USB HDD storage alternatives to the NLSU2?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by jonasolof, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. jonasolof

    jonasolof LI Guru Member

    I've struggled for hours with a new NLSU2. Even when connecting it directly to a PC on XP with the address, subnet, gateway it wasn't possible to ping it. Browser wouldn't work either. The firewall is off and I'm logging in as admin.

    I then tried with a win2K PC and had the first page up. The the NLSU2 couldn't be connected to anymore, although the PC showed that the network is connected. Resets long and short won't help.

    Having spent some hour on the forums I realize that the NLSU2 is not up to the task of running for months in a remote location to store surveillance camera data, even if I were able to update the firmware.

    So now I'm looking for alternative ways of connecting one or two 500GB USB HDD in network storage. Suggestions welcome. The NLSU2 will go back to Linksys.
  2. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    My NSLU2 has been running for several years 24/7 collecting snapshots every minute or five minutes depending on the time of day from a networked surveillance camera onto a USB flash drive. It isn't at a remote location, but it is in another room and I rarely touch it physically.
  3. slam5

    slam5 LI Guru Member

    i am not familiar with the nlsu2 but why are you directly hooking up the nlsu2 to the machine directly? you suppose to hook the nlsu2 to the router/switch of your network and then run the setup utility on the cd and set it to a static ip address outside the range of the dhcp pool. for example, if your gateway is set for you dhcp pool goes from to you can get the static ip address to this is only an example.
  4. jonasolof

    jonasolof LI Guru Member

    I connected it directly to the PC since hooking it up via a DHCP router didn't work. The direct connection was according to recommendations on the Linksys support user forum - and it did work since at least the first page was shown. I didn't go any further since I intended to upgrade the firmware and took the time to download it on another computer with the intention of transferring the upgrade to the PC with the NSLU2 with a USB flash memory.

    When I tried to enter the page 15 minutes later it was blocked. No way to resume connection with the NSLU2. This was on a win2k machine.

    Today I tried with a fourth laptop, running XP Pro. After pressing reset during power up, I could ping the NSLU2 and there was a pop up saying that there was a new device on my network (only the NSLU2 connected). And then nothing. Browser connection to didn't work and then ping didn't work.

    I have the windows XP firewall disabled and Zone Alarm disabled. It still seems that the NSLU2 is blocked by something. And now the ethernet connection starts to be irregular.

    It could be that the NSLU2 only works for a minute and then overheats. I'll redo the test when it has cooled down.

    No a cooler NSLU2 didn't work. New problem: The ethernet connection to the laptop goes on and off. Tried with different cables. My NSLU2 wasn't delivered with a magnet around the ethernet cable but one around the adapter cable. Tried it around the ethernet cable at the NSLU2 end, according to hints. No luck.
  5. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    First off it sounds like the NSLU2 might be defective out of the box. It wouldn't be the first one we have heard about there.

    When attempting to first access the NSLU2 disabling the WinXP firewall is a good start. However, for ZoneAlarm, unless you disable the vsmon.exe file running in the backgroun which runs the TrueVector service, then you haven't disabled ZA. Somewhat easier than trying to disable ZA, is to simpley set it to trust the 192.168.1.x subnet or only the IP: This may require a reboot of the computer after making these trust settings.

    If you have taken care of ZA either way, you are probably back to a diagnosis of a defective NSLU2. Especially with the intermittent access you have had.

    That device for the ethernet cable is a ferrite choke and is to cut noise on the cables that might cause faulty transmissions, but I can't say how neccesary it it is.

    I think your best bet is to contact Linksys support for a possible RMA,

    If you describe a little more details about your intended usage for the NSLU2, I might be able to offer an opinion on how well it could handle the job. For example, I've found that the NSLU2 read access really bogs down after about 8-10K smallish (50-100 KB-sized) files have been continuously written to it with only a FAT32 drive connected (it may also do this with both ext3 and FAT32 drives connected). The solution is to have the NSLU2 do frequent (daily) automatic reboots. Access of the file directory is still slowed because of so many files, but at least a read out of any particular file is greatly speeded up by the system reboots.
  6. jonasolof

    jonasolof LI Guru Member

    I'll have the opportunity to try a second NSLU2 in a few days (I bought two in January but only brought one to our summer home. The second will arrive in a couple of days. It can't be excluded that the device was damaged since I connected the USB drive without powering off either box. Next time I'll know better. I did not try to install one until now.

    The intended usage is slightly floating. I could use it to store photos, films and music for family members or I could use it for storing surveillance camera fotage. In the latter case, I'd like to be able to access the network HDD from the outside.
  7. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    As I mentioned, my network camera takes snapshots and FTPs them to my NSLU2. I pretty much review or delete them after a day or two. When the directory accumulates multi-thousands of files, the access gets sluggish. The flash drive for storage is nice because it uses no power and has no moving parts to break, but it is limited to FAT32 (unless you have a 16 GB flash drive).

    I have an ext3 HD that I power up when I need to use the NSLU2 for back ups of computer files, but normally the HD is off.

    I don't usually try to access the snapshots from off my network. I have a VPN tunnel that handles that though when needed. If you ext3 the drives, then you have the option of setting passwords. You could simply forward or port translate the http access through your router and then have your files password protected. FTP access to the NSLU2 through a router can be tricky to set up and I haven't heard much success doing that.

    Probably your NSLU2s purchased in January should be "over-clocked". Once you get then operating and broken in, you might open them up to check for the missing resister. You wouldn't want to do this until you are certain you won't need your warranty. Over clocking definitely speeds up directory access and GUI page loads.
  8. jonasolof

    jonasolof LI Guru Member

    I really bought the NSLU2s to get started in network storage, but now that reality kicks, I think I'll limit usage to internal network storage. There are other alternatives for ftp retrieval of stored data over the internet (eg NS232). And I'll be sure to consult more before goint into other solutions.

    Won't overclocking bring more heat and make the reported heat problem worse? I read about somebody attaching a heat sink but didn't really get it where he put it. Wouldn't the easiest remedy be to simply take the casing off?
  9. d__l

    d__l Network Guru Member

    It isn't really over clocked. The chip is simply run at its full rated speed. Originally Linksys shipped the units with the chip running at half rated speed and then they switched to full speed about May a year ago.

    AFAIK, no one has ever reported an overheating problem from the chip when it is run at full speed. I thought about attaching a heatsink to mine when I doubled it its speed, but I've had no problems so I haven't bothered.
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