Author Topic: Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL 6 red flash fix  (Read 716 times)

neoslover

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Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL 6 red flash fix
« on: January 03, 2021, 06:56:03 am »
To whoever is reading this,

Recently I have bought a Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL off a 2nd hand site. After booting it up with brand new 4 x 4TB Toshiba hard drives, all I got was 6 red flashes.

Here is how I fixed it:

You will need these things:

A computer. I used a laptop..having both wireless and wired connections was helpful. Dual wired would probably work too, or just one, but you need to change the IP, as I will explain.

The TFTP Boot Recovery program. Download here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1svyb9LFUq7VBdD9KFJ66TZ5qMgI_X59p?usp=sharing

The firmware updater for your model. Obtain from Buffalo: https://www.buffalo-technology.com/service-support/downloads/software-firmware-updates/    then type the model in - LS QVL.

Download NASNavigator from Buffalo as well.

Ethernet cord, any old patch cable will do.

Patience of a saint, a little luck and probably about a 1/2 hour to get it up and running now that I know what I am doing.

Prep: Turn off the Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL with all your harddrives installed. Laptop turned on and connected to wireless. Ethernet cord connected to LAN1 on Linkstation, the other end to LAN port of laptop.

Step 1: Download TFTP Boot Recovery EXE

Step 2: Download latest firmware for Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL from Buffalo website. Extract it to a folder as well.

Step 3: In the firmware updater folder, in my case it was called ls_series-v175, you will see two particular files. Copy, do not move, initrd.img and uImage.img to another folder.

Step 4: Rename initrd.img to initrd.zip and rename uImage.img to uImage.zip

Step 5: Go to this page: http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Firmware_update Site is down but I found the archive here -(https://web.archive.org/web/20180720224309/http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Firmware_update) and go to the bottom. There are four passwords in the section called Password Summary. You will need these to extract the files. Extract initrd.buffalo from the first file. I tried each of the passwords, in my case, the third one worked. In the second file, extract uimage-88f6281.buffalo

Step 6: Place both files in TFTP Boot Recovery folder.

Step 7: Configure LAN port of laptop to 192.168.11.1, subnet 255.255.255.0. The rest can be blank.

Step 8: Launch TFTP Boot.exe

Step 9: Turn on your Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL

Step 10: When your Linkstation is flashing the 6 red flashes, press on the function button once

Step 10: You will see on the command window of the TFTP Boot program that those two files were transferred.

Step 11: Wait. It should reboot after 30 seconds or so. Give it a minute, it seems to take a few moments to boot up. The power switch LED should turn blue and no longer red flashes.

Step 12: Extract ls_series-v175 files. Launch TSUpdater.exe. The NAS should be discoverable at this point. Click update. You should get an error saying No Partition found. Close updater.

Step 13: Edit TSUpdater.ini. Where it says NoFormatting = 1, change it to NoFormatting = 0

Step 14: Launch TSUpdater. Click Update. Drives should be formatting now and firmware will be uploaded after formatting is done. This will take a few minutes. LED finally changes to blue from red. Almost done!

Step 15: Open NASNavigator. Should see the NAS there, at this point you can add a share, or launch the Web interface. I launched the web interface, and was greeted by it all in Japanese. Yay! Something else to fix! Its a bug apparently I found out.

Step 16: Type in admin for username, and password for password. Go to the 4th tab, then scroll down. Expand the 3rd tab, then select "ENGLISH".

Step 17: Do a little dance and enjoy your renewed NAS.

hca

  • Calf
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  • Posts: 4
Re: Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL 6 red flash fix
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 08:15:30 am »
cheers for this info,
I have 2 of these units, both with issues, one almost the same, but I see 7 red flashes with drives in or out.
hopefully you post will be of great help.

hca

  • Calf
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  • Posts: 4
Re: Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL 6 red flash fix
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 02:11:48 am »
Something went wrong on the last post so I try again.

Ok thanks for the reply, with that in mind I have done further investigations these last couple of days. Bit of a close out.

On the rear label, most obvious near the MAC is stated "LS-QVL Series" lower down by the serial in small print its states LS-QV8  OTL/R5-AP.  Also manufactured Jul 2012.

Running in raid 5 so no data recovery option from 2 drives.

Ssh access: login admin and session terminates when correct password is validated, probably old ssh library used in firmware which is no longer accepted.

On start, flashes blue, then goes to 7 red flashes. Network lights are active. shutdown not working, it responds to the function button by changing from red flash back to blue. The drives all power up and seek, then quiet. The fan starts and runs.
Opening it up reveals no damage or obvious fault, extender board is seated ok. All chips are warm but nothing is running hot.   

I suspect because of the above the boot firmware is ok, processor appears to be up and ok and now its looking for the drive boot tracks. 7 red red flash may mean hardware issue with the sata bridge.
So If I were to bother fixing it, I would be looking at replacing the sata bridge chip first. Better to just load up a linux machine with drives, and serve them with nfs and samba and either raid or mirror (raid 1). Normal drive setups that are a damn side easier to deal with than the buffalo setup.



For what its worth, some observations on the drives from testing that may interest someone else down the track.

Putting them in a Debian pc all 4 have the same partition data as read with fdisk.

In another identical good unit each disk one by one in any slot. Pertaining to the OS or firmware partition, not data partitions, 2 scenarios occur.

A drive will boot with flashing blue, go green, ping after a minute or so, another couple of minutes it will have ssh and web access,
Nas Navi access, normal green light activity and red flash for error 16. Of course no raid array is available.
Empty drive bays show red. Any drives that come up like this will all come up together, shutdown on button press.
These drives will all come up on their original IP.I deem this a good drive on the firmware aspect.

Otherwise it will only get as far as steady green with ping, that's it. No shutdown button operation so you must pull the power plug.
Putting good drives in along with one like this does not help, the process stops at the same point.  In my case that was 2 of the 4 drives.

Next I took two of these sick drives and put it in a win7 box, to be told all the partitions needed formatting.
Disk management in admin tools showed all the partitions as did Debian.

I deleted them, made a single partition, drive letter and quick format and windows is happy with it.
Next after 7 hours of disk check, both came up with out any reported errors and work fine. A good idea to use a better test than MS to be sure of this.
 

ecronic

  • Calf
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  • Posts: 2
Re: Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL 6 red flash fix
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2021, 12:15:47 am »
To whoever is reading this,

Recently I have bought a Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL off a 2nd hand site. After booting it up with brand new 4 x 4TB Toshiba hard drives, all I got was 6 red flashes.

Here is how I fixed it:

You will need these things:

A computer. I used a laptop..having both wireless and wired connections was helpful. Dual wired would probably work too, or just one, but you need to change the IP, as I will explain.

The TFTP Boot Recovery program. Download here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1svyb9LFUq7VBdD9KFJ66TZ5qMgI_X59p?usp=sharing

The firmware updater for your model. Obtain from Buffalo: https://www.buffalo-technology.com/service-support/downloads/software-firmware-updates/    then type the model in - LS QVL.

Download NASNavigator from Buffalo as well.

Ethernet cord, any old patch cable will do.

Patience of a saint, a little luck and probably about a 1/2 hour to get it up and running now that I know what I am doing.

Prep: Turn off the Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL with all your harddrives installed. Laptop turned on and connected to wireless. Ethernet cord connected to LAN1 on Linkstation, the other end to LAN port of laptop.

Step 1: Download TFTP Boot Recovery EXE

Step 2: Download latest firmware for Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL from Buffalo website. Extract it to a folder as well.

Step 3: In the firmware updater folder, in my case it was called ls_series-v175, you will see two particular files. Copy, do not move, initrd.img and uImage.img to another folder.

Step 4: Rename initrd.img to initrd.zip and rename uImage.img to uImage.zip

Step 5: Go to this page: http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Firmware_update Site is down but I found the archive here -(https://web.archive.org/web/20180720224309/http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Firmware_update) and go to the bottom. There are four passwords in the section called Password Summary. You will need these to extract the files. Extract initrd.buffalo from the first file. I tried each of the passwords, in my case, the third one worked. In the second file, extract uimage-88f6281.buffalo

Step 6: Place both files in TFTP Boot Recovery folder.

Step 7: Configure LAN port of laptop to 192.168.11.1, subnet 255.255.255.0. The rest can be blank.

Step 8: Launch TFTP Boot.exe

Step 9: Turn on your Buffalo Linkstation LS-QVL

Step 10: When your Linkstation is flashing the 6 red flashes, press on the function button once

Step 10: You will see on the command window of the TFTP Boot program that those two files were transferred.

Step 11: Wait. It should reboot after 30 seconds or so. Give it a minute, it seems to take a few moments to boot up. The power switch LED should turn blue and no longer red flashes.

Step 12: Extract ls_series-v175 files. Launch TSUpdater.exe. The NAS should be discoverable at this point. Click update. You should get an error saying No Partition found. Close updater.

Step 13: Edit TSUpdater.ini. Where it says NoFormatting = 1, change it to NoFormatting = 0

Step 14: Launch TSUpdater. Click Update. Drives should be formatting now and firmware will be uploaded after formatting is done. This will take a few minutes. LED finally changes to blue from red. Almost done!

Step 15: Open NASNavigator. Should see the NAS there, at this point you can add a share, or launch the Web interface. I launched the web interface, and was greeted by it all in Japanese. Yay! Something else to fix! Its a bug apparently I found out.

Step 16: Type in admin for username, and password for password. Go to the 4th tab, then scroll down. Expand the 3rd tab, then select "ENGLISH".

Step 17: Do a little dance and enjoy your renewed NAS.

Hey, first of thanks for the guide. Followed it and everything went as described above except... the unit reboots, flashes blue as if initializing, all hdds green and then back to 6 red flashes. Could you please help me. I can provide any additional info you require. I'm suppose to use this to create a small back up server for my department. Really appreciate your help.

Thanks
Dev