my LS-500GL, replacing it with a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green drive, which didn’t take very long at all (except for copying all the data across). What’s more … it is much quieter than the old 500GB Samsung drive that was in the Linkstation, which is a bonus!
What you need to do is to
- Backup the data from the Linkstation,
- Remove the drive,
- Clone the first two primary partitions from your old drive to your new one,
- Create an extended partition, with a swap partition, and a data partition in the new drive,
- Place the new drive in the Linkstation.
… and that’s it!
So, lets proceed …
To carry out the replacement you’ll need the following:
- If you haven’t bought the replacement hard drive yet, make sure you get a SATA drive.
- A USB, Firewire, or eSATA drive enclosure or drive dock. (unless you are connecting it directly to your computer’s motherboard.)
- A standard cross-head (philips head) screw driver
Removing the hard drive
First of all, please note that there are exposed live electric parts exposed inside the box, so make sure it is not connected to the mains.
The following video shows how to open the case and remove the drive.
Cloning/Creating the Partitions
If you can connect both, the old drive and the new one to your computer, you can directly clone the partitions. Otherwise, you will need to save the partition image to your computer and then dump those onto the new drive. You will need 780MB of free space in your computer for the images.
The following screenshot shows the partitions in the old drive. Note that the partition labels may be different in your computer.
Create Partition Images
Note: If you have connected both, the old drive, and the new drive to your computer, you need to skip this step.
If you can connect only one drive to your computer at a time, then connect the old drive and create the images of the first two partitions.
In windows, you will need something like Norton Ghost to do that. In linux, run the following (replacing ‘sdf1’ and ‘sdf2’ with the labels in use in your computer for the connected drive):
dd if=/dev/sdf1 of=~/part1.img dd if=/dev/sdf2 of=~/part2.img
Once completed, detach the drive from the computer.
Partition your new drive
Connect the new blank drive to your computer and create the following partitions:
- 291MB primary partition of type ext3.
- 487MB primary partition of type xfs.
- Extended partition taking up the remaining space.
- A 134MB swap logical partition.
- An xfs logical partition using up the rest of the extended partition.
Clone the system partitions into your new drive from the old one or the images
If you are connecting only one drive to your computer at a time, then do the following:
This presumes, that the drive connected to your computer as /dev/sdf. You will need to replace sdf1 and sdf2 with the actual device labels used by the drive.
dd if=~/part1.img of=/dev/sdf1 bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror dd if=~/part2.img of=/dev/sdf2 bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror
If you are connecting both drives to your computer, then do the following:
This presumes that /dev/sdf is the old drive and /dev/sdi is the new drive. You need to replace these labels with the ones in use by the two drives in your computer.
dd if=/dev/sdf1 of=/dev/sdi1 bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror dd if=/dev/sdf2 of=/dev/sdi2 bs=4096 conv=notrunc,noerror
When the above is completed, you can place the new drive in the linkstation, hook it back up to the mains and network, and you’re good to go!
Enjoy your “new” Linkstation, and smile since you saved a £100 by doing this instead of getting a new 2TB NAS drive! :p
You can find information on upgrading other models of linkstation devices as well as installing custom firmware at buffalo.nas-central.org.