Snap! Server 1000 Upgrade Instructions (Snap! Appliances) NAS

Discussion in 'Windows Networking' started by Christopher Hui, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. KEYWORDS : Snap Server Quantum Appliances 1000 1100 1400 2000 Hard Disk
    Upgrade Firmware. MESG=GOOGLE GROUPS ARCHIVE.

    READ THE WHOLE DOCUMENT BEFORE BEGINNING.




    I had a LOT of trouble finding this information on the web and spent a LOT
    of time sorting out this NAS unit ... so I thought I would do a small public
    service by revealing some tricks here for those who wish to upgrade their
    aging NAS server.

    The Quantum Snap Server 1000 is designed to be a simple self-contained NAS
    device. It is not user upgradeable (according to Quantum). However. IF you
    are willing to void your warranty, then it is ENTIRELY possible to upgrade
    it to 120gb ... from a paltry 15gb !!

    In the UK, a 120gb drive is now very cheap (Jan 2004) ... so for very little
    money, you can update your NAS with this technique !! NEW-lease-of-life ...
    !!

    The only other reference page I found on the net related to a Snap! Server
    2000 upgrade which seems to be much simpler for some reason. It gives some
    clues however to the inner workings of the unit.

    Find "HACK A SNAP" here ...
    http://www.procooling.com/articles/html/hack_a_snap__server-_joe___10_.php

    Anyway.

    A straight swap with the Snap! Server 1000/1100
    (http://www.snapappliance.com/page.cfm?name=1100Main&nav=1100) does NOT work
    .... the unit fails to boot, with the SYSTEM and LINK LED's blinking in-sync
    about 1/sec. No HTTP response from the unit. I spent many hours messing
    around ... so I hope that I save you some time by sharing this information
    with the public domain.

    The internal workings appear similar to the photos shown at PROcooling's
    website above so I will not repost the binaries.

    The IDE controller and motherboard supports up to 120gb drives using UDMA
    mode (unknown).



    INSTRUCTIONS.



    STOP !! BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, YOU MUST BE AWARE THAT THIS PROCESS DESTROYS
    DATA (FORMAT REQUIRED) AND COMPLETELY VOIDS ANY HOPE OF A WARRANTY FROM
    SNAP! APPLIANCES. BACK UP ALL DATA TO ANOTHER DEVICE BEFORE COMMENCING
    SURGERY !!


    1. Upgrade firmware to latest. I have used the free version 3.4.803. This is
    available from the website (http://www.snapappliance.com/) along with
    install instructions. This step DOES NOT VOID WARRANTY. Version 4.0 looks
    very nice ... but I don't believe in paying for firmwares. The only thing it
    seems to add is native support for Advanced Server 2003 etc.

    2. I DO NOT MAKE ANY GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU. But if you have
    any questions or want further information, then please do not hesitate to
    email me. My hardware version is 3.1.1 according to the ASSIST program.
    Software version 3.4.803.

    3. The original 15gb HDD has to be working for this upgrade ... we will need
    the headers and hidden OS partition.

    4. Dissassemble the NAS device carefully. This is done by undoing the 4 feet
    at the bottom. And then the internal aluminium case is held in by some
    plastic clips on the outer casing.

    5. The HDD is a 15gb Quantum Fireball CT (IDE) or equivalent. The IDE
    selection should be jumpered to CS (CABLE SELECT) ... Remove the drive and
    plug into a PC with IDE interface. Please remove ALL other drives from the
    system and make it boot from a MS-DOS FLOPPY.

    6. Basically. If you run FDISK now, or indeed any other disk management
    utility, it will report NO PARTITIONS !!

    7. This is a BIG problem. There are actually 2 hidden partitions with
    proprietary OS's / file structures on the disk ... but it shows up as EMPTY
    !! I screened it with Windows XP / FDISK / WinME / DOS / Paragon /
    PowerQuest / Ghost etc.

    6. None of the commercial softwares will copy it as they cannot even
    identify the file-structure or partitions. Even the "so-called" bit-for-bit
    disk cloning software fails.

    7. I tried the latest offerings by Acronis, Symantec (Ghost 2003), Paragon,
    PowerQuest, XXCOPY16, HDCOPY, and even a LINUX boot-disk and "dd" ... I was
    very surprised when even "dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb" failed to work ... !!
    (it is supposed to do bit-to-bit or sector-to-sector copying too ... but
    perhaps I am not so good with LINUX/SuSE boot-ups !!). THEY ALL FAILED.

    8. So how was it done? We MUST copy the proprietary boot OS / MBR across to
    the new drive bit-for-bit. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO GET THIS WRONG as if you
    copy it the wrong way, you may copy the new drive's MBR over the NAS drive's
    MBR ... and you will LOSE the precious OS-stub ... Quantum / Snap! will NOT
    provide this ... and I have not got a way to extract it from a working drive
    for reinstallation onto another drive.

    9. The ONLY software that seems to work is a small utility called DOLLY
    (after the CLONED sheep !!). Get it from here ...
    ftp://ftp.bke.hu/pub/mirrors/sac/utildisk/dolly.zip

    10. IMPORTANT (THIS MUST BE DONE THIS WAY!) ... Setup the computer so that
    both hard disks are on the same IDE chain. Change the jumpers and cable
    positions so that the NAS drive is the PRIMARY and the new upgrade (120gb)
    drive is the SLAVE. REMOVE ALL OTHER DEVICES FROM THE MOTHERBOARD.

    11. Boot from floppy.

    12. Run DOLLY as per LINUX instructions here ...
    http://www.cs.inf.ethz.ch/CoPs/patagonia/dolly.html ... but use the LINE
    "C:\>DOLLY xhd128: xhd129:" ... the reason the drive order is important is
    because DOS-DOLLY will automatically assign xhd128 to the PRIMARY and xhd129
    to the SLAVE. YOU DO NOT WANT TO COPY THE MBR AND OS THE WRONG WAY ROUND !!
    (THERE IS NO SALVAGE THEN). Needless to say this is an UPGRADE so xhd129
    MUST be equal to or larger than xhd128. Make sure it copies without ANY
    ERRORS. Repeat if there is with another drive ... we cannot proceed until we
    are sure we have a good copy of the OS on the new drive.

    13. The IMPORTANT OS bits are thus copied across. The problem is that it
    also copies drive geometry so my new 120gb drive now thinks its a 15gb drive
    !!? With the same cluster and sector setup as the original drive ... !?!?!
    Arrgghhh ... but at least it now boots properly in the Snap! Server.

    14. Replace the new OS-installed 120gb drive into the NAS ... select CS on
    the jumpers again ... boot up !!

    15. Now the cheeky part. Snap! have a secret command line interface into
    their 'sealed' NAS ... found via the web interface at
    "http:/Snapxxxxxx/config/debug" ... more information about this is here ...
    <http://groups.google.co.uk/groups?q=snap+server+1000+upgrade&hl=en&lr=&ie=U
    TF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=e72172.mac.com-C88139.23243910022002%40paloalto-snr2.gtei
    ..net&rnum=1>

    16. So go to http://yourserver/config/debug and type in ... "config devices
    info", to get the partition device numbers (should be 10000).

    17. Then type in "config devices format 10000 /reinit", to reformat the data
    partition (this is the safest way to resize the disk without damaging or
    altering the secret OS partition).

    18. Then reset. And run a full repair and check on the drive.

    19. After reboot, and format, the full 120Gb of the new disk is available to
    your new UPGRADED NAS DEVICE !! (after a reboot and the reinit format).

    20. I HOPE THIS HELPS. AGAIN. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OR
    WARRANTY with this information ... but I spent a lot of time working it out
    .... so I hope it saves you some time ... !?



    I used this exact method to successfully update an old NAS Snap! Server I
    bought very cheaply from eBay.co.uk ... they are even more plentiful in the
    states. Just buy any old working unit. And upgrade it to 120gb. I used a
    SAMSUNG drive. But basically the aim should be a 5400rpm cool-running and
    reliable device.

    If I find time later, and am curious, I might try this process again with a
    larger drive still ... curious about the new 250gb drives ... the IDE
    interface on my unit was from circa 2000 ... so handles up to 120gb fine ...
    but am not sure if it will pass that limit ... ? If anyone out there knows
    for sure, then please let me know !! Perhaps there is one more upgrade cycle
    left ... !?

    I assumed that this was the limit, as it seems to be the case for a lot of
    NAS / TiVO / HDD Recording devices ??

    Thanks for reading.
     
    Christopher Hui, Jan 21, 2004
    #1
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