NSLU2 Windows Compatability (Network Storage Link)

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by GadgetJohn, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. GadgetJohn

    GadgetJohn Guest

    I should have read this board before purchasing an NSLU2. How LinkSys can suggest using it with USB Flash Disks to easily transfer data given the lack of Windows compatability I don't know. The package does not say that it uses LINUX rather than Windows formatting on the disk. I will be returning the unit - especially after reading about all the problems with read-only files. My advice - don't buy one.
  2. Disman_ca

    Disman_ca Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    USB flash drives keep the native fat files system. the NSLU2 does not change the format unless it is an external hard disk. Not that I am trying to convince you or anything. I just want to ensure you understand it only changes the format for non-flash type drives. I will admit, the NSLU2 is not for everyone. I am currently use the Unslung firmware and have not had the read only issue as of yet.
  3. ppcfan

    ppcfan Network Guru Member

    More information ...

    Hi Disman_ca,
    what version of Unslung did you use ? Is there any way to go back to the original firmware ?
    At the moment I have the "read only" problem since 4 days after month of no problems with the NSLU2.
  4. Disman_ca

    Disman_ca Super Moderator Staff Member Member

  5. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    now i dont own a nslu2 but using the unslug firmware will let you bypass the read-only issue. and how do u flash the firmware. you just go into the web interface?
    what are the benefits of using the unslug firmware? feautres?
  6. scsilord

    scsilord Network Guru Member

    I'm a satisfied user using unslung 5.5 Beta. Never had any device based problems only had a reformat cuz i edited the wrong file from the OS that was unsling to the external hdd.

    Unslung allows you to install packages, like apache, VSFTP, a radius server, etc..
    If you're carefull you can easily edit the webpages.
    The creators are trying to or have fixed plenty of linksys bugs.
    The minimum diskspace amount to be recognized as external hdd has ben reduced from 10GB to 1GB, this helped me adding a 2GB usb microdrive to my NSLU2 on port 1 for the basics and the large drive on port 2 for data storage.

    For the people that want to hook their NSLU2 formatted disk onto a windows OS pc, try to use EXT2/3 drivers. I'm using a cracked version of Paragon Ext2FS Anywhere for this. :oops:
    :arrow: Remember that the NSLU2 must unmount the disk by shutting it down properly or else it isn't readable on your windows pc.
    When you have packages installed and it scandisk keeps blabbering 'disk in use', turn it of reboot without the disk, plug in when completely booted, wait for it t be mounted and the do another shutdown.
  7. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    what do you mean radius server, becuase if i could use this as a radius server than that would be great. where is the cheapest place i could get one a online store or a regular store like bestbuy.
  8. scsilord

    scsilord Network Guru Member

  9. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    does the nslu2 have built-in memroy is it accessible. can you wirte to it. does the nslu2 backup the data on the drives. and where can it backup to, can it backup the info on the drives.
  10. u3gyxap

    u3gyxap Network Guru Member

    Yes, it does have some internal memory, in uNSLUng 3.28 it is available as JFFS, but is not much.
    Yes, you can write, it is mouted as R/W.
    Yes, you can do backups, on whatever you have mounted as R/W.
    Cheaper will be online, you can get one for around $70. On eBay even for less.
    I suggest you to check this site:
    Also, if you have basic linux skills you will get more out of the NSLU2 with a custom firmware.
  11. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    cool thanks. i am really thinking about this. it is possible to have people from outside my network have access to the nslu2. like for example have people download info from the nslu2 from the internet. sorry for all the questions for a something this expensive i want to get all ym facts right. and what are some of the flaws or things that linksys could inprove on, the "cons"
  12. u3gyxap

    u3gyxap Network Guru Member

    Yes, it is possible to have people from outside your network to download stuff from your NSLU2. It makes a nise file/web/ftp/vpn/RADIUS server.
    Cons - you will need external HDD to use it.
  13. Disman_ca

    Disman_ca Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    When your electricity goes out, so does the slug and you will have to press the on button again. People complain about performance with data transfers to and from the drives (too slow) but it doesn't bother me. It would be nice to have more usb ports (maybe even USB 2.0 support) to add more devices. For example, the slug firmware and packages can even add the capability of adding a web cam and usb printer for network printing. Its deffinately a fun toy to play with, although I haven't done much with mine yet.

    Web sites running on the slug

    Success stories
  14. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    cool but $100 for the nslu2 is way too much. sure it can do alot of cool things but in my opinon untill the price goes down it is not worth it.
  15. u3gyxap

    u3gyxap Network Guru Member

    Jagboy, it depends on how much you need it, and how much you are going to use it. In my case, even if it was $180, I would still have it. Other people want it for $50 and not a penny more. As I always say: If you don't need it, don;t buy it. If you need it and you will justify the purchase with usage, then buy it, it is just money.
  16. jagboy

    jagboy Network Guru Member

    money i dont have, i am in the same job situation as brainslyer :(
  17. techmanblues

    techmanblues Network Guru Member

    Ok, I am using the device right now with the stock Linksys firmware. When I connect the Ext3 formatted drive to my laptop running XPPro, XP does not recognize the Ext3 drive. I booted from a Koppnix CD on the laptop and although Koppnix can see and even open the files (jpgs and doc) in the ext3 drive via the usb connection, I simply cannot get Koppnix to copy files from the ext3 drive to my ntfs drive in the laptop. I then created a fat32 partition on the laptop drive, still no luck. Basically right now, there is no way I can copy files from the ext3 drive via the usb connection to my laptop drive.

    How did you manage to get the files out of the ext3 drive onto your (I assume) ntfs partition using this Pragon Ext2FS Anywhere program? Would this only work if the ext3 drive is connected to the Windows PC internally and not through the USB cable as an external drive? In my case, I have no choice because I have no desktop, only a laptop and therefore I cannot physically mount the ext3 drive as an internal drive in the laptop.

    I mean what is the point of using the NSLU2 when one cannot easily get the data out of the ext3 drive in this Windows-dominated world? For example, right now I use this NSLU2 device as a backup disk. So far it works great, very convenient for me because the old way to backup was to plug and unplug the external USB drive to the laptop for backup. Now, the backup drive just sits there in the closet next to the router. But what happens when I need to access the data from this ext3 drive because NSLU2 is not working? I have to to plug the usb drive to my laptop of course. So far I cannot do this because of file system incompatibility.

    Trying to get Microsoft and Linux to work together is so difficult! This bring up a point of why Linksys decided to use ext3 as the file format of choice for the SNLU2? Since it recognize the FAT32 on a USB flash stick, why not do the same to the usb drive? or at the very least offer the option to format the USB hard drive ext3 or NTFS/Fat32?
  18. scsilord

    scsilord Network Guru Member

    Accessing the ext3 partitions is a real pain in the @ss. The NSLU2 can't properly dismount the partitions if they are in use and there are a lot of uNSLUng packages that constantly "use" the partititions. The NSLU2 can't dismount them when shutting down and th pc-OS complains that the disk is rotten and asks you if you want to format it, never do that!.

    The solution is really simple, boot the NSLU2 without hdd's attached, when it's fully booted plug the disk in, let it mount and press the powerbutton to properly shut the NSLU2 off. Now there are no programs that use the harddisk and it will be properly dismounted and readable for the PC.

    I only needed this so that i can edit the settings from my packages with notepad.

    If the NSLU2 acually dies, i think you're screwed until you get a new one.
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