Upgrade (or replace) the existing LinkStation hard drive

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Revision as of 02:37, 11 October 2006 by (Talk) (Methods)

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This article based on work by DC and frontalot. Originally by frontalot at Linkstationwiki.org


There are two methods on how to go about this

  1. Backup your entire hard drive, partition a blank drive on a Knoppix workstation
  2. Use the Firmware updater to create partitions and flash the firmware

Backup your entire hard drive, partition a blank drive on a Knoppix workstation

Backup Data

Start by making a backup of your existing hard drive: Create a perfect backup of the LinkStation filesystem.

Download Knoppix

Download a Knoppix bootable Linux CD (see Knoppix or possibly Damn Small Linux(not tried)), place the new hard drive in a workstation, and boot using the Knoppix CD.

Partition Hard Drive

Now you need to partition the hard drive according to your needs (replacing x with whatever letter you have installed the hard drive as):

fdisk /dev/hdx

The standard LinkStation setup uses 3 partitions:

  • hda1 (main ~ 400MB)
  • hda2 (swap ~ 300MB)
  • hda3 (mount ~ remaining)

If you want a larger main partition you should do so at this time.

Restore your backup

Restore your backup first

dd if=/mnt/whatever/hda1.bin of=/dev/hda1

You must run fix_ext2_magic, check for errors, and resize the backup image if you created a larger main partition:

./fix_ext2_magic --fix /dev/hdx1
e2fsck /dev/hdx1
resize2fs /dev/hdx1

You may have to use the force option (-f) if resize2fs complains about not running e2fsck.

Create the ext2 filesystem and swap partition

You can turn off drive checking since we are using ext2 with journaling:

mke2fs -j /dev/hdx3
tune2fs -c0 -i0 /dev/hdx2
mkswap /dev/hdx2


Place the hard drive in the LinkStation and reboot. Be patient as the first boot may take longer than normal.

Some of this information courtesy of http://www.geishuettner.de/docs/Linkstation/

Use the Firmware updater to create partitions and flash the firmware

Backup Data

Backup the data that you want to save either by copying it off of your LinkStation using Samba,FTP or a USB drive. You could create a Tarball of this data if you wanted to.

Connect disk to LS and flash firmware

  • power on LS (Reset button not pressed)
  • Using The LinkStation firmware flasher, you could flash OpenLink, FreeLink or the Stock Firmware.
  • Open the archive and carefully read the included README file for any specific instructions.
  • Disable any firewall(s), including any built-in Windows firewall
  • If you are running some virus checker or worm detection software, disable this also
  • Make sure the LinkStation and your PC are on the same sub-network. This likely requires that you change the IP address (and probably the subnet-mask) of your PC and router to a different IP address in EM Mode it will have a static IP address of or to connect your PC and LinkStation directly with a crossover cable.
  • unpack HD-H*.zip (use the proper firmware for your LS)
  • start HD-H*FWUpdate.exe (use the proper updater for your LS)
  • press "search", should find Linkstation "EM" (Emergency Mode)
  • After finding your LinkStation, press the "Renew Firmware" button, and wait. Have patience, and keep your calm. If you think the Firmware updater is acting strange, do not try to disconnect the LinkStation or abort the update in another way.
  • start update, following messages appear:
Settings are being saved
Firmware is being transmitted
LinkStation Firmware has been renewed
Settings are being restored
  • if You get the following message You are done.
The firmware has been renewed
  • But because the reformatting and partitioning takes too long, the Diskfull LED may blink or you can hear the disk being active (withoug LED indication).

Then you will get:

Attempt to renew firmware has failed
  • if so, wait until Diskfull LED goes off or the disk activity stops after some minutes.
  • press "search" again.
  • start update again.
  • after all the other messages You should get this time:
The firmware has been renewed
  • After flashing connect your LinkStation up to the network with subnet 192.168.1.XXX the LS is now reachable via telnet and the "old" IP. so switch back IP settings and reenable the windows firewall.

Login to the LinkStation

  • Find your LinkStation on the network and Telnet to it with PuTTYtel You will be at the root shell prompt:
telnet linkstation
  • set root password:
  • change bash to login:
vi /etc/init.d/telnet
  • add a new guest user
useradd -m -d /home/guest guest


Be patient as the first boot may take longer than normal.

Restore your backup

Restore your data by the reverse of what you did to back it up: Transfer the data back using Samba,FTP or a USB drive. And untar the Tarball of this data if you created one.