Author Topic: Pre-Purchase Questions  (Read 5129 times)

JeffC

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Pre-Purchase Questions
« on: November 16, 2008, 04:05:23 pm »
   I'm trying to decide among 3 NAS units for file server-type usage, Buffalo Linkstation Live LS-CHL, MyBook World, and Iomega Storcenter single. A couple questions before I buy:

What kind of throughput will I get with the Linkstation Live LS-CHL? It will be connected thru a router with 1000 Mbps connections on both sides. Cnet says 25 Mbits/sec. The Iomega gets 36Mbits and the WD gets 22 Mbits.

Can I connect  a Fat32 or NTFS backup USB drive to the unit and have read and write capability?

Can I plug the RJ45 directly into a PC as can be done with both of the other drives?

For someone who is somewhat experienced at network setup is the drive difficult to install and configure?

Any other constructive info about these 3 NAS boxes would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
JeffC

Paul

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 12:23:45 pm »

25 Mbits/sec is correct

 

you can connect fat32 for read only, if you want to read/write to the USB hd then it has to format from the linkstation into a XFS file system.

 

You can plugin a PC directly but a static IP has to be set on the PC with range of 192.168.11.xx

our device defaults to 192.168.11.150

 

 The set up on this is very easy 

 


BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 08:41:10 pm »
   I think the speeds being quote should be MB/s and not Mbit/s.  Although every benchmark is different, many reviews have the latest LinkStation's at 22-25 Megabytes per second throughput.  I can't speak for the other drives, but smallnetbuilder.com has comprehensive benchmarks of many NAS products.  Although they haven't released the LS-CHL yet, the hardware inside is the same as the LinkStation Pro so performance should be comparable.

JeffC

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 10:05:35 pm »
   

Paul,

 

I want to connect an LS-Live to my router for use as a file server, and backup to a Drivestation USB that is plugged into the LS-Live. If the USB has to be formatted XFS in order to write to it, then it's not much use for a backup because I can't plug it into the PC when the LS-Live goes south. What would you suggest for a NAS and USB configuration to accomplish my intended purpose? 

 

Thanks,

 

Jeff


BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 10:11:31 pm »
   

Jeff, it can backup to a FAT32 HDD if I recall correctly (I will verify tomorrow).  However, FAT32 has limitations with file sizes (max single file size = 4GB) and it also has limitations to ~253 character file names (including directory structure).  XFS does not have these limitations.  For some users this may cause certain files and folders to not be backed up.

 

XFS is a standards based file system so even if you had to get the data off of it, many Windows partition softwares can read it.  I think this one may be able to do it (http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd), but there are tools out there that can do it.

 

Message Edited by BuffaloBrian on 11-17-2008 10:12 PM

JeffC

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 11:15:58 pm »
   

Brian,

 

I've done a few searches on this forum and it appears that as Paul stated, the NAS drive can't write to a FAT32 USB drive.

 

The manual isn't exactly clear, but it says:  

For best results, reformat attached USB hard drives with ext3 before use as backup storage.

 

If you find out that FAT32 works for read and write, please post the information.

 

Jeff

Message Edited by JeffC on 11-17-2008 11:19 PM

davo

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 02:51:44 am »
   FAT32 cannot read and write from the linkstation. If you format the drivestation into xfs and the linkstation does go south then you can use a linux partition reader such as LTools to access the data. This is open source software and hense is a free download.
PM me for TFTP / Boot Images / Recovery files  LSRecovery.exe file.

BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 11:11:34 am »
   

I'm still testing this, but I've verified with an LS-QL (LinkStation Quad) that even the built-in formatter can format to FAT32.  I'll include a screenshot of the setting being available from the built-in formatter this afternoon.

 

The options are:

XFS

EXT2/3

FAT32

(in that order)

 

-Brian


BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 11:12:02 am »
   PS - I will try to audit most of the products and determine if all of them support this and if not which ones do not.

BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2008, 01:21:35 pm »
   FAT32

JeffC

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2008, 01:37:05 pm »
   

Brian (and others),

 

The Linkstation might format the USB drive to FAT32, but will it still be able to write to it?

 

Another similar issue:

If the USB is FAT32 (even if the linkstation can't write to it) can I use a backup program on my PC (not Buffalo's) to write data from the Linkstation to the USB? I would think that the data would move from the Linkstation to the PC and then to the USB, thus avoiding problems with Linkstation writing to USB?????

 

Jeff

Message Edited by JeffC on 11-18-2008 01:39 PM

BuffaloBrian

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2008, 02:03:24 pm »
   

Jeff,

It will show up on the LinkStation as a share 'usbdisk1'.

 

I just verified that using a Windows PC, I could access \\linkstation\usbdisk1 and both read and write to it from the Windows PC.

 

Thus, you could run a Windows PC software backup program and backup to the USB Disk as long as that backup software program allows backing up to a network share (\\linkstation\usbdisk1).

 

The data will move through the LinkStation and onto the USB Drive, it will not be on the LinkStation's internal drive.

 

The LinkStation can write to the FAT32 drive as well so I'm not sure I understand the "even if the LS can't write to it" part.


JeffC

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 04:46:58 pm »
   

Brian,

 

The reason that I say "...even if..." is that people on this forum, and people in Buffalo's tech support department, and people in their pre-sales department have all said that the Linkstation can't write to a FAT32 USB drive. Apparantly they are wrong, and that is very good news. I'll confirm it for myself in a few days.

 

I doubt that any software would address \\linkstation\usb.... Would I be able to map the USB drive as a network drive?

 

If all else fails I'll connect the USB Drivestation to the USB port on my router. That will be slower, but it's not an issue since the backups (~25gig) run in the middle of the night. I just doubt that the router's USB port is a very reliable connection. We'll see.

 

Thanks and let us know if you do any more experimenting.

 

Jeff

 


balff

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2008, 07:39:34 pm »
   

I have been using a new Linkstation Mini and have been playing with many of the issues you have described.  I have found the Linkstation can read and write to an external FAT32 disk if it's directly connected to the Linkstation.  However, if you try and map to it so your PC can see it, then all of the files on the FAT32 disk will be read-only. 

 

To me this is not a problem because the FAT32 partition is my backup drive.  Every night the linkstation will copy all of it's contents to the backup drive for safe keeping.  If I need to recover the files quickly I can unplug the external drive and plug it directly into a Windows based computer.  To me I do not like the idea of using an XFS reader in order to restore my files in a disaster recovery situation.


JeffC

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Re: Pre-Purchase Questions
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2008, 08:39:09 pm »
   

Thanks for the information. It sounds like a workable situation as long as Buffalo's backup software does what I want.

 

I wish these manufacturers would make at least a half-hearted attempt at documenting their products. I've been working on this decision off and on for 3 weeks! I've read at least 4 manuals, called tech support at 4 companies, subscribed to a half dozen forums, and sat thru a number of tech support chat sessions.

 

Looks like Buffalo has the best mix of features....so far.

 

Jeff