Wow…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 LinkStation LS-WXL 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 EM Mode which is Emergency Mode (or Emergency Mode Mode if you’re picky about how these things are written) 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 latest firmware version 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?
In 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 (using this guide) 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.
However everything was in Japanese!
To change this back to English
Click the second tab from the right (System)
Click the first sub-tab from left (Settings)
Click third bar from top, or lowest bar (Language)
Click the bottom button (modify)
Change display and Windows languages to English and then click left button (Save)
I was then able to set up the NAS again.
The biggest downside to this was I obviously lost all the data on the device. It wasn’t a big deal in this scenario but there is an excellent article that talks about NAS recovery. It covers a lot of the things I’ve mentioned above as well as additional areas such as attempting to copy the data from the hard disks.
I’m still not entirely sure why this all happened in the first place but I’m glad I managed to get it back up and running again – these notes are so I’ve got the process written down somewhere – maybe it’ll help someone else too!
Some useful community resources I used during all of this: