Tag Archives: synology

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Support – Synology – Network Attached Storage (NAS) DSM 5.0-4493 Update 5.

Synology has released another DSM 5 update. Only two fixes listed but one of them is a security fix:

Fixed a vulnerability that could allow servers to accept unauthorized access.

I updated my DS212J and DS1511+ without incident. While I do use encrypted folders I haven’t had a problem so I can’t verify that it fixed anything. I’ll update my DS212+ at the end of the day and post an update if I have any issues. The update of my DS212+ also went fine.

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Support.

Synology has just released Update 4 for DSM 5. The updates fixes OpenSSL and Kerberos security issues among other things. The last Synology security exploit to hit the news was based on old vulnerabilities. So while it’s a pain you should plan to patch as soon as it’s practical. I updated my DS212J, DS212+ and DS1511+ without a problem. And so far, no new errors have surfaced.

 

Synology DS212+ Rebuild

Synology feature image tile - blackI recently ran out of system drive disk space on my Synology 212+ NAS. While I was able to free up the space and resolve the immediate problems I was still having less critical problems. Photos were no longer being indexed and thumbnails weren’t being created. In addition, the system monitor application and widget weren’t reporting any usage information. There may have been other issues but I stopped looking once I decided that a rebuild was the fastest way to recovery. I already had good and verified backups. Since the NAS was accessible again I was able to verify configuration settings to make sure I had the latest information.

Attempts to fix the problem while trying to preserve the data and not do a full firmware wipe and re-install all failed to resolve the problem. Most of the rebuild was easy enough, simple file copies from my backups, but there were some issues worth mentioning.

Configuration Backup

In addition to the file backups I also backup the Synology configuration once a week but I did it again just to make sure I have the latest configuration.

This is done through the Control Panel as show in the following screenshots. The results is a single file with a .dss extension.

Synology DSM 5 Control Panel

Select “Updates and Restore” from the Synology Control Panel

Synology Configuration Backup

Select the “Configuration Backup” tab then click the “Backup Configuration” button

Confirm the backup

Confirm the backup by clicking “Yes”

Reset Procedure

The reset procedure worked as described, with one change. In step 6 I had to do the reboot manually, otherwise the NAS was in “Migratable” mode and not install mode.

DSM 5 Synology Assistant

Migratable – not what I want – it didn’t fix my problems.

DSM 5 Synology Assistant

Not Installed – what I want

The reset procedure is:

  1. Have the Synology system in the ready state.
  2. Look at the back of the Synology System, find a small reset hole near the USB ports.
  3. Using a paper clip, gently depress and hold down the recessed button for about four seconds.
  4. The system will beep once.
  5. After hearing the system beep once, release the button and press it again for another four seconds.
  6. The system will beep three times and execute a reboot. This is where I had to manually reboot.
  7. After rebooting, launch the Synology Assistant and install the firmware.
  8. Restore the configuration file.

The configuration file restore is done through the same screens as the configuration backup except the “Restore Configuration” button is selected.

Share Creation & Package Installs

I had to recreate my shares. While the user IDs were restored with the configuration I did have to set the share permissions and any disk quotas.

Packages also had to be re-installed and any configuration manually entered. Any package which requires an index needs to rebuild that index. For me this was Audio Station, Video Station and Photo Station. Photo Station was a hassle and gets a section dedicated to it down below.

Photo Station Re-Install

Photo Station was the biggest hassle among all of this. This was mainly due to the DSM 5 Photo Station Uploader. I has actually just used the DSM 4 Photo Uploader to move the Photos to my DSM 212J and it wasn’t bad. But I upgraded to the DSM 5 uploader to be on the latest version, which in theory is always best.

The DSM 5 uploader definitely uploaded the photos faster than the DSM 4 uploader, but it missed many of the thumbnails so the Synology NAS started to do its own, much slower, thumbnail creation.

The Photo Uploader does the thumbnail creation on the computer (which in my case is a Mac Mini). I could see multiple convert processes running during the upload and my Mac wasn’t otherwise busy. I had to group the uploads in relatively small batches. Because of my directory structure this was at most 2,000 files per upload. I definitely had problems anytime I tried to upload more than 4,000 files. It’s like something started to break around 2,000 files and it came completely off the rails after about 3,000.

But even this wasn’t perfect. There were several times I went in and deleted directory trees where the upload failed to upload thumbnails. The re-upload then worked OK. But this was tedious and in the end out of about 40,000 uploaded files Synology told me it had about 8,000 files to index. This took a few days.

The uploader is capable of running multiple upload windows on the desktop . This made things worse when I tested it so only doing one upload process at a time is recommended based on my experience.

If the NAS is busy, say with an unrelated file copy, the photo upload will also miss more thumbnails than it uploads. I quickly learned not to even try uploading the photos until the rest of my files were restored.

While not a bug, one thing to keep in mind is the way that Photo Uploader handles the “skip files that have been uploaded” option. In my testing it seems the uploader only looks at the file name and not any other attributes. For example, I put all my original photos in specific directory tree (albums). I have other albums (directories) with “best of”, edited photos or by a topic for viewing. The same name is frequently used across all albums even if there is some minor editing. With this option selected only the first file encountered gets uploaded and the rest are skipped. The file names are remembered from session to session.

Using the photo uploader as part of the reset process does work, it’s just very time consuming. I’ll be testing the built in application backup to see if it works any faster.

Wrapping Up

The good news is I was able to completely restore my Synology NAS from my standard backups without any lost data. Under lessons learned I need to look for a better way to restore the Photo Station files. I like Photo Station and expect the number of photos it manages to grow. Hopefully the application backup will work faster.

Looping Synology NAS Logon

Synology feature image tile - blackMy Synology DS212+ NAS went wonky today. Wonky seems like an appropriate technical term. It had stopped indexing some photos I uploaded so I took the usual troubleshooting step and rebooted. Then things went down hill from there.

After the reboot, and logging on with the admin ID, I would keep getting the initial Welcome Wizard although it wouldn’t let me actually do anything and run through the wizard. Despite this, I could access the file shares.

Screenshot showing welcome wizard

After the usual browser troubleshooting steps I hadn’t made any progress. I found that I could access the server from my iPhone if I used DSM Mobile. But as soon as I would try the full DSM I’d get the wizard.

DSM Mobile gave me enough access so that I could give my regular ID system administrator privileges. Once I did that I could logon to the full website with my regular ID but with greater access to check things out. That’s when I noticed that the DSM Upgrade gave me a out of disk message. A full system volume sure would explain a lot although there’s not much I could do from the GUI.

Screenshot showing out of disk message

First I enabled SSH:

Screenshooting showing SSH setting

Then I used terminal to SSH into the Synology NAS as root. The root password is the same password given to the Admin ID.

>ssh root@192.168.1.100    (IP address of Synology NAS)

One connected I ran the following commands:

 >mkdir /tmp/work/  
 >mount /dev/md0 /tmp/work/  
 >cd /tmp/work/  

Then I worked my way down to find out which directory is using too much and then the large files:

>du -hs *

This will list all the directories and their sizes. I change into the largest directory (mine was nearly 2GB and was var). I switched into the directory and executed ds -hs * again. Eventually I found I had two 800+ MB files in /var/log/httpd. Both were archived logs so I deleted them as follows:
>rm sys-cgi_log.1
>rm sys-cgi_log.1.xz

I still had a much smaller sys-cgi_log file so it seemed safe to delete those two.

I rebooted after deleting the files.

I still had to run through the welcome wizard when I logged on with admin. I simply picked the option to “skip” any configuration and was brought to the DSM desktop. My user specific desktop settings were gone but all files and services are there.

The monitoring app and widget can’t connect to the service so won’t run. This is a minor annoyance. A search of the forums shows a re-install as a solution. If this is the only problem I have, I’ll wait to see if the next patch fixes the problem.

What caused the log to grow so large still needs some research. But for now I’ll monitor their size.

Synology feature image tile - black

SuperDuper! Backup to Synology NAS (or any NAS/Home Server)

At one time I only used SuperDuper! (I’m dropping the exclamation from this point on) to create a backup image to an external disk that’s directly attached to my Mac. Because I don’t keep my external drive connected to my Mac I wanted a way to have a full image backup done automatically every night. This way I’d always get a full image backup without me needing to actually do something. I decided to use my Synology NAS for this, although any NAS or home server share should work.

I use my Synology DS1511+ NAS as my repository for everything backup. I created a new share on the NAS since no existing share was really suitable. I’ll use one share for all my SuperDuper images so that they’ll be easier to find and manage. I called it “SuperDuper” (imaginative, I know). My ID has read/write access to the share.

I could keep the drive mounted all the time and simply schedule SuperDuper to do the backup every night. But I dislike having my backups always connected to the computer they are protecting. SuperDuper will automatically mount the share if it’s not mounted. This was recent news to me, learned as I was creating a macro to auto-mount the share and found that SuperDuper was doing it already. This is SuperDuper 2.7.2 and OS X 10.9.2, both the latest versions at this time. I created a Keyboard Maestro macro to unmount the drive when SuperDuper exits.

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