[HOW-TO] Roll your own Synology DiskStation for NAS - UPDATE 5/28/2013 DSM 4.2-3211 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 363 Old 02-25-2013, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Synology made NASs are one of the more popular home appliances available. Some models are ARM based others Intel_x86. However most are considered pricey especially when there are opensource alternatives readily available that accomplish what the QNAPs/Synology of the world do if not better. The files below will allow you to install Synology's OS, called DSM, onto a regular PC so long as the your hardware is supported. I also provided VMware and VirtualBox images if you dont have a PC lying around to test with but would still like to see whats its like to run a Synology DiskStation in your home environment. Again, to install on 'real' hardware please make sure your hardware/nic/sata/scsi chipset is listed below or IT WONT WORK. The virtual image will run on top of either VMWare Workstation/ESXi or VirtualBox on any hardware you may have.

Disclaimer: This setup is for educational purposes only. NO guarantee is made that your data will be safe/protected should you use the files below to build your own appliance. I STRONGLY recommend you test your build before placing important data on the unit.

Requirements:
2GB+ USB Drive to use as a BOOT drive
1(minimum) or more SATA HDD's to use for SHR/RAID volume
W32DiskImageWriter:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8476146/qnology/win32diskimager-binary06.rar
Modded SynologyDSM 4.1-2668++ bootloader and installation package:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8476146/qnology/DS3612xs_2668_4.1%2B%2B.7z
Synology Assistant:
Download from Synology.com

Hardware supported:
Virtual machine:
VirtualBox
VMware

CPU:
Intel
AMD

NETWORK:
3COM 3c590/3c900 series (592/595/597), 3cr990
AMD PCnet32
Atheros L2, L1
Broadcom 440x/47xx, NetExtremeII, CNIC, Tigon, NetExtreme II 10Gb
Intel PRO/100+, PRO/1000, 82575/82576, 82586/82593/82596
Marvell Yukon
Nvidia nForce
QLogic QLA3XXX, QLCNIC
Realtek 8139,8129,8130,8169
SiS SiS900/7016, SiS190/SiS191

SATA:
Intel ESB, ICH, PIIX3, PIIX4
Marvell
NVidia
Silicon Image 3124/3132
SiS 964/965/966/180

SCSI:
3ware 9xxx SATA RAID, 97xx SAS SATA RAID
Adaptec AIC94xx
Marvell 88SE64XX/88SE94XX SAS SATA
LSI Logic MegaRAID, MPT Fusion SAS 2.0
VMWare PVSCSI

The How-To(for REAL Hardware):

1. Extract 'DS3612xs_2668_4.1%2B%2B.7z' using 7-zip. You'll have three files.
-DSM_DS3612xs_2668.pat, DSM installation file
-SynoBoot_3612xs_4.1++.img , bootloader image (needed if youll be testing on REAL hardware)
-SynoBoot_3612xs_4.1++.vdi, VirtualBox virtual disk file(needed if youll be testing on VM )

2. Extract 'win32diskimager-binary06.rar'. Insert your USB flash drive and launch W32DiskImager.
-Load the .IMG file from STEP1 and choose your USB drive from the drop down list.
-Click Write and WAIT for complete.

Pre-Prep your PC:
-Set BIOS to boot from USB
-WIPE SATA disk youll be using, then connect to 'SATA_0' port on your motherboard
-Connect to network switch(DHCP Required)

3. Insert USB into PC and power it ON. If you have a console(KVM) attached to the PC youll see machine coming up.

4. Launch Synology Assistant from your Windows workstation and click 'Search'. If you've done everything correctly you'll see a new 'DiskStation' has been found.

-- IMPORTANT -- Disconnect the USB flash drive from the computer for this next step.

5. Right-click the new 'DiskStation' and choose 'Install'. Browse and select the 'DSM_DS3612xs_2668.pat' file. Choose a Name for the DiskStation, a new default admin password and IP configuration. After installation is complete the DiskStation will reboot automatically. Power it OFF manually now.

-- INSERT USB Flash drive back into PC --

6. Power on PC. DSM will boot normally. Back to Synology Assistant click 'Search' again. Depending on the name and network config you chose during installation you will see now see a DiskStation has been found with the NAME you chose. The previous Installation Progress bar will show 100% complete and you can now access your DiskStation by opening a browser and pointing to the IP its configured with.

Notes:
For real hardware I've tested this build on an HP N40L I have access to and I'm very impressed with the performance. Compared to a 'real' DS1512+ I have sitting on my LAN for primary storage in my home I have to say this franken-unit performs much better. The DS1512+ comes with a limited(when compared to any PC) Atom CPU and only 4GB of RAM. While the Atom is sufficient for NAS duties I feel the CPU in the N40L far outperforms when faces with more cpu intensive tasks.

Here are some recommended repositories to add to your DiskStation with useful packages like CrashPlan, SABNZBd, and others:
http://packages.synocommunity.com
http://packages.pcloadletter.co.uk

Good luck on your build...If this is working 100% on your hardware I'd love to hear what MOBO/NIC/CHIPSET you have smile.gif

UPDATE: 5/28/203 - DSM 4.2 Build 3211
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-XUWYZADfx1X3lxSFBuVDNSb28/edit?usp=sharing

Same instructions as above, simply use these updated files when writing image to your USB disk.
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post #2 of 363 Old 02-26-2013, 11:59 AM
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I don't use Synology NAS's I build my own, but this is very awesome to people who like the interface and want to build a huge one cheap.
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post #3 of 363 Old 02-26-2013, 03:31 PM
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Sorry but the link http://packages.synocommunity.com/ doesn't work

@ watchy:
Can you please describe the software/hardware you use for your NAS

Thanks
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post #4 of 363 Old 02-26-2013, 06:56 PM
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Do you need to keep the USB to boot from every time you need to reboot it? So far on my N40L the web ui is MUCH more responsive than on my 1812+
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post #5 of 363 Old 02-27-2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0blar View Post

Sorry but the link http://packages.synocommunity.com/ doesn't work

@ watchy:
Can you please describe the software/hardware you use for your NAS

Thanks

The packages link does work in the synology software.

I installed it on a HP N40L (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859107052) following his instructions. It is working perfectly. I have a DS1812+ that I upgraded to from the N40L. I do have the N40L upgraded to 8GB ram. The UI is speedier compared to the 1812+. Copying files to and from is about the same between the two (100-110MB/s over gig connection). I currently have a backup going from my real synology to my fake one. Once it does that I will pull and replace a drive to see if it rebuilds right. smile.gif
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post #6 of 363 Old 02-27-2013, 03:26 PM
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Thanks for your comment
I own also a HP N40l, I'm waiting for your test and If it's OK I will do the installation this week end

Regards
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post #7 of 363 Old 02-27-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0blar View Post

Thanks for your comment
I own also a HP N40l, I'm waiting for your test and If it's OK I will do the installation this week end

Regards

About half way through the copy of 4.5TB of data over. Hopefully in the morning I will be able to pull/replace a drive to see how it handles it.
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post #8 of 363 Old 02-28-2013, 02:45 AM
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What about updates? Will it update the same way you update a Synology nas?
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post #9 of 363 Old 02-28-2013, 07:11 AM
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I pulled a drive, RAID went in to degraded mode as expected. Popped in another 3TB drive and started the rebuild. It will probably take a long while to do the repair.
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post #10 of 363 Old 02-28-2013, 01:54 PM
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Rebuild completed everything is working as expected. ~7hrs to rebuild a SHR Raid with 4 3TB Seagate drives. Tonight I will try to connect a drive to the 5th SATA port and see if I can expand the array.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

Rebuild completed everything is working as expected. ~7hrs to rebuild a SHR Raid with 4 3TB Seagate drives. Tonight I will try to connect a drive to the 5th SATA port and see if I can expand the array.

5th SATA port does not show up. Maybe it will with the hacked bios for the N40L but not with the stock bios.
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post #12 of 363 Old 02-28-2013, 07:38 PM
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I saw this thread yesterday via TheBay's link. I am determining if I need to do this v/s go with FreeNAS. Any ideas? I have no clue what Synology is except knowing that it is a NAS appliance.

I was planning on building a RAIDZ array with 3x3TB Seagage disks. I have a 4th one as a spare which I will use when one of the 3TBs konks out.

Any help you can provide to decide correctly would be appreciated. smile.gif
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post #13 of 363 Old 02-28-2013, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvpatel View Post

I saw this thread yesterday via TheBay's link. I am determining if I need to do this v/s go with FreeNAS. Any ideas? I have no clue what Synology is except knowing that it is a NAS appliance.

I was planning on building a RAIDZ array with 3x3TB Seagage disks. I have a 4th one as a spare which I will use when one of the 3TBs konks out.

Any help you can provide to decide correctly would be appreciated. smile.gif

You would probably be better off with FreeNAS as this isn't a supported setup. Personally I like Synology's user interface better than any of the other NAS solutions out there.
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post #14 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 12:53 AM
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Hi

Do you advice to flash the bios with the hacked one ?
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post #15 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0blar View Post

Hi

Do you advice to flash the bios with the hacked one ?

There is a link to a thread for it here:
http://n40l.wikia.com/wiki/Bios
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post #16 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvpatel View Post

I saw this thread yesterday via TheBay's link. I am determining if I need to do this v/s go with FreeNAS. Any ideas? I have no clue what Synology is except knowing that it is a NAS appliance.
I've been running FreeNAS for several years now. It's been running great.
Easy to setup, web based interface, I run my FreeNAS server in a closet without a mouse, keyboard or monitor. It boots up from a 1gb Lexar Firefly USB flash drive- I have four 2-TB disks inside for a total of 5.4TB of storage (the fourth hard drive is for parity in case one of the raid disks fails). I've run three concurrent hi-def (mix of 1080p and 720p) streams from my server without a single hiccup or glitch. My server is based on a dual core AMD cup with 2gb ram and an intel Pro/1000 NIC. I couldn't imagine another free alternative being any easier to use, more reliable or more robust than FreeNAS has been.

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post #17 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

I've been running FreeNAS for several years now. It's been running great.
Easy to setup, web based interface, I run my FreeNAS server in a closet without a mouse, keyboard or monitor. It boots up from a 1gb Lexar Firefly USB flash drive- I have four 2-TB disks inside for a total of 5.4TB of storage (the fourth hard drive is for parity in case one of the raid disks fails). I've run three concurrent hi-def (mix of 1080p and 720p) streams from my server without a single hiccup or glitch. My server is based on a dual core AMD cup with 2gb ram and an intel Pro/1000 NIC. I couldn't imagine another free alternative being any easier to use, more reliable or more robust than FreeNAS has been.

I agree with you that FreeNAS is a great system, I am actually running one at work for file shares and as a back end for our local virtual servers. The web ui is functional but a bit confusing to someone who has never used something like it before. The synology UI is very user friendly and is easy to navigate (demo at http://www.synology.com/products/dsm_livedemo.php?lang=us). If someone were to build a UI like that on a ZFS system it would be killer.

I am very happy the OP was able to modify the DSM package to install on other hardware. If Synology would build the software to install on a machine I would gladly buy it.
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post #18 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 09:33 AM
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Hi

Is that OK to install the synology system on N40l with the original bios or do I have to modify it ?
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post #19 of 363 Old 03-01-2013, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0blar View Post

Hi

Is that OK to install the synology system on N40l with the original bios or do I have to modify it ?

With the original bios it does not recognize the 5th SATA port. The rest is fine though.
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post #20 of 363 Old 03-02-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

I've been running FreeNAS for several years now. It's been running great.
Easy to setup, web based interface, I run my FreeNAS server in a closet without a mouse, keyboard or monitor. It boots up from a 1gb Lexar Firefly USB flash drive- I have four 2-TB disks inside for a total of 5.4TB of storage (the fourth hard drive is for parity in case one of the raid disks fails). I've run three concurrent hi-def (mix of 1080p and 720p) streams from my server without a single hiccup or glitch. My server is based on a dual core AMD cup with 2gb ram and an intel Pro/1000 NIC. I couldn't imagine another free alternative being any easier to use, more reliable or more robust than FreeNAS has been.
Same here. I have an old freeNAS 0.68 box with 4x160GB IDE Harware RAID drives with UFS on top. Been rock solid. I booted up every Friday, had all the PCs in the house rsync to the file server and all is well. smile.gif

I had picked up the N40Ls over a year ago along with 4x3TB Seagate externals (Feb 2012) and finally getting around to provisioning the new file server with RAIDZ. Come to see this right in the middle of my testing etc so I figured I see if this is better. I have kicked off a copy of over 400GB on my new freeNAS box. Having some hiccups while copying but I am staying with freeNAS for now. smile.gif
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post #21 of 363 Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 AM
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Hi R3zon8,

wow, I have been looking for a writeup like this for a long time, thank you! Very keen o try it! I have a 411j but feel that it is too slow.
But:

1. Do you still get the SHR "hybrid raid", or are the drives suddenly handled only by the N40L microserver?
Answer myself: Never mind, I see above that you mention SHR, good.

2. I guess updating the Synology the ordinary way is out of the question? How would we be able to update other than await a newer package from you? DSM 4.2 is out today for instance. Want! smile.gif

3. The N40L, is Intel-compatible right? Thinking of the Plex plugin which only supports transcoding in intel based Synologys. The N40L has an AMD, I guess that will count as Intel based?

4. I get 5 drive support with the N40L and hacked Bios? Not 4+1 or anything like that, IE I can have 5 drives in one big raidset?

5. Do we know of any good way of extending the number of drives of the N40L, like an external SATA tower and a PCI-card? Just toying with the idea.

6. So the 1 Sata drive required, will that always be allocated for the OS and prohibit for storage use, or can you make a 5 drive hybrid raid from start?
Answer: Never mind, also now read that you mention 1 minumum, I'll read that as a 1-5 drive SHR.

Thanks for posting this!

KR
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post #22 of 363 Old 03-07-2013, 11:46 AM
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I got this working on my old FreeNAS box. Just a generic intel motherboard, 4 gb of memory and some disks. Luckily it has an NVIDIA SATA chipset, Realtek 8169 network chip. Installing worked just as the OP said, but follow the directions precisely (especially when putting the USB stick in and out)

FreeNAS 8 was decent, but required some serious work on configuration. Also, I was able to get some plugins working with the "jail" working, but permissions were just a bear to keep straight. Also, never was able to get any DLNA server working. So much easier with the Synology software - really something to recommend to people who want a nice NAS.

I have had a issue or two with new packages not being recognized until a reboot. But, seems to be running smoothly now.
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post #23 of 363 Old 03-07-2013, 01:09 PM
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I have an old Gateway E-4200 desktop lying around that I would like to try installing this on. Do you think it will work or is it too old? Thanks.
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post #24 of 363 Old 03-07-2013, 03:49 PM
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Thank you very much! I have been trying to implement FreeNAS on my old PC for quite a while but it has been very confusing. So far your instructions have been working great and I have a server going. Now need to figure out all the features of Synology.
Thanks again.

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Help,please!! My installation stuck at the attached screen. I am using n40L microserver as suggested and my system is windows 7. I tried to boot from a UBS drive that was created in step (2). 20130307_213137.jpg 1106k .jpg file
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Quote:
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Help,please!! My installation stuck at the attached screen. I am using n40L microserver as suggested and my system is windows 7. I tried to boot from a UBS drive that was created in step (2). 20130307_213137.jpg 1106k .jpg file
Try another USB stick- the smaller the better. I use the 1gb Lexar Firefly USB sticks for booting- larger drives sometimes have boot issues.

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Now what is the best way to transfer all my files from a HP EX470 to the new server?
Thanks.

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post #28 of 363 Old 03-08-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

With the original bios it does not recognize the 5th SATA port. The rest is fine though.

Hi,

to enable AHCI on the 5th SATA port you'll need to flash a modified/enahnced BIOS.
Binaries and instrcutions below:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/networking-nas/1521657-hp-n36l-microserver-updated-ahci-bios-support.html

Courtesy of TheBay
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post #29 of 363 Old 03-08-2013, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0blar View Post

Thanks for your comment
I own also a HP N40l, I'm waiting for your test and If it's OK I will do the installation this week end

Regards

I've personally tested this on an N40L as I mentioned in my original post; all functionality is 100% working and 1:1 compared to a 'real' Synology.
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post #30 of 363 Old 03-08-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewhale1 View Post

What about updates? Will it update the same way you update a Synology nas?

You will not be able to simply hit 'Update' from inside DSM and have the unit update itself. Remember this is not an officially supported setup for DSM and as such automatic updates will NOT work.

Once Synology releases a final/GM build of DSM 4.2 I will update my post with the latest software.
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