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Author Topic: Initial Setup for DNS-321  (Read 8152 times)

Gmoney

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Initial Setup for DNS-321
« on: November 27, 2010, 01:00:34 AM »

This is my first NAS so please forgive any "dumb" questions.  I just ordered my D-Link DNS-321 from Tiger Direct for $79 and it will arrive sometime next week.  I am just trying to get as much info as possible so that my setup can go smoothly.  I'm a very impatient person and I don't do well with Tech support individuals. I am a DJ so i will be storing my music and movies to the device. A few years ago I dropped my external HDD and lost ALL of my music. I almost retired from the business because I had no backup. I have gotten most of my music back from countless hours of downloading. Can't go through that again.

So, can someone kindly tell me what i should do after i open the box.  I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router that is about 4 years old. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit on my desktop with AVG antivirus and Windows Vista 32 Bit on my laptop with Symantec Endpoint for antivirus.  I plan on using my PS3 to watch movies with the device as well. I will be installing 2 WD 1 TB 64MB Cache drives into the device.

Should I install the drives into the device before powering it up or should I power it up and upgrade the firmware first before drive installation?

I will be using Raid 1. Anything critical during setup that I should be aware of?

How do i setup the FTP functionality?

Are there any major "Gotcha" things that i should be aware of.

Thanks in advance for any feedback. My apologies on the lengthy post.

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jamieburchell

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 03:28:02 AM »

I would upgrade the firmware before installing any drives.
You could have issues if your WD drives use new "4K sector" technology aka "Advanced Format", there is a sticky topic at the top of the forum with more details.

As you've discovered how important a backup is, you need to realise that RAID is not a backup. RAID 1 will protect you from a disk failure only. It will not protect you against file system corruption, viruses, accidental file deletes/overwrites, etc. You should have at least one other copy of the data.

As for FTP, there's a few posts around here with further details, but the main points are:

- Enable the FTP server from the NAS's web interface

If you need remote access to your files:

- Configure your router/firewall to forward port 21 to the internal IP address of your NAS.
- If your external IP address is dynamic and changes, register with a service like dyndns.org and setup your router to use it

I would give the NAS a static IP address to make these things easier (I.e. not DHCP).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 03:30:25 AM by jamieburchell »
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Gmoney

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 10:32:20 AM »

Thanks Jamie. I haven't ordered my drives yet so i will make sure the WD drives will work.
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Gmoney

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 10:56:43 AM »

Jamie, thanks for the heads up on the WD Advanced drives. The drives i had waiting in my cart at Amazon were 2 1TB drives that use the Advanced Technology.  You definitely saved me some frustration and money.  Thanks a million.
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jamieburchell

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 12:08:29 PM »

Glad to have helped!
The supported drives list is a little dated now, but most other drives should work fine. I'm currently using a SAMSUNG HD502HJ (500GB) and a SAMSUNG HD203WI (2TB) and before that a couple of Seagate Barracuda 500GB drives.
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kevindt

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 01:38:40 PM »

Hello and welcome!  I love these little boxes.  I have had the current one running over a year with two Hitachi 1TB drives in, working flawlessly.   I have two more on order from the same place as you to use at work, taking advantage of that price and the $20 rebate on each from D-Link.

I would agree with all of the above comments regarding drives.  I would advise you to set the box up from the start as two separate drives, not RAID 1.  For the kind of data you are describing, changing slowly, it makes more sense in terms of protection.  Store the data on one, back it up to the other (either using a backup utility on your computer, or if you get more adventurous later there are elegant and more efficient ways to do it on the DNS-321 itself).  I have had disasters twice from two other NAS boxes - from Buffalo, one with a single drive and one with two in a RAID 1 array.  They both came with Samsung drives that all failed within 6-18 months.  With two single drives, if one fails the other is instantly accessible on the DNS-321.  If the DNS-321 fails, the single drives are readable easily under a Linux live CD or, with the right software, by Windows.  Rebuilding a RAID after one drive fails ranges between easy but time consuming to downright difficult, rebuilding a RAID after a box failure can frequently be a nightmare.  One of the Buffalos needed Jtagging to repair, the other was unrepairable for less than it cost.

The best features of these boxes in my opinion:

1. They have all the operating software in the hardware, unlike some others (like the Buffalos above, where a failure of the first drive (which contains important OS components) can make them at best terrible to fix and at worst totally non-functional.

2. You can choose good drives yourself and easily replace them if necessary.

3. They are very easy to add onto via Fonz fun_plug if you ever get into playing more with the software driving them.  For instance, with a couple of scripts running, my box does a pair of rotating incremental backups of the first drive automatically to the second drive (mine is set to daily and weekly, but it can be more or less frequently), keeping a set of 5 snapshots of the files being backed up.

4. Power consumption is very low compared with a computer-based server (though the FreeNas on an Atom board I use at work is pretty low too).

5.  It is really hard to beat that price  :)

Kevin.
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tristone

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 09:26:06 PM »

Hi, Could you please tell me how to give astatic IP here?
thanks


IIf you need remote access to your files:

- Configure your router/firewall to forward port 21 to the internal IP address of your NAS.
- If your external IP address is dynamic and changes, register with a service like dyndns.org and setup your router to use it

I would give the NAS a static IP address to make these things easier (I.e. not DHCP).

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kevindt

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 10:42:45 PM »

Go into the web interface on the DNS-321 from your browser.

Choose the tab <SETUP>  and than choose <LAN> at the left.

If you got this far, you should know its current web address, if no other way from the address bar of the browser.

There is a radio button for DHCP Client and one for Static IP.

If you are OK from this point, that's fine.  If you've not set up static IP's manually on other devices/machines before, ask and one of us can go over the steps if you need to.



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SnafuFlux

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 07:44:01 PM »

This is a great thread.

I am currently researching my options for a NAS; dns-321 is winning with fun_plug support.

I've a few questions.

My home system/network is as follows:
modem -> DIR-615-> DGS-1008D(main switch) branches to 2 DGS-1005D's.
The only devices that connect to my DIR-615 are wireless devices (laptops, iphones etc) and my VoIP device (DVG-1120; I swear I'm not a dlink rep).  Everything else is on an internal gigabit lan.

Mythtv home media centre (using mythbuntu).  I currently have one backend (BE) with one frontend (FE).  All my media files (non recordings) are stored on a smb share which is on the BE.  I want to offload this from the BE and put it on a nas. 

History:
I've had one HDD failure already, which almost resulted in a loss of ~700gb of media.  My gf has also lost most (read: all?) her personal files due to a laptop HDD failure.  It now is my mission to make sure that this doesn't happen again.

I had originally planned on using a RAID 1 setup.  However reading this thread has made me me think that I don't want to be doing this after all.  But rather a setup where volume_1 (first HDD) would be copied to volume_2 (second HDD) daily.

I want to make sure I fully understand what was said.

Questions:
If a HDD was to fail in RAID1, the dns-321 would rebuilt (slowly) once I put a new HDD in.  But, if the dns was to fail itself, I'd be left with a huge headache.  IF this was to happen, and I purchased a new dns-321, would I not be able to throw the drives into the new box and it should work as normal?

IF I went with the automated daily backups (via ffp) and the dns-321 was to fail, all I would need is a linux installation (I have several) and I could plug the HDD's into the computer and read the files no problem.  Could this be said for purchasing a new dns-321?  Could I just plug the HDD's into the new box and it'd be right as rain?

What would happen in a scenario where volume_1 fails.  Would I turn volume_2 into volume_1 and plug in the new HDD?  or is the script that does autobackups smart enough to figure this out.?

Lastly, I've read that WD doesn't support their drives used for NAS', but as another user found, some of the green HDD's aren't advance formatting ready.  Namely, WD20EARS.  Would you still suggest that I avoid WD?  If so, could you suggest a suitable substitute in the 2tb range? 

Summary:
My NAS needs are being able to stream large files (media) as well as maintain backups of personal files. looking for a good 2tb sized HDD.  Wondering if backing up is better than RAID1 and would I be protected in several different scenarios.

I apologize for this long post, and don't expect many replies (tl;dr).  But for those who do, I am grateful!

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1679&p_created=&p_pv=2.294&p_prods=227%2C294
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jamieburchell

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 11:25:30 AM »

Questions:
If a HDD was to fail in RAID1, the dns-321 would rebuilt (slowly) once I put a new HDD in.  But, if the dns was to fail itself, I'd be left with a huge headache.  IF this was to happen, and I purchased a new dns-321, would I not be able to throw the drives into the new box and it should work as normal?

IF I went with the automated daily backups (via ffp) and the dns-321 was to fail, all I would need is a linux installation (I have several) and I could plug the HDD's into the computer and read the files no problem.  Could this be said for purchasing a new dns-321?  Could I just plug the HDD's into the new box and it'd be right as rain?

What would happen in a scenario where volume_1 fails.  Would I turn volume_2 into volume_1 and plug in the new HDD?  or is the script that does autobackups smart enough to figure this out.?

Lastly, I've read that WD doesn't support their drives used for NAS', but as another user found, some of the green HDD's aren't advance formatting ready.  Namely, WD20EARS.  Would you still suggest that I avoid WD?  If so, could you suggest a suitable substitute in the 2tb range?  

Summary:
My NAS needs are being able to stream large files (media) as well as maintain backups of personal files. looking for a good 2tb sized HDD.  Wondering if backing up is better than RAID1 and would I be protected in several different scenarios.

I apologize for this long post, and don't expect many replies (tl;dr).  But for those who do, I am grateful!

http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1679&p_created=&p_pv=2.294&p_prods=227%2C294

The NAS is designed so that if a drive fails, the other continues to provide access to your files. If you replace the failed hard drive, the NAS will rebuild/resync the data.

RAID is not a backup however. If your data is removed/over-written either by accident or by a virus or similar, you have no backup of your data. If the NAS dies, there is no guarantee that it won't take your drives with it - a power surge perhaps. For that reason, you should have at least one other backup away from your NAS.

You can remove the drives from your NAS and either mount them in Linux, or in Windows by downloading and installing an EXT filesystem driver from: http://www.ext2fsd.com/

In theory, you should be able to remove these drives and re-insert them into another identical unit, in the same order.

Most hard drive manufacturers will say that their "Desktop" range hard drives are not suitable for use within a NAS / RAID. There are technical reasons for this. You'll find that "Enterprise" range hard drives cost more, and are more suitable for a RAID environment. In reality, these NAS boxes take pretty much any drive. If you can just avoid the "Advanced Format Drives", you should be fine.

Here's a whitepaper on the difference between desktop and enterprise drives.
http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/enterprise_class_versus_desktop_class_hard_drives_.pdf
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 11:35:59 AM by jamieburchell »
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Gmoney

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 08:06:50 PM »

Well folks, my DNS 321 is pretty much setup.  I purchased my new router, NetGear WNDR37AV yesterday and my DNS 321 and my two 1.5TB drives showed up via UPS yesterday as well.  Router is very fast and easy to setup.  DLink was very patient with me during my setup of the 321.  For some reason. the easy search setup would not work via the cd nor the .exe file they had me download from the site. I had to plug the ethernet cable from the 321 directly into my pc's ethernet port. We began initial setup and it was not as bad.   I called them around 9:00 PM Thursday and i got off of the phone with them around 2AM Friday.

Here are a few things i still need answered.

Why is it that when you create a user and give them Network access, it creates a second volume.  I am using RAID 1 so i should only have one volume. I now have volume_1 and volume_1-1. Both are identical. If i delete something from vol_1, its gone from vol_1-1.

No matter what, i cannot get ftp to work.  My router has a USB port that is used for connection an external hdd. I connected my Western Digital external hdd to the usb on the router and it assigned port 21 to it.  So, 90% of the stuff i read says to use port 21 for ftp. well since it was in use, Dlink supp. said to use 1025. I opened 1025 in my router. In the 321 under ftp server settings, i have 1025 as the port. When i type the ip of my router 24.x.xxx.xx:1025, i get a login box. i enter the user name and password for the user i created and it takes FOREVER before anything happens. Finally a white page pops up with the ftp address and below it there is a link to select a higher directly and there is nothing else there. no volume name, no file name, no last date modified. When i click that directory link, it does noting. Dlink is telling me its a firewall issue because i gave the my user name and pword and they were able to see my files. Just plain weird.

So i made volume_1 a network drive but everytime i reboot my pc, it never logs on. I have the box check to logon on reconnect. I always have select volume_1 and map it again.

my biggest pain point so far.  I use utorrent 2.0.4 for a lot of downloads. When i change my download folder to the volume_1, uTorrent fails with an "element not found" error. it does it with my laptop and my desktop. I can download directly to y internal drives but not the NAS or my usb connected hdd to the router. Any clues? 
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Gmoney

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 11:03:59 PM »

Ok, back again.  I did some digging since my last post.  I figured out how to get utorrent to write to the NAS. had to deactivate some write and read features in the utorrent settings.  I also got ftp to work.  My attached USB drive has the option to use ftp on port 21 but the folks at NetGear told me not to use ftp because it would be slow. So even though my USB drive is pointed to port 21, it is not using it.  So i went back into my router and pointed port 21 to the NAS.  I went into the 321 ftp server setting and pointed it to port 21.  Typed in the ip with port 21 and BOOM, i was in. I will keep tweaking to become more familiar with the 321.
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jamieburchell

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2010, 02:22:19 AM »

Quote
Why is it that when you create a user and give them Network access, it creates a second volume.  I am using RAID 1 so i should only have one volume. I now have volume_1 and volume_1-1. Both are identical. If i delete something from vol_1, its gone from vol_1-1.

In this case, the NAS is simply creating another share, pointing to the same physical location of your files. Think of it as two shortcuts to the same location. The reason is that the NAS can only assign 1 user or 1 group per share. If you try to assign more, the NAS will create another share to the same location. Another limitation is that a user can only belong to one group.
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If your little 323 is not working right,
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Take a deep breath and wipe away the sweat,
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kevindt

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 09:57:31 AM »

Quote
Questions:
If a HDD was to fail in RAID1, the dns-321 would rebuilt (slowly) once I put a new HDD in.  But, if the dns was to fail itself, I'd be left with a huge headache.  IF this was to happen, and I purchased a new dns-321, would I not be able to throw the drives into the new box and it should work as normal?

IF I went with the automated daily backups (via ffp) and the dns-321 was to fail, all I would need is a linux installation (I have several) and I could plug the HDD's into the computer and read the files no problem.  Could this be said for purchasing a new dns-321?  Could I just plug the HDD's into the new box and it'd be right as rain?

What would happen in a scenario where volume_1 fails.  Would I turn volume_2 into volume_1 and plug in the new HDD?  or is the script that does autobackups smart enough to figure this out.?

Lastly, I've read that WD doesn't support their drives used for NAS', but as another user found, some of the green HDD's aren't advance formatting ready.  Namely, WD20EARS.  Would you still suggest that I avoid WD?  If so, could you suggest a suitable substitute in the 2tb range?

Summary:
My NAS needs are being able to stream large files (media) as well as maintain backups of personal files. looking for a good 2tb sized HDD.  Wondering if backing up is better than RAID1 and would I be protected in several different scenarios.

A RAID is most definitely not a safe backup on its own.  It is most suitable for data that changes quickly, and if something fails with one of the two drives in RAID 1, the data is there to be rebuilt on a replacement.  If both drives go out (power surge/failure, internal fatal failure in the NAS SATA drivers, accidental reformatting as non RAID-1 on rebuilding after a failure or changing a drive) your data is history unless you either do a lot of work yourself or pay someone else to do it (and may still be history even then).   In theory, if the DNS-321 dies gracefully without taking one or more drives with it, a RAID can be rebuilt on a new DNS-321 from the one live drive - but don't bet your irreplaceable data on it!

In the days when data density was lower, hard drive failures were rare - I have quite a few 10-year old drives running with no bad sectors or SMART errors still.  Modern consumer desktop  drives >1TB are quoted in several places as being subject to  3% plus failure rate in the first year and higher rates subsequently.  I've seen more large SATA drives fail than I ever saw with smaller IDE/SCSI drives, even with surge protection, UPS backup.  Its a jungle out there for data.

Data that change slowly, like media files added to occasionally, are probably safer to store as copies on several separate disks, ideally not in the same physical device.  One way to do this very securely with the DNS-321 is to use one drive permanently mounted to use with the device as a file server, one as backup plugged into the device only when backing up and physically removed from the device and stored separately at other times.  That avoids all of the situations above other than the accidental reformats (or rm -rf *  :))
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:10:52 AM by kevindt »
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Gmoney

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Re: Initial Setup for DNS-321
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2010, 10:25:21 AM »

Jamie, thanks for the info.  I'm just happy that i have the DNS 321 finally behaving the way it should.  Wish the write speeds were a bit better but as i begin to transfer my music and movies, I am just doing 100 gig at a time.  I'm seeing transfer speeds from the USB connected HDD to the 321 up around 13 meg/s. I can live with that.  I just start the transfer and walk away.  Since I am only using this for my personal use, i only need one user and one group.  That is mostly for the ftp feature. 

All said and done, I'm happy with the 321.  I have a coworker who plans on buying the 323 or the Netgear ReadyNas Duo 2 bay device.  The NetGear is really nice.  3 USB ports for printing and additional storage. It's still a little bit on the high end for price, $199, which seems to be the case with most NG products.  I am sure if he goes with the 323 he will be coming to me for help so i appreciate all of the knowledge you and everyone else on this forum has given me in the past few days. I will use it wisely. Thanks again.
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