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XPEnology bare metal install Step-by-Step video

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itGeeks
On 1/10/2018 at 6:19 PM, namvan said:

Hi @ImTheTypeOfGuy I think you meant Synology hardward specs are low? I am using one of a low-end NAS and it is working as fast as the normal servers for file sharing. Media Streaming is also fine. I think the reasons behind Synology low specs are around power consumption for a 24/7 NAS.

 

Also I have put DSM to an i7 box down the same path as @itGeeks did and could see most of the time CPU percentage is at 1% or so. This meant that DSM does not actually need a lot of CPU power.

What are you using for media streaming? Sadly you are correct about Synology low specs hardware but they are failing big time to meet there home users HIGH demand for a NAS that can run Plex with real-time streaming. There is no reason Synology can't produce a Core i3 or even an i5 NAS for the same cost as these shitty low power boxes they have now. There profit margin for these low power boxes is threw the roof. That said I know we get an incredibly app store mostly free of charge and the development of this cost money. QNAP has the edge on specs when it comes to hardware but there OS and packages suck in my humble opinion.

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Ikon-TNG

ok, NOW I find this thread! Sheesh :wacko:. I haven't watched the video yet, but, everyone hang on to your seats: I, yes me, just managed to install (well, OK, it's still going through the final bit of the installation but nevertheless) XPEnology 6.1-15047, DS3617sx onto my father's old Acer H340 NAS!!!! :D

 

The backstory. I was doing some cleanup of my father's 'stuff'. He had a LOT of stuff: racks & racks of it. Inside a Rubbermaid storage tub I found a Synology cs407e and an Acer H340. Fortunately, the power brick for the cs407e was in the tub too.

 

I put the cs407e on a bench and had a look. It still had a hard drive in it?! What to do next? Oh, gee, I wonder.... Yah, of course I powered it up. It seemed to start fine, but of course I couldn't tell cause it has no display. I checked Untangle and found it's IP address. I tried browsing to that IP and, OMG, it connected! I couldn't believe it. Things just don't go that easy for me.... ever!

 

The Synology software is really interesting, but I pretty quickly realised the cs407e is no power box. Online I found out its CPU runs at 266 MHZ and it has a whopping 64 MB or RAM.

 

That got me thinking. What if I could put the Synology OS onto the H340. Online I found out about XPEnology. The reading was pretty difficult, but I plowed ahead. I followed a tutorial by Polanskiman, being really careful not to miss anything. Anyway, after creating the USB flash drive. I put it into a USB port I found on the front of the H340. Being on the front made me think it might be a special port somehow. I don't know if it really is special, but the H340 booted from the USB stick just fine thankyou.

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Ikon-TNG

The H340 is way faster than the cs407e. And that's with a much more recent version of the OS to boot. I just ran an update to the latest version of DSM, which has to be done manually when using XPEnology apparently. Now I'm trying to shut down so I can add some more HDDs, but it's taking forever to shut down. Not sure what that's about.

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itGeeks

Your a busy boy these days:D And keeping me busy as well but I love it:) OK for your power down problem you need to download and install "power button" found here, Without this package if you push the power button it will do a hard shutdown and that's not healthy.... 

Edited by itGeeks

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Ikon-TNG

Thanks for the link. I've downloaded both versions and, as soon as I've got the extra drives installed and created a volume, I'll hopefully be able to install one of them that works.

 

I do find the updates/upgrades thing with XPEnology kind of obscure. As in, how are you supposed to know which package to download? It can get confusing.

 

Despite all that, I'm pretty stoked that I was able to get through it and wind up with a successful install. Not sure what I'll do with the cs407e. It might be a good place to store bare metal backups of our various PCs and tablets, since I don't think speed would be such an issue with that.

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Ikon-TNG

Oops, something happened. The system seemed to shut down fine after installing the Power Button package, but now it won't boot. I'm trying to redo the USB flash drive with a fresh Win32image, but it's giving me a hassle too.

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Ikon-TNG

Have no idea what's going on. I think I may have hosed 2 USB flash drives, and XPEnology won't install onto a fresh HDD. This is more typical of what happens to me.

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itGeeks

1) What exactly is going on?

2) Does the box boot from the USB?

3) Did you disable "Fast Boot" in the bios?

 

I am realy not sure what dictates to use one XPEnolgy 'boot loader' version over the other, at first I thought you should select the version that matches the specs the closest to your hardware but the more research I did it seems that may not be the case. Anyway have a look at this XPEnology - DSM 6.1 (Bare Metal) tutorial, This is not the how-to video I learned from but it is less setup work then I wen't threw and seems to work. Click on the show more on the video, He has all the links for the software needed.

 

On closing I have found that not all USB thumb drives are bootable or should I say they don't behave right as 'boot drives' just fyi. Also make sure you disable fast boot in the bios 

 

Hope this helps.....

 

Edited by itGeeks

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Ikon-TNG

1) I spent most of yesterday up to 10pm trying to troubleshoot, and failing. Overnight, I had a dream. I realised I had forgotten to get the VIDs and PIDs of the other USB sticks I was trying, so it was never going to work. I thought, "Aha", I've got it. So, at 10am this morning I started in again. I've gotten further, and learned a whole bunch about various things, but I haven't got a successful install, yet.

    a: I learned about DISKPART. It may be command line based, but this is a great little program.

    b: I learned that deleting the partitions from a hard drive doesn't seem to be enough. The install just wouldn't proceed if only the partitions are deleted. I learned about the DISKPART CLEAN command. That seems to help a lot.

    c: I learned that you shouldn't CLEAN USB sticks. I seem to have destroyed 2 SanDisk 8GB Cruzer sticks. Now I use DISKPART to delete the partitions before using Win32imager to write the .img file to them again (and again and again...).

    d: I learned to keep an eagle eye on the network activity light on the H340. If it doesn't come on within a couple of minutes, something is badly wrong.

    e: I learned that it's more efficient to create a grub.cfg file for each USB stick I might use.

     f: I leaned that, when an install fails, the Synology Assistant will insist that the DiskStation is still there. Even if you quite Synology Assistant, it will still think it's there. I learned that there is a process in Task Manager called either DS Assistant or DS Assistance that, if you End Task on it, then Synology Assistant will work properly again.

 

2) yes, the box boots from the USB stick.

3) remember, this is an Acer H340. It is headless, as in there is no video port to attach a monitor. So, I can't get into the BIOS.

 

I, too, kind of got the impression you can pretty much choose whichever image you fancy the most. I chose the DS3617xs. That's what worked the first time.

 

I didn't follow the video the first time either. I followed the tutorial the guy refers to in the video.

 

My father made me well aware of the dangers of USB sticks, and that they're not all created equal. The ones I'm using are booting OK. It's just that the process isn't completing at this point. Time to go back to the tutorial and follow step-by-step.

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Ikon-TNG

So no luck at all. No way, no how can I get XPEnology to reinstall on the H340 again. It is sooo weird. Why did it work the first time, flawlessly? I'm completely mystified.

 

I have spent wayyyy too many hours on this. It's ridiculous. This is why I never got too involved in tech in the past: It will suck your life away. I did get XPEnology running just fine on another motherboard. On the board it says DG33M06. Online it says it's an Intel motherboard. Anyway, it works. The only weird thing is, the XPEnology install is supposed to have a countdown timer for its menu and, after a certain number of seconds, it's supposed to run the default option, usually the first one in the menu.

 

Mine doesn't do that. Usually, with the GPT version of the loader, it will jump right into the first part of the installation, but on the reboot following the copying of DSM to the hard drive, the menu comes back up and just sits there; no countdown, no nothing. If I don't hit Enter the install will time out with an error. If I do hit Enter, the whole installation is really quite quick and successful.

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