Revert Buffalo Linkstation Mini To Stock Firmware

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There is a possibility that you could brick your NAS with these instructions. Please make sure that you read the entire page carefully. These instructions are intended for Linkstation Mini models LS-WSxxxxGL/R1. Other models may work as well; however, users should download the correct TFTP and Updater software from Buffalo. Proceed at your own risk.

Linkstation Mini


The following process reverts the firmware and hard drives in a Buffalo Linkstation Mini to their factory default configuration. Here is how the process works:

  1. Delete all partitions on both hard drives
  2. Use TFTP Boot software to boot device in EM Mode
  3. Use LSUpdater software to rebuild entire device


  1. Buffalo LinkStation Mini
    • These instructions were tested successfully with Linkstation Mini model LS-WS1.0TGL/R1
    • Other models may work as well; however, users should download the correct TFTP and Updater software from Buffalo.
  2. Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop Edition CD-ROM (download and burn this disc image)
  3. A computer which can mount SATA hard drives (required to erase hard drives)
  4. A computer running the Microsoft Windows operating system (required to rebuild device)


    Erase Both Hard Drives

    If the device is already running Debian/GNU/Linux, then disassembly is not required; Instead, log into the device, run the commands to erase the master boot record (below), and skip to the next section.

    Otherwise, follow this procedure:

  1. Disassemble device and remove both hard drives
  2. Attach both drives to the SATA ports on your computer
  3. Boot Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop Edition CD-ROM
  4. Select language as desired (English)
  5. Click on "Try Ubuntu 10.04 LTS" (to use Ubuntu without making any changes to your system)
  6. Open a new terminal window (Applications | Accessories | Terminal )
  7. Start a new bash shell with root privileges
    sudo bash
  8. Nuvola apps important.png 

    The following commands will delete all partitions on both drives. ABSOLUTELY ALL DATA ON THE DRIVES WILL BE LOST. Proceed at your own risk.

  9. Erase master boot record (and partition table) on both hard drives (TFTP Boot only works when all drive partitions are missing)
    swapoff -a
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1
  10. Shutdown computer
    shutdown -h now
  11. Power off computer and remove drives
  12. Reassemble device, but do not power it on yet

    Install and Configure Software

  13. Use a computer with the Microsoft Windows operating system (the LSUpdater software requires it)
  14. Download and extract TFTP boot recovery software ( )
  15. Download and extract LSUpdater software ( )
  16. Adjust [Flags] section in LSUpdater.ini
     VersionCheck = 0
  17. Add section to LSUpdater.ini
     Debug = 1
  18. Disable firewall software (firewalls can interfere with network traffic)
  19. Change computer IP address to (subnet The device expects to find the TFTP server at this address
  20. Run "TFTP Boot.exe"

  21. Boot Device

  22. Attach device to network (or directly to computer using standard ethernet cable)
  23. Boot device in EM mode using TFTP
    1. Move device power switch to "off" position
    2. Remove power cable from device
    3. Attach power cable to device
    4. Wait several seconds for lights to turn off
    5. Press and hold function button while moving power switch to "on" position
    6. Release function button when single blue light starts flashing
    7. Press and release function button again
    8. Press function button when red light starts flashing (repeat until red light stops flashing)
    9. Wait for TFTP server to send images to device (initrd.buffalo and uImage.buffalo)

    Do not proceed unless the TFTP server indicates successful transfer of initrd.buffalo and uImage.buffalo

  24. Wait 30 seconds for device to complete boot process
  25. Close TFTP Boot window
  26. If your network is DHCP-enabled (i.e. wireless router), then restore computer IP address

  27. Rebuild Device

    Nuvola apps important.png 

    The following procedure will completely erase and rebuild the Linkstation Mini. ABSOLUTELY ALL DATA ON THE DEVICE WILL BE LOST. Make sure that you are using the the correct firmware for the intended device (i.e. LS-WSxxxxGL/R1). If you have selected the wrong firmware and/or device, THEN THIS PROCEDURE WILL BRICK YOUR DEVICE. Proceed at your own risk.

  28. Disable firewall software (otherwise the update will likely fail and might brick the device)
  29. Run LSUpdater.exe
  30. Configure updater software
    1. Right-click on title bar of the window (i.e. on the word "BUFFALO")
    2. Select "Debug(D)..." from the context menu
    3. Select all checkboxes in both "Update" and "Config" frames (Update BOOT, Update KERNEL, Update initrd, Update rootfs, Do not check version, Rebuild partition table, Delete user-config, Force update)
    4. Make sure "Execute the change as following" checkbox is not checked
    5. Click on the OK button to save choices
  31. Make sure that you have selected the correct device, then click on the "Update" button to rebuild the device
  32. Confirm that you want to format and update the target device
  33. Wait for update process to complete (ignore any "couldn't confirm a response" error messages)
  34. Close LSUpdater utility
  35. Enable firewall software
  36. Restore the IP address on your computer (undo prior change to
  37. This will restore the device to factory settings; however, the web interface will be in Japanese language. The next section explains how to change the language and character set as desired:

    Configure Device Language

  38. Open the device web interface in your browser (should be or use the new IP address assigned by your network)
  39. Login to device (user = admin, password = password)
  40. Click on second menu item (the icon looks like folded paper)
  41. Change the language and character set (the last two dropdown lists) as desired (English and ISO8859_1)
  42. Click on the button at the bottom of the page
  43. Click on the TOP menu and verify that the language settings took effect

Congratulations! You should now have a Linkstation Mini reverted to factory settings.

See Also