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Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

I'm a happy owner of a newly aquired elderly ReadyNAS Pro 6 running lates OS 6.10.3 in otherwise stock configuration:

Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @1.80GH

1 GB Installed Memory

BIOS 08/20/2008FLAME6-MBV1.5

 

I'm considering upgrading to 2 x 2GB (total 4 GB) of memory and install a new CPU either:

Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 SLGTD 3.06GHz or

Intel Xeon X3230 CPU Quad Core 2.66GHz

 

Will both memory upgrade and CPU upgrade be possible with current BIOS?

 

I'm leaning towards the E7600 upgrade to due to lower watt usage - any advice from owners of upgraded units appreciated :-)

 

BR Carsten  

Model: RNDP6310|ReadyNAS Pro 6 3TB (3 x 1TB Enterprise)
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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6


@CJDEN wrote:

I'm a happy owner of a newly aquired elderly ReadyNAS Pro 6 running lates OS 6.10.3 in otherwise stock configuration:

Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @1.80GH

1 GB Installed Memory

BIOS 08/20/2008FLAME6-MBV1.5

 


It sounds like you have the Pro Pioneer (-100NAS part number), not the later -200NAS part number.  The -200NAS models have an E5300 2.6 CPU.

 

You can upgrade the bios using this add-on: http://www.readynas.com/download/addons/x86/4.2/BIOS_Update_Package_0.5-x86.bin

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Hi Stephen - and thanks for kind reply. And true - it's a -100 Serial no. so must be the Pro Pioneer Smiley Indifferent

 

As I understand it - it's not easy to upgrade BIOS when the unit is on OS v.6 (I cant just just use "Install firmware button" and upload the file you kindly link to) - and I'm thus keen to know it the BIOS upgrade is a must before changing the hardware Smiley Happy

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Master

Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

No, you cannot upgrade to either of those with your current BIOS.  I'm not sure if the BIOS 1.5 can even be updated to 2.0.  I know some of the early Pro units (yours is not a "Pro 6", it is a "Pro Business Edition" or "Pro Pioneer") had an earlier version of the motherboard that can't, but I don't recall if you can tell from the BIOS version.     With BIOS 1.6, which I had, I believe the fastest was a Core2 E6700.  I don't know about 1.5, and many of those old forum messages regarding CPU upgrades can't be located with a search.

 

If you are going to try to update the BIOS while still in OS6, then you should probably use DMIDECODE to verify the actual motherboard HW version before you do the upgrade.  It should report  FLAME6-MB for BIOS 2.0 to be appropriate.  If you use the OS 4.2.x add-on, it'll check for you.

 

With the quad processor, you are going to have heat issues.  There is no room to increase the size of the CPU heat sink or fan.

 

You can also gain a bit more speed if you use CL5 or CL4 RAM instead of standard CL6 (only if you do upgrade the processor).  The motherboard cannot go faster than an 800MHz FSB, so anything faster than DDR2-800 is a waste, even with a processor that can support a faster FSB.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Hi Sandshark and thanks for kind input !

 

Bit of a bummer with the old BIOS. When I read the "bios_ver.log" file it read "08/20/2008 FLAME6-MB V1.5". Since I have already purchased both the Memory sticks and both processors (all found cheap second hand), I could just give it a try and see if it will work out with no BIOS upgrade.

 

Since I have not started to use the NAS yet, there are no data on it, so if none of the new hardware is accepted I gues I could do a factory reset to revert to OS 4, and then run  "IOS_Update_Package_0.5-x86.bin" to see if it will update BIOS.

 

The only thing I'm a bit worried about if I do a factory reset, is that I had the issue with incorrrect Serial Number being shown preventing me from logging on to ReadyCloud, which "JohnCM_S" kindly sorted out for me (fantasc help I got there). If I factory reset, will I then also delete the correct serial and end up where I were before JohnCM_S helped out....

 

Oh well, fiddeling with old stuff is not easy - but fun, and as I really like the unit I would love to extend the life of it...

 

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Prodigy

Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Just to give you a heads up, the likelihood that the e7600 will work is very slim.  The e7600 is of a different architecture and back in the lga775 days if the bios didn't support the newer architecture, it wouldn't work. Smiley Sad

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare_CPUs/Intel_AT80571PH0833ML,Intel_HH80557PG0331M,Intel_HH80562QH0678...

 

That being said, the x3230 you're looking at should work as long as the nas supports a 1066 front side bus.  But I would expect your fan to run faster in order to cool it since it is a 100w processor vs 65w.  I've done a lot of upgrades (on computers not nas units) like this and as long as the fan runs faster or 100% all the time, you won't have an issue with cooling.

 

But the real question on processor upgrade choice is what matters more--cores or single thread performance?  Because if it's single thread performance, the e2220 has a very high chance of working and providing a serious boost:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Pentium-E2160-vs-Intel-Pentium-E2220-vs-Intel-Core2-Duo-E...

 

Please report back if the e7600 works. Smiley Happy  It sucks that all this has been done before and is lost due to system transitions...seems like the entire Internet is only 10 years old because of all this data loss. Smiley Sad

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Hey SamirD. Thanks for your comments and advice. As I'm told that I can revert to os4 do the BIOS upgrade and revert to os6 without loosing the newly installed serial number 😉, the I will give the Bios update a try before installing new hardware. 

Should all fail, the advice you give on the e2220 is great, I did not think of an upgrade within the same series as original 🙄, but now when you point at it it's obvious 👍🏻  Thanks.

 

These days we all have to think about giving stuff a second life for the sake of the planet, and the ReadyNAS Pro box I saved from the scrap yard (where our company IT wanted it to end it's short life) is way way to nicely build to go out like that. I hope it will serve a good many years to come in my home after a bit of surgery 😉. 

I'll post my progress...

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Prodigy

Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

If the bios upgrade is successful, it should allow you to use the e7600 which is definitely much faster than the e2220 or the current e2160.  And don't forget that these units can actually take up to 8gb of ram so someday when those modules are cheap enough, you can upgrade to them and continue to extend the unit's life.

 

These units were made really well and since a lot of the components are standard, they can be upgraded and live on.  I actually am in a similar situation as you as I purchased an Ultra 6 fairly cheap with the intent of running a few spare drives in it since it has 6 bays.  It is also potentially a better use case than a WD EX unit I have off site as this unit has dual lan connections which I need at the site where the WD unit is.

 

I have always had a soft spot for working hardware.  If it still works, it deserves to live on until its demise.  The hard part sometimes is finding an application since a lot of older hardware is simply destined for running things only from its era.   Luckily, nas units don't have as much of an issue with this.  I actually have 3x Intel ss4200-e units that I've restored.  Ironically, they are also using standard lga775 processors.  I even have an older synology.  And the great thing about multiple nas units which are all different is that they will never all fail in the same way.  So besides the normal best practice of 3-2-1 backups, having multiple nas units in the mix adds even more redundancy, especially when off site.

 

One thing I would do if you haven't already is to test what type of transfer speeds you are currently getting from the nas with a single drive.  This can be your benchmark so you can see how much of an improvement you get from the cpu upgrade.  I would also benchmark both os6 vs os4 since you have to downgrade to os4 anyways.  I don't know if that's ever been done before either.

 

I've found that all of my nas units are in the same range of speeds with the synology and the readynas towards the top, but these units also have the newest/fastest drives in them, so it could be just drives.  The exception to that is the intel units as even with a full ssd array, there was no improvement to the maximum transfer speeds.  That's actually the long term plan with all these nas units--as ssds become cheap, replace drives with ssds and then these units will become even faster than they are.  There's no reason why these can't be working 20 years from now.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Thanks all for your comments and advice - great help!

 

Step 1: Upgrading BIOS:

DONE! and all went smooth. I for sure set off with sweaty palms, but upgrading from old BIOS v. 1.5 to latest 2.0 was possible - no hickups at all.

I downgraded from os6 to os4 following the guidelines found on the forum, updated BIOS with no error messages, and upgraded back to os6.

 

My unit keept the newly aquired serial number - and is now humming away again.

 

Thanks to all - now I'm just waiting for the various parts to arrive; new low noise fans, 4 gb of Ram and the E7600 processor. I hope installing those parts will be as successfull as the BIOS update.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

A processor upgrade really has little impact for a single user, possibly due to the Pro only having SATA2, but likely does impact multiple simultaneous users  It definately speeds things up when a backup or other process is occuring in the background.  It will affect some apps, especially things like Plex.  The RAM upgrade (at least to 2GB) makes more of a difference in transfer speed because of more available buffer.

 

Based on this, I have not upgraded the processor on any -200 Pro6 units with the Pentium E5300 @ 2.60GHz or later Ultra6Plus, which have the same (I am told earlier ones had the Pentium E2160 @ 1.80GHz pf the original Pro).   Just not enough to be gained.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

My unit have the E2160 @1.80GH. Will it work great if I did not upgrade, yes. It's for household use, and is accessed via WiFi. Most important is actually the fan upgrade to reduce noice level.

 

With more RAM and faster Processor, it's not about truly using the speed - it's about being able to tell your friends you have the fastest Smiley Very Happy Just like owning the Ferrari - you have it and can tell others about it - but you never drive fast in it Smiley LOL

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Actualy even upgrading the e2160 to an e2220 would be felt.  It's not necessarily the additional cores, but the speed of those cores.  The faster the core performance, the faster everything gets.  But on a lot of nas units, you have to make signifiant cpu changes to get any speed differences.  It's one of the reasons I haven't touched the stock cpus on my intel units even though I have plenty of lga775 upgrades for them--just not worth it from all the research I found others did on it with the stock software. (With a different nas software installed, they did see large gains however.)  It will be interesteing to see how the ReadyNas will respond to an upgrade.

 

The additional memory definitely helps as moving from the stock 1gb to 4gb in mine running os4 shows os4 now using over 2gb for caching.  Makes me wish my 4gb modules worked, but oh well.

 

So wait, I'm not supposed to drive my Porsche or Corvette that fast?!?  That would explain all the times I've been stopped, haha.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Any release notes on the 2.0 bios?  I'm curious as to what was added/changed.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Good question - the download is a .bin file, so no release notes included. I would like to know as well, but havent found any info...

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6


@CJDEN wrote:

Good question - the download is a .bin file, so no release notes included. I would like to know as well, but havent found any info...


AFAIK Netgear never provided any release notes for what was changed in the bios.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Apart from supporting newer CPUs and memory (The latest BIOS shipped with the Pro 6), I think there were some changes that were useful for development. I can't recall every seeing any release notes for this either.

 

Remember this was the top of the line desktop model back in the day so a lot of the initial testing of things and compiling directly on a NAS unit (where a dev wanted to do that) would be done on these units as it could be done in a shorter amount of time than on a lower end unit.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

One step of my upgrade project was also to replace fans to bring down the noise level. 

Yesterday my new CPU fan replacement arrived, a Noctua NF-R8 redux with 4 pin cable. It plugged nicly into the 4 pin connector on the motherboard where the original fan was also plugged in.

 

However, when I turned on the unit, the new fan turned on, so it did get power, but the fan did not display in the dashboard (as original fan), so the monitoring of the fan failed. The colors of the Noctua wires are as the original fan. Strange issue, anyone experience this and solved it?

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

I've only ever replaced one CPU fan.  That was because of a failing brearing (and much higher than normal noise), so I didn't use that particular fan.  I recently looked inside that unit and saw that I did replace the original connector witrh a 90° IDC one, but I don't remember why.  I don't remember switching any wires, which can usually be done without having to totally replace the connector, but I may have.

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Update on my upgrade project:

 

Original 1GB RAM now upgraded to 4GB. Easy job, pull out the old stick, and install the two new. Found 2x2GB Crucial second hand ones for some 15 EUR.

 

Today I finally got the "new" Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 SLGTD 3.06GHz, again a second hand purchase for some 15 EUR. Removing the heat sink was easy and after removing the original Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @1.80GH I installed the new E7600 - and put all together again. Turned power on - machine tunrned on with fans full speed and Readynas showed in the display, and then - nothing else happende. No boot, just display and and fans on. After leaving it like that for 3-4 min I turned it off being pretty upset. I decided to try one more time before reverting to the original processor, but to my big surprice it turned, and booted normally, what a relief. It's been running with no issues for 3 hours now, CPU temp around 40 deg C. It feels snappier so upgrade was an improvement.

 

One unexpeced and really annoying issue however have been my fan upgrade. So far no luck, and Im working up quite a bill on fans, piling up next to the unit.

 

System fan, attempt one: 120 mm Blacknoise NB-Multiframe M12-3 (3 pin version). New purchase at some EUR 30.-

At low RPM it stopped spinning, and system gave a Fan Faliure warning. I guess the low system voltage is not sufficient for the fan, and it stops. 

 

System fan, attempt two: 120 mm Noctua NF-F12 PWM (4 pin version, but can be used on 3 pins.). New purchase at some EUR 30.-

At low RPM it fluctuates in speed making it annoying to listen to. The original system fan runs at some 850 rpm, the Noctua was running at some 1000 rpm. No good, it was pulled from the system and stopped spinning, and system gave a Fan Faliure warning. I guess the low system voltage is not sufficient for the fan, and it stops.

 

Now I'm waiting for 2 more 120 mm fans:

Noctua NF-P12
Noctua NF-P12 Industrial

which I got second hand for some EUR 20.-

 

and a 80x80x15mm CPU fan, Noiseblocker BlackSilentPRO PC-P, new for some EUR 30.- I really hope this round of fans will work, as main part of my upgrade was to reduce noise level. If any has a "plug-and-play" recommendation as to choise of silent fans that will just work, I'm all ear.

 

 

Model: RNDP6310|ReadyNAS Pro 6 3TB (3 x 1TB Enterprise)
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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Update on my upgrade project:

 

RAM:

Original 1GB RAM now upgraded to 4GB. Easy job, pull out the old stick, and install the two new. Found 2x2GB Crucial second hand ones for some 15 EUR. Works nicely, no issues.

 

CPU:

Today I finally got the "new" Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 SLGTD 3.06GHz, again a second hand purchase for some 15 EUR. Removing the heat sink was easy and after removing the original Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @1.80GH I installed the new E7600 - and put all together again. Turned power on - machine tunrned on with fans full speed and Readynas showed in the display, and then - nothing else happende. No boot, just display and and fans on. After leaving it like that for 3-4 min I turned it off being pretty upset. I decided to try one more time before reverting to the original processor, but to my big surprice it turned, and booted normally, what a relief. It's been running with no issues for 3 hours now, CPU temp around 40 deg C. It feels much snappier so upgrade was an improvement.

 

Model: RNDP6310|ReadyNAS Pro 6 3TB (3 x 1TB Enterprise)
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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

Update on upgrade cont..

 

FANS:

One unexpeced and really annoying issue however have been my fans upgrade. So far no luck, and I'm working up quite a bill on fans.

 

System fan, attempt one: 120 mm Blacknoise NB-Multiframe M12-3 (3 pin version). New purchase at some EUR 30.-. At low RPM it stops spinning, and system gives a Fan Faliure warning. I guess the low system voltage is not sufficient for the fan, and it stops. 

 

System fan, attempt two: 120 mm Noctua NF-F12 PWM (4 pin version, but can be used on 3 pins.). New purchase at some EUR 30.-. At low RPM it fluctuates in speed making it annoying to listen to. The original system fan runs at some 850 rpm, the Noctua was running at some 1000 rpm. No good, it was pulled from the system...

 

Now I'm waiting for 2 more 120 mm fans to try out:

Noctua NF-P12
Noctua NF-P12 Industrial

which I got second hand for some EUR 20.-

 

and a 80x80x15mm CPU fan, Noiseblocker BlackSilentPRO PC-P, new for some EUR 30.- I really hope this round of fans will work, as main part of my upgrade was to reduce noise level. If anyone has a "plug-and-play" recommendation as to choise of silent fans that will just work, I'm all ear.

 

Model: RNDP6310|ReadyNAS Pro 6 3TB (3 x 1TB Enterprise)
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Prodigy

Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

That e7600 should definitely feel snappier--it's almost literally twice as fast as the e2160:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Pentium-E2160-vs-Intel-Core2-Duo-E7600/1134vs948

 

It will be interesting if the combination of ram and processor improves the real-world transfer speeds. Smiley Happy

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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6


@SamirD wrote:

That e7600 should definitely feel snappier--it's almost literally twice as fast as the e2160:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Pentium-E2160-vs-Intel-Core2-Duo-E7600/1134vs948

 

It will be interesting if the combination of ram and processor improves the real-world transfer speeds. Smiley Happy


OS-6 definitely uses more memory than OS 4.2 did - and currently shipping OS-6 ReadyNAS all have have at lease 2 GB of RAM.  So I definitely recommend increasing RAM in legacy NAS running OS-6.

 

 

As far as the CPU goes, it depends on how you use the NAS.

 

A stock Pro-6 running 4.2.x will already saturate a gigabit connection when doing sequential file transfers.  Other loads won't do that, but with those loads the speed will be limited by the disks and the memory caching - not by the CPU.  That won't change with OS-6.  So I don't think the CPU upgrade will increase transfer speeds unless you are using SMB 3 with transport encryption.

 

But if you are using transport encryption, then the faster CPU likely will make a difference, since I don't think the stock CPU has AES acceleration.  And of course if you are running apps (for instance plex), then the faster CPU will matter.

 

 

As far as fans go, I am running a Noctua NF-S12A FLX in my own Pro-6 (still running OS 4.2, with the stock CPU, but with 8 GB of RAM.  That is working well - but the NAS is in my basement, and I don't need silent operation.  I swapped it because it sounded like the bearings in the stock fan sounded like they were beginning to go.  

 

FWIW, my own Pro-6 is used as a backup NAS.  SMB is disabled, and it runs rsync backup jobs on a power schedule.  I plan to keep it on OS 4.2 until I need to expand the volume (it is at the expansion ceilings for OS 4.2).

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Virtuoso

Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

I run in my  old pro business with a  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X3230 @ 2.66GHz with 8GB ram.

Works perfect, no heat issues.

 

Architecture: x86_64
CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order: Little Endian
CPU(s): 4
On-line CPU(s) list: 0-3
Thread(s) per core: 1
Core(s) per socket: 4
Socket(s): 1
Vendor ID: GenuineIntel
CPU family: 6
Model: 15
Model name: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X3230 @ 2.66GHz
Stepping: 11
CPU MHz: 2659.998
BogoMIPS: 5319.99
Virtualization: VT-x
L1d cache: 32K
L1i cache: 32K
L2 cache: 4096K

MemTotal: 8161912 kB

Bios: FLAME6-MB V2.0

BR

 

// Hans

 

Hansa
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Re: Upgrade Readynas Pro 6

I was also considering the 3230. Are you using the Stock fans?

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