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  #1  
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 12:51 PM
anilo anilo is offline
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Default Storage device to NAS

Hi all,

I bought an external hard drive some time back:
http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10468

Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can make Sonos detect it without connecting a PC to it?

I'm guessing I should've bought a NAS but little did I know. Maybe I can buy some kind of layer to make it look like a NAS.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 12:58 PM
anilo anilo is offline
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Default USB to Ethernet cable.

I found this:

http://www.pcconnection.com/ProductD...ourceID=k22350

Will it do the job of converting my storage device to a NAS?
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  #3  
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Majik Majik is offline
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Anilo,
What you have here is a USB hard drive. The only way you can get this to be read across a network by Sonos or anything else is to plug it into a PC or similar.

Quite frankly, it's not much more than a bare hard-drive. It cannot work in isolation. It needs to be directly attached to something with an operating system that understands what a file system is and how to export that to a network using SMB/CIFS protocols.

In essence, it needs to be connnected to a PC.

The (relatively dumb) USB to ethernet adapter is not a PC, and won't do what you're after.

Aside from a PC, another option is a proper NAS (Network Attached Storage) device like the Buffalo Linkstation or similar. Underneath their cover, NAS devices are, essentially, PCs but packaged in such a way that thay make good NAS devices.

Some of these devices have USB connections to plug in dumb storage devices like USB memory drives, or the Lacie drive that you have, and these can then be shared to the network. Bear in mind, though, that most of these come with their own hard drives as well.

Cheers,

Keith
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  #4  
Old Aug 6th, 2006, 10:28 PM
Graham - Sonos Graham - Sonos is offline
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Check out the NSLU2 from linksys i think it will do what you want... Review from Tom's hardware here:

http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2004/0...r_usb_2_nslu2/

best,
-graham
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  #5  
Old Aug 7th, 2006, 06:27 AM
jonross jonross is offline
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Thanks for the link! A question for those out there who may know or have used this or other NAS's ... I see from the review that "the NSL uses the Ext3 file system, so you can't swap a USB drive between a Windows PC and the NSL without reformatting it - and losing the stored data."

A few questions...

1. So that means my 2 250 gb USB external hard drives full of music can't be used with this device correct?

2. To use it could I simply attach a new blank 250 or 500 gb drive to the NSL, format it to whatever that Ext3 file system is (why can't they all just get along?!) and then copy or move all of my music from the current drive that works plugged into my PC to the NSL?

3. Then for backup what? Could I then use that 250 gb drive that I transferred all my music off of to that drive - I'd assume it would have to be reformatted for Ext3?

I have been reading reviews, CNet, doing searches on NAS and run into things like this: "you can't swap a USB drive between a Windows PC and the NSL without reformatting it - and losing the stored data." Trying to avoid having to spend big $ for a new NAS when I have all this storage already bought.

Thanks for any insight ... guess just leaving it all hooked up to my pc and not buying anything new will continue to work.
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  #6  
Old Aug 7th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Majik Majik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonross
Thanks for the link! A question for those out there who may know or have used this or other NAS's ... I see from the review that "the NSL uses the Ext3 file system, so you can't swap a USB drive between a Windows PC and the NSL without reformatting it - and losing the stored data."

A few questions...

1. So that means my 2 250 gb USB external hard drives full of music can't be used with this device correct?
That is correct...ish.

I believe the NSLU2 by default expects EXT3 formatted drives, but there is a way to get it to read FAT32 formatted drives:

http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowT...FormattedDrive

It's not very pretty though, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you are doing.

Quote:
2. To use it could I simply attach a new blank 250 or 500 gb drive to the NSL, format it to whatever that Ext3 file system is (why can't they all just get along?!) and then copy or move all of my music from the current drive that works plugged into my PC to the NSL?
Absolutely!

Quote:
3. Then for backup what? Could I then use that 250 gb drive that I transferred all my music off of to that drive - I'd assume it would have to be reformatted for Ext3?
Not necessarily. If, for instance, you plugged it into your PC and used the PC to pull the files from the NSLU2 into the local drive, it can be FAT32.

Quote:
I have been reading reviews, CNet, doing searches on NAS and run into things like this: "you can't swap a USB drive between a Windows PC and the NSL without reformatting it - and losing the stored data." Trying to avoid having to spend big $ for a new NAS when I have all this storage already bought.
The above is true (assuming you don't want to hack the NSLU2 about) but it really depends on what you're trying to achieve.

For instance, if you have the spare drive space on your PC you could temporarily copy the music files across to that. Then reformat the drive to EXT3 on the NSLU2, mount it from the PC and copy the files back to it across the network.

You can then access the files from your PC across the network.

You won't, however, be able to disconnect the drive and plug it directly into the PC. The question is whether you actually need to do this.

Cheers,

Keith
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  #7  
Old Aug 7th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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Default A short(ish) history of disk formats

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonross
I see from the review that "the NSL uses the Ext3 file system
<snip>
To use it could I simply attach a new blank 250 or 500 gb drive to the NSL, format it to whatever that Ext3 file system is (why can't they all just get along?!)
I'm answering this separately because, even though I realise it was a rhetorical question, you might actually be interested in background behind it.

Windows (which, until relatively recently, was based on MS-DOS) has traditionally been a single-user desktop OS. As such it lacked certain capabilities which were not deemed necessary (or cost-effective) for desktops. The main functionality missing was the ability to understand different users (few other desktop OS's had this capability either).

As such the filing systems that early desktop OS's used were pretty basic too and also mostly did not understand the concept of a "user", and had very basic permissions capability.

The main filing systems used by MS-DOS and Windows were the "FAT" (File Allocation Table) series (FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32). These were in common use until Windows NT4 which started to introduce the concept of a "user", and needed filing system support for this. NTFS was then born.

It should be noted that FAT and NTFS are Microsoft specific (and patented) formats and in many cases a licence should be paid to MS for using them (although it has been argued that the "FAT" filing systems are obvious and that they shouldn't be patentable).

Meanwhile, Unix and its variants were being developed as true multi-user operating systems. Unix has spawned many varients (including Linux), most of which were commercial and included proprietary filing systems. They were all, however, united by a largely common understanding of users and user credentials, permissions, etc. From a user perspective the filing structure of a Solaris box looks pretty much identical to that of an HPUX box, or a Linux machine.

As many of the filing systems in use on commercial Unix systems were proprietary, and required a licence, the Ext filing systems were developed by the open source community to use with OS's like Linux. Ext3 is the current "production" version. There are others you can use. BSD has it's own format, and you can also chose to use JFS or even XFS under Linux if you prefer. In fact the vast range of mainstream and obscure disk filing formats available to you under Linux (including FAT and NTFS) is quite boggling.

Now, as many (most?) small NAS boxes are a small computer running a Linux derivative, their natural filing system is Ext3. In fact the lack of permissions capability in FAT32 makes using it quite restrictive for Linux, and the licence fees to use NTFS are prohibitive (as well as the fact that the permissions model is subtly different and doesn't map onto Linux completely).

So that's why they are different.

Cheers,

Keith
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  #8  
Old Aug 8th, 2006, 09:02 AM
jonross jonross is offline
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Thanks Majik Keith -

I was only focusing on the file system of the drive ext vs. fat/ntfs. Didnít even think about the files all being the same (FLAC) and being able to move them about between drives with different formats. So I could do a drive with the NSL and an internal or external drive connected to the PC and just copy back and forth. Thanks for that.

And as to this statement you wrote about changing formats: <I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you are doing.> Thatís right. I would not want to try to get the ext drive formatted for fat. I didnít even know what a NAS was until I started visiting this forum.

And while I have no idea about all that ďC promptĒ stuff Ė or even why the internet connection on my laptop just stopped working even though my wireless connection is excellent - it is interesting to understand why they canít get along. Good to know. Helps move the learning forward for me. Thanks for taking the time to explain Ė itís certainly appreciated.

Jon
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