Recover a non working "bricked" Linkstation

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Any information how to recover a non working, bricked Linkstation should get here.

Try to Reflash

First see if your Linkstation is on a different IP than you are used to. Use a port scanner. Also your LS may now be on a different subnet than your router you will have to change the subnet on your router/computer to 192.168.11.XXX You could also use a crossover cable to attach your computer directly to the linkstation. Before you try to reflash see if you can open a telnet or ssh session to your LinkStation with PuTTY first, or if your Samba shares are acessable at \\<<IPADDRESS>>

Several port scanners are listed below:

Reset Button

If you double press the reset button on the rear of your LS (press quickly with a one second pause between successive presses) this will

  1. Launch Telnet process (on port 1234)
  2. Start apservd which opens port (udp 22936) on your linkstation. All 3 Windows applications which came with your Linkstation (HD-HLAN FWUpdate.exe, IPSetup.exe and LsBackup.exe) are using this open UDP port to communicate with your Linkstation
  3. Start your linkstation on a static IP:

EM Mode

  1. In EM Mode your Linkstation will default to a static IP: and open the same UDP port:

If you can get to this point you can try The LinkStation firmware flasher

Firmware Reinstallation

Upgrade hard drive
This is generally accepted as the easier way to upgrade your Linkstation's hard drive. Just put your new hard drive in and start at the Connect disk to LS and flash firmware section. The other more involved way is to recreate the filesystem yourself on a workstation, this method is described in this article:Upgrade (or replace) the existing LinkStation hard drive

The following steps can be used to "reanimate" a Linkstation, this is also generally accepted as the easier method to upgrade your Linkstation's hard drive.

Open LinkStation

(see Disassemble the LinkStation)

  • disconnect disk from internal mainboard and power.

Remove all partitions

  • connect disk to a PC with knoppix via a USB-IDE adapter or directly to the IDE controller. If you change the IDE setting on your hard drive to match it to a "Slave" setting, remember to put the jumper back to "Master" before connecting back the hard drive to the Linkstation
  • start knoppix in terminal mode "knoppix 2"

For a USB-IDE connection:

parted /dev/sda

For IDE direct connection:
hda = Primary Master hdb = Primary Slave hdc = Secondary Master hdd = Secondary Slave

So if you used Primary Master you would type:

parted /dev/hda

After this, the commands are the same for USB & IDE direct:

rm 1
rm 2
rm 3
rm 4
  • (optional) For Windows users who do not wish to become familiar with Knoppix, Google and get "Explore2fs". When the LS drive is connected to the IDE controller on your pc, this application may allow you to retrieve data from the LS disk and copy (export) it to your Windows drive. You can then use Windows Computer Management --> Disk Management to delete the partitions on the LS drive and continue with the directions as posted here.

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.