Debian steps into the Breach as Linksys NSLU2 NAS Dies

Our Linksys NSLU2 NAS finally died after a long and protracted fight to keep it on its legs and serving.  It has been acting up for a month or two now and now simply refuses to boot unless there are no drives plugged in (that’s not much use!!), I have a feeling that I could probably get it up and running again with freshly formatted disks etc., but I couldn’t really be bothered as I have wasted far too much time on the thing already.

It is only two years old, and although it is a very useable and low cost NAS solution I think that due to the shocking manner of its demise I couldn’t possibly recommend that anybody uses it at all!  My opinion has been backed up by the people to whom I have since talked, their Linksys NSLU2s suffered very similar fates at eirily similar ages.

Anyway, as the attached disks are formatted as linux ext3 volumes I just plugged them into a spare mini-ITX ‘black box’ type PC that we had here and installed a very slim and cut-down version of Debian with Samba.  A few quick fsck’s later confirmed that there was no damage to the volumes (phew!) and in an hour or two the disks were back on the network and stable.  A very acceptable gratis stop-gap solution thanks to Debian and a spare PC!

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