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ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

ItsPeter
Guide

ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

Yesterday I upgraded my old ReadyNAS Ultra 6 to OS6, previously running 4.2.31.

 

I replaced the 1GB RAM in the unit with 2x2GB sticks (new), and followed the upgrade process (BIOS_Update_Package_0.5-x86.bin, PREP4TOR6_0.1-x86.bin, R4toR6_6.9.5.bin), and all seemed good. 6x4TB disks took about 12 hours to reset/resync. After a few tests all seemed OK, I then did the auto-update to the 6.10.2 firmware, the unit did a restart (soft restart, no power down), and that seemed fine too.

 

I started backing up files to it (just robocopy via some scripts, it's the backup unit to files on another NAS), all was working fine. That process halted after some hours due to an apparent network issue, which I eventually narrowed to the powerline adaptor connected to the Ultra 6 NAS (this NAS and my router are located together, and network to the rest of the house via a PL2000 powerline adaptor that I installed yesterday also, replacing an older AV500 unit at the same location). Other powerline adaptors on the network were still talking fine to this one, but the other PL2000 powerline adaptor stopped talking to the router one, and resetting that remote adaptor didn't fix the issue - resetting the adaptor on the router/NAS did fix that issue.

 

To reset the powerline located with the router/NAS, I had to unplug it, which also meant powering down the NAS via the front panel first (it was powered via the pass-through on the powerline, bad idea, so I changed that around too, so further powerline resets won't require powering off anything else).

 

Attempted to power the NAS back on - it now just says "ReadyNAS" on the front panel, and won't do anything else. Holding down the reset switch does not bring up any boot menu. I have pulled all the disks, no change. I swapped the memory back to the original 1GB, no change.

 

My suspiscion is an issue with the 6.10.2 update, which didn't manifest itself until the unit got powered down. I don't know what else I can do to further diagnose or rectify that? The only other suggestion I see on the forums is a possible power supply issue - I haven't ruled that out, but it seems unlikely. But I can attempt to try that if there is nothing else I can do?

Message 1 of 13

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ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

Thanks everyone for your feedback and assistance. As identified, my VPD file was corrupt, and without the Model and Serial info, that seemed to be stopping Frontview, etc from working correctly.

 

Only someone with the correct Netgear tools can re-create that VPD file, luckily I've been given the help privately to restore my Serial, etc back info the unit, and we are back up and running again. Sounds like I may not have specifically done anything wrong with what I did with the unit, it is just unfortunately a scenario that can happen on these older units. Fortunately fixable, I guess just a possible scenario to be aware of for anyone else thinking of the OS4 to OS6 upgrade.

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Message 13 of 13

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ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

OK, so I used the USB recovery tool:

https://kb.netgear.com/30267/RAIDiator-4-2-USB-Recovery-Tool

 

And that appears to have un-bricked the unit, and I can access the Boot Menu now. I've currently got it running a memory test, and from there it seems the options are either Factory Reset or Reinstall OS - I'm sure one of those gets me where I want to go, just not sure which to try first. Open to any suggestions, otherwise I'll post another update on whatever I try next.

 

If anyone else stumbles across this thread btw, the USB recovery is completely non-intuitive. The front panel just displayed "ReadyNAS" the whole time, the same as when the unit was hung, so I had no idea if it was doing anything (it did NOT indicate "Recovery Mode" as suggested on the Netgear page). I shut down the process on the first attempt in case the USB was not compatible with the unit, found a second USB, which happened to have an LED activity indicator, and that's what told me the unit actually appeared to be doing something - I could see the USB was being accessed on this attempt. After about a minute or so the unit shut itself down, but never once did the unit itself indicate what was going on.

Message 2 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

Memory test came back with no errors, so I restarted the unit, it attempted to boot, and then came up "ERR: Could not mount root RAID d". To be expected I guess - the volume was created on a newer firmware, so obviously the old firmware that's back on there doesn't understand the current volume.

 

It looks like Factory Reset is the only way forward from here, so I've kicked that off. I'd prefer to upgrade the unit to 6.9.5 first, to avoid creating/syncing disks multiple times, but it doesn't look like there's any way to do that that I can see, so we'll create the volume under 4.2.31, and then see if I can update to OS6 before having to resync the whole volume under 4.2.31 first.

Message 3 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

So the factory reset went through the initial stages OK (checking disks, creating volume), and then sat there with disk 6 flashing on the front panel. I thought it might be syncing, but usually it indicates progress for that on the front panel too. I tried to access it via RAIDar, but ReadyNAS Frontview is coming up as an empty screen (the borders and frame are on the page, but no info or controls). Also in RAIDar, the "Model" string looks completely corrupt (looks like UTF-8 or Unicode or something, being converted incorrectly as ASCII). 

 

I wondered if maybe disk 6 was actually failing (shouldn't be, it's one of the newer disks in the unit), so I shut it all down, swapped disks 4 & 6, and kicked off factory reset again. It eventually reached the same state, the disk 6 icon is flashing on the front panel, no other info (just the IP address), and Frontview is still blank.

 

I am assuming it is therefore syncing, and will leave it overnight, fingers crossed. If anyone has any suggestions let me know - it seems like either files/info are missing that I need to restore to get the old Frontview working again, or perhaps the OS6 bios changes mean the old firmware will no longer work correctly. In which case I guess I either need to find a way to revert to the previous BIOS, or I can try USB recovery again, but with the 6.9.5 firmware on the USB (in hindsight that's probably what I should have done to start with). 

Message 4 of 13
StephenB
Guru

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen


@ItsPeter wrote:

so we'll create the volume under 4.2.31, and then see if I can update to OS6 before having to resync the whole volume under 4.2.31 first.


A factory reset will re-install OS6, because you now have the OS-6 image in the flash memory. 

 

I'm not sure what happened to create your main issue, but I am thinking you didn't shutdown the NAS cleanly, and instead just pulled the plug.  The preferred way to shut down from the front panel is:

  • If the status display screen is not lit, press the Power button three times initiate a
    graceful shutdown.
  • If the status display screen is lit, press the Power button two times to initiate a
    graceful shutdown.

You might consider getting a UPS for your NAS - power loss generally does no harm, but as you found out there is some risk that it will result in data loss.  The NAS can monitor the UPS, and shutdown cleanly when it's battery drains.

 

 

Message 5 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

The NAS was shut down cleanly, two consecutive presses of the off switch on the front panel - I heard the heads on the drives park as it powered down, it generated the "The system is shutting down." email and everything.

 

I would have thought the USB recovery has put the 4.2.31 OS back into the flash memory? But something hasn't 100% worked with that. I was wondering if the BIOS update (BIOS_Update_Package_0.5-x86.bin) isn't compatible with 4.2.31, but after much browsing, it seems that shouldn't be an issue. I'm still wondering about downgrading the BIOS, but I haven't been able to find any older BIOS images, or instructions on installing them.

 

At this stage drive 6 is still flashing as if syncing, I will leave it a little while longer, and if nothing comes of that will try USB recovery to 6.9.5 and see what happens there.

Message 6 of 13
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

USB recovery would have put in whatever OS you used to create the recovery drive.  If you followed the onlione instructions verbatim, then you are likely back to 4.2.x.  If you used the modified OS6 image to create the recovery drive, then it should be running that.  From your description and symptoms, I think you did recover to OS 4.2.31.

 

You didn't need to create an entire RAID to do the OS6 update again.  A single drive JBOD would have worked just fine, and much faster.

Message 7 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen


@Sandshark wrote:

From your description and symptoms, I think you did recover to OS 4.2.31.

Yes, this is exactly what I recovered to. The resync did ultimately finish (drive 6 stopped flashing), but attempting to access Frontview is still a blank screen.

 

It looks like the internals of the unit are working fine - but I can't find a way into any of the config screens. Having given up on that, I tried to re-flash the firmware to 6.9.5 this time. On booting, I came up with this Legacy Boot Mode info.

 

I couldn't find any info on what this means, but my best guess is that 6.9.5 is in the flash, but 4.2.31 was on the disks, which is what this is indicating. Still no config access.

 

I then re-flashed 6.9.5 for good measure, and instead of letting it boot, went into factory reset. All looking good, front panel indicates disks re-syncing, and RAIDar knows what is going on as well.

 

Rather than resync all 6 disks, I took your suggestion, shut it down, and removed all except disk 1. Factory reset again, unit comes up all looking OK, 1 disk, 99% free space. Tried RAIDar / Frontview again - still no config access, but at least an error message this time.

 

I can see from the URL, it is trying to re-direct me to the wizard page, before coming up with that error. I tried this same process with 6.10.2, but yielded the exact same results.

 

So it looks like the unit is functioning in every respect, except that I can't open the configuration screens. I don't know where to go from here to try and fix this, is there any way to directly access the unit not via those config screens, and put back whatever is missing? It also concerns me that the Model and Serial are showing as corrupt string (see RAIDar screen above), which also occurs on the front panel now.

 

That could also be the underlying issue now - if the Model/Serial info is somehow corrupt, might that be stopped the config screens from working? Any way to access or restore this data internally?

 

Message 8 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

After much browsing, I've found some similar posts to my Frontview problem, i.e.

 

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Using-your-ReadyNAS-in-Business/FrontView-Loading-Improperly-EEPROM...

 

As per the solution in that post, it seems like I've got some corrupt data in the EEPROM, and also looking at those posts, it seems like the solution required is specific to each unit (presumably restoring the device info into the EEPROM), and not something I can do myself (at least, the info doesn't seem to be posted anywhere).

 

Does anyone know if this is something Netgear Support can still assist with (unit is long out of warranty), or what is my best way forward on this?

 

The only other option seems to be to try and re-flash the BIOS again myself, but I'm doubtful that would rectify the apparently corrupt data.

Message 9 of 13
mdgm
Virtuoso

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen


@ItsPeter wrote:

The only other option seems to be to try and re-flash the BIOS again myself, but I'm doubtful that would rectify the apparently corrupt data.


Don't try that. It won't fix it. The BIOS chip isn't designed for unlimited writes so flashing to it unnecessarily for no benefit is never a good idea.

Message 10 of 13
StephenB
Guru

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen


@ItsPeter wrote:

 

Does anyone know if this is something Netgear Support can still assist with (unit is long out of warranty), or what is my best way forward on this?

 


Perhaps one of the mods ( @JohnCM_S or @Marc_V ) would be willing to help as a courtesy.

 

They could also arrange for per-incident support, though the OS-6 conversion muddies the waters there.

Message 11 of 13
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

I think it's your vpd file in boot flash that's corrupt.  In contains your model number and serial number, and I don't know what else.  In OS4.2.x, the model number determined some functions that are enabled/disabled, so maybe that could also affect the menus when the data is just garbage.  OS6 still gets the unit type and serial number from it on a legacy unit.

 

Only a Netgear person can re-create that encrypted file, so do contact the mods and see if they can help you.

Message 12 of 13
ItsPeter
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS Ultra 6 doesn't boot - Stuck on "ReadyNAS" prompt screen

Thanks everyone for your feedback and assistance. As identified, my VPD file was corrupt, and without the Model and Serial info, that seemed to be stopping Frontview, etc from working correctly.

 

Only someone with the correct Netgear tools can re-create that VPD file, luckily I've been given the help privately to restore my Serial, etc back info the unit, and we are back up and running again. Sounds like I may not have specifically done anything wrong with what I did with the unit, it is just unfortunately a scenario that can happen on these older units. Fortunately fixable, I guess just a possible scenario to be aware of for anyone else thinking of the OS4 to OS6 upgrade.

Message 13 of 13
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