NSLU2 and partitions.

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by DirtHerder, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    I apologize if this has been covered already (a cursory search did not bring up any results).

    Is the NSLU2 able to handle multiple partitions within a single drive?

    I have a number of external drives and all of them are partitioned into two drive letters. Can the NSLU2 work with those?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    When you format a drive with the NSLU2, it creates 3 partitions with the main one EXT3 and two smaller ones. I am not sure what does the NSLU2 need with these 2 smaller partitions.

    With the current bugy state of the firmware, it's best to format the drives with the NSLU2 itself. Backup the data on these drives, format the drives using the NSLU2, make sure everything works fine, then put back the data onto the NSLU2 attached drives.

    The problem with EXT3 drives is Windows does not recognize it natively. Fortunately, you can install these ext3 shell programs (some free) into Windows and have Windows mount the EXT3 and get the data off if you have to connect the EXT3 drives directly to Windows.

    This brings up an interesting thought. What if I use the NSLU2 to format the drive, then I use Partition Magic to carve a partition within the EXT partition and format this new partition NTFS? Then I would store all data on this NTFS partition. This way I have the best of both worlds? I have noticed that I cannot create additional user accounts if the drive is all NTFS. In other words, the NSLU2 only can do this on an EXT3 partition.

    Anyone here wants to take a shot at this? Create an EXT3 and NTFS partions on one drive and see what kind of an interoperability issues occur?
  3. frusti

    frusti Network Guru Member


    I did make same experiments yesterday with different drives and file systems with my NSLU2 firmware r63.

    First of all it looks like as the NSLU2 supports pre-formatted NTFS and FAT32 Hard disks but no pre-formatted ext3 Hard disks.

    My NSLU2 supports an USB-Hub on Port1 but not on Port2. If you plug in a hub on port One and attach NTFS or FAT32 (also mixed) Every Hard disk shows up in the NSLU Web Interface. The Hard disks also can have more than one Partition (not tested in detail).

    On my XP-Workstation every Hard disk shows up like HD_1_1_1, HD_1_2_1 and so on. The third number in my opinion is the partition on the Hard disk, but I did not have time to test this in detail.

    If you plug in a Hard Disk with FAT32 into Port2 it shows up as HD_2_1_1, but this port does not support an USB-Hub.

    I also formatted a Hard disk with my Linux Computer as ext3, but this one always shows up as “not formatted†in the Web-interface of my NSLU2.

    The three Partitions on a NSLU2 formatted Hard disk is: 1 Partition as SWAP, one for the System and One for the data. When you change as an example the PW for admin, it only will be used if you boot the NSLU2 with the (from the NSLU2 formatted) Hard disk attached.

    I hope this will help a little and this is only my results (I am not an expert) from little experiments with my NSLU2
  4. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    Thanks for the info!

    Can you please post your findings once you get to try out the partitioned drives? Thank you very much.

    The news that it supports using a USB hub is very welcome.
  5. frusti

    frusti Network Guru Member

    I just formatted one of my Hard disks with 6 partitions:

    1. Primary NTFS
    2. Primary FAT32
    3. EXT3
    4 Logical NTFS
    5. Logical FAT32
    6 Logical FAT32

    They all show up as HDD_1_1_1, HD_1_1_2, HD_1_3 and so on except the EXT3 Partition.
  6. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    Let's say you store data only on the FAT32 and NTFS partitions, can you plug this drive to an XP machine directly and have access to the data without the use of some shell program?
  7. ajnodine

    ajnodine Network Guru Member

    well I dicked around with it and found it easier to use this driver someone posted. It lets u see the drive in ext2 or ext3 whichever it uses. You plug it in to an xp computer, than it'll give a drive letter and you can see it without messing with the nslu configuration.
    give it a try
    ext2 xp driver
  8. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    Sounding very promising...

    One more question. Do you have to have abn EXT2/3 partition on the drive you plan to use with the NSLU? (Just trying to understand why you have such a variety of formats in your partitions).
  9. frusti

    frusti Network Guru Member

    You do not need an ext3 hard disk to use the NSLU2 as I know.

    I use both options:
    An ext3 hard disk (formatted by my NSLU2) on port2 and an USB HUB on Port1 for my NTFS/FAT32 Hard Disks.

    On the ext3 hard disk I can create shares for different users with different security levels as example for backup.

    With the USB-HUB I do have the possibility not only to connect my portable usb-drive (FAT32) but also my Archos mp3-player to use the files from different computers on my network
  10. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    That... is really cool.

    Thank you very much for the insite Frusti.
  11. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    I tried an experiment of connecting an ext3 HD and USB flash drive to a USB hub attached to Port1 of my NSLU2. Although the NSLU2 recognized that multiple drives were attached to the port indicating that the programming of the firmware has made allowances for this possibility, the flash drive recognized as FLASH_1_2_1 was the dominant drive.

    Only the public folder on the flash drive was accessible. The public folder on the HD didn't even show up, but the private files on the HD were readable. Writing was not tested.

    The Status Details only recognized the existence of the flash drive, not the HD. The guest password couldn't be changed which is normal for NSLU2 operation with only a flash drive is connected.
  12. DirtHerder

    DirtHerder Network Guru Member

    Works great!

    Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions.

    I've now got a NSLU2 setup with four 250 gb HD's via a HUB on port 1 with 2 partitions on each drive.

    Works like a dream.


    Kind of a bummer that I can't change the name of the HD's but that's not too big of a deal (maybe a future firmware enhancement? I dunno)

    One final question... I guess it's more of a Windows question.

    Is there any way to prevent WIndows from asking you if you want to Map your network drives?

    I've already got all of the drives (that are attached to the NSLU2) mapped to drive letters, however every time I boot up my computer (or the NSLU2) windows pop up asking me to assign drive letters to these drives (NOTE: the mapping I previously applied still exist and are accessible so I end up having to hit cancel every time for each drive).

    That's the only thing keeping this from being a perfect experience.

    Thanks again for all of y'all's help.

    This is a truly great resource for Linksys users (and given Linksys customer service, it's a critical one).

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice