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A NAS-ty Experience…

Nowadays we are consuming a whole lot of content, this means we have a whole lot more files, which in turn means more stuff to backup.

With that in mind, I spent most of the afternoon & evening trying to figure out how to connect a USB drive to our Linksys WRT-610N and have this drive accessible to my notebook so I could use it as a NAS or Network Attached Storage. Setup was done in IE using Linksys’s WEB UI which is clunky and hard to use.

The Linksys WRT-610N v2 is an OK router but it sucks as a NAS

After hours of trial and error, I was able to get my notebook to see my 4Gb USB stick. I then proceeded to offload the contents of my WD 320Gb HDD to prep it for the NAS. After doing that I formatted it with the router and repeated what I had learned from setting up the 4Gb USB stick. After setup I was surprised to see that I could only access 4Gb of the 320Gb HDD. So I decided to redo everything and after 5 or 6 formats and setup cycles I gave up.

As an added bonus: my FAT32 formatted WD320 drive no longer accept big files. This was because FAT32 file system chokes on items bigger than 2Gb. How could I use it as a backup drive if it chokes on big files?

I have decided to format the drive 1 last time (for today at least) in NTFS and am now copying back my content to it. 

I also found out that… Windows 7 Home Premium can’t backup to a NAS (you need Business or Ultimate for that, way to screw with your customers Microsoft) so that completely sinks the backup to NAS idea. I would need to use Windows Home Server (WHS) to backup and stream media but that would mean I needed a dedicated machine to run Windows Home Server, which was of course the original plan, which I had set out to achieve earlier this week. I abandoned the concept of a WHS solution when the trial for Windows Home Server 2008 refused to install on my Wind U123H. As I went around V-Mall I also discovered that NONE of the shops sold Windows Home Server 2008 systems or DVDs. Basically I was hoping that the Linksys-NAS solution would work so that I didn’t have to get a WHS. Sadly, this is not the case.

Right now my backup solutions are:

  1. On site (Office): Seagate 320 – manual back-up every 15th of the Month
  2. Off site (Home): Western Digital 320 – manual back-up every 15th of the Month
  3. Cloud: Carbonite (just bought a 3 year subscription a few days back, initial back-up is at 4%)

While my HDD's are getting filled faster, Carbonite back-up seems like it is taking forever.

Will continue looking for a better solution for my backup, media serving needs.

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