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Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Blues11
Guide

Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

I could not enter the model because the system didn't have it listed. It's an old ReadyNAS Pro Business.

 

More than three months ago, in September, the unit died. It was functioning as an rsync backup server for a newer ReadyNAS 516. Then one day it simply stopped working.

 

I attempted to start it, turning the power switch on and off, trying other power cables, plugging the power into different UPSs and even the wall outlet. Nothing would make it start.

 

I gave up and started looking for a newer NAS. It seems that Netgear has decided to leave the market and my search continues.

 

Then yesterday after almost 100 days the unit started on its own. (I had left it plugged into a heavy duty UPS.) It booted and the log showed that it had shut down properly in September. And now it was back!

 

So, I have two questions:

1. WTF! How could a unit that was not functioning at all, simply start up after months? (No, it wasn't touched, moved, played with, etc.) What might I do to ascertain what the problem might be/might have been with the old NAS?

2. If Netgear has left the market, do you have any recommendations for other NAS companies such as QNAP, Synology, Asustor and/or where I can find some comparisons of these companies and their NASs?

 

Thank you.

Message 1 of 10

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Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Just search eBay for "readynas pro power supply".  Then make sure you don't mistakenly select one for a Pro4.

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Message 6 of 10

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StephenB
Guru

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird


@Blues11 wrote:

How could a unit that was not functioning at all, simply start up after months?


A power glitch could explain the starting up bit, since removing and then re-applying power would cause the NAS to attempt to boot.  The puzzle here is how that could have occured given the UPS.

 

Generally the most likely thing to fail in the Pro NAS is the power supply.   @Sandshark might have some hypotheticals on what could make a power supply start working again.

Message 2 of 10
Blues11
Guide

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Thank you for your input. Strange indeed.

 

I did some investigation for a replacement power supply but it seemed to be unclear exactly which power supply was the proper one as well as cables and connectors.

 

I downloaded and installed the latest OS and I'm syncing the old drives that are in it. So far everything appears to be working properly. Howeve, it would be impossible to ever trust this old ReadyNAS Pro with real data.

 

Again, thank you.

Message 3 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Bad capacitors can heal themselves (an internal short finally blows open like a fuse), though it doesn't usually last for very long.  The most likely place is the power supply.  The fact that it started on it's own may point to the 5VSB (5 volt standby) output of the power supply, which powers the on/off circuit and is also always on unless the switch on the back is off or the unit is unplugged.  But the unit will also come on on it's own if mains power is cycled, so it could be something else in the supply.

 

As for a replacement, you need an SFX format one.  Though the original is 300W, I recommend at least 350 for the replacement since the original has more 12V current than most 300W.  Higher current is also fine, though adds to cost.  You are going to need an extender for the 24-pin connector, which is a standard PC ATX one.  Most need about 5", but you may want to wait till you get the supply to measure yourself.  You'll also need three 4-pin Molex connectors (old-style hard drive power connectors).  Most supplies made today don't have that, so you'll need at least one Y cable and/or SATA to Molex adapter unless your replacement supply is cabled such that you can move the 90° Molex connectors from the old to the new (which I like to do, because I can also trim the cable length).

 

There is an eBay vendor who sells SFX suppies already modified for the 6-bay legacy ReadyNAS if you want to take the easy (and not that much more expensive) way.  I've not tried them, and have no affiliation, but others have reported success with them.

Message 4 of 10
Blues11
Guide

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Thank you for this great information. I feel reasonably comfortable taking things apart and putting them back together, but I'm not familiar with the cables and connectors you've mentioned. I've been looking through the vendor's items on ebay and am still unsure exactly which unit to get (and any additional items I might need). Would you feel comfortable providing the name of the vendor you mentioned and the specific item(s) I will need? (If you don't want to mention a vendor here you could probably PM me.)

 

Given that a new NAS is into the 4 digit cost category, I don't mind paying for a more turn-key solution for this replacement power supply.

 

Again, thanks for much for your help.

Message 5 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Just search eBay for "readynas pro power supply".  Then make sure you don't mistakenly select one for a Pro4.

Message 6 of 10
Blues11
Guide

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

Sandshark sensei (definitely a sensei), thank you so much for this additional information. I didn't even think that a search using readynas pro as keywords would yield any result. (Clearly, my mistake.)

 

I plan to order the power supply and get this old NAS up and running. Maybe I'll even get some new larger drives for it. Because of its vintage the Legacy list of compatible drives maxes out at 4TB, but I expect that larger NAS compatible ones will probably be OK. And, if they're not I can put them into my other NAS.

 

Again, thanks so much for providing great information.

Message 7 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

A processor upgrade will add a lot to an older Pro BE or Pioneer.  They have a Pentium Dual E2160 @ 1.80GHz and the board can (with the latest BIOS) accept a Core2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz, which is quite cheap on eBay these days.  It'll accept the 7600 as well, but those are harder to find.  The newer Pro6 has a Pentium Dual E5300 @ 2.60GHz, so the upgrade isn't as significant.

 

Just be sure to do the bios upgrade before you do the processor swap, or it won't boot.

Message 8 of 10
StephenB
Guru

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird


@Blues11 wrote:

Because of its vintage the Legacy list of compatible drives maxes out at 4TB, but I expect that larger NAS compatible ones will probably be OK.


There are no known capacity limits for OS-6 (and that includes converted ReadyNAS).

 

The HCL is now viewed more as a guide than a requirement.  Any CMR NAS-purposed drive (WD red plus, Seagate Ironwolf) will work (but avoid current WD Reds, as they are SMR).  Enterprise disks also work of course.  I'd avoid desktop drives, as many are SMR.

Message 9 of 10
Blues11
Guide

Re: Old ReadyNAS comes back from the dead - Very weird

You've educated me on drives. Thank you. I understood that there were different ways to cram more information and/or make it more rapidly available on drives, but I didn't know the difference between CMR and SMR. So, I did a bit of research.

 

I'll keep this in mind when getting new drives.

Message 10 of 10
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