Thursday, November 15, 2012

PogoPlug Cheap NAS

I wrote previously about , a good deal from Pogoplug.

I was really intersted in that there was a Sata port on the inside and it had a Gigabit Ethernet port.

I explored the options available to connect and power a sata drive. I eventually found a "NEON SSD/HDD Stand-alone Duplicator and Docking Station (USB2.0 - eSATA)" on Just under €32 and free shipping. What could possibly go wrong? It turns out to be a fairly good product, with USB and eSata ports plus external power. Fits 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives.

OK, so crack open the PogoPlug, easy. 

Warning: The power board is on the right of the picture. It has exposed 220V and this can kill. Be afraid. Be very afraid, and careful.

I ordered a Sata to eSata cable from eBay. I am probably going to have to drill a hole in the side of the case to allow the cable to fit properly and exit the case.

I plugged in the Sata side of the cable into the PogoPlug Sata port.

 Connected the eSata side of the cable to the Docking Station. I had an old 80Gb drive that I used for testing. Power the Docking Station on and then the PogoPlug.
 The happy marrige, PogoPlug meets Docking Station.
When I first turned it all on, it wouldn't boot. Feck I thought. Dr Google was no help.

I thought about it for a while and I thought that perhaps the Sata drives were being initialised first, becoming /dev/sda1. The system was configured to boot from a USB stick as /dev/sda1.

Test 1: Set-up to boot from Hard Disk /dev/sda1

I plugged the USB stick and Docking Station into my trusty Linux Laptop, identified the devices, which were /dev/sdb = Docking Station and /dev/sdc which was the USB drive.

I ran:

[root@wideboy ~]# dd bs=1M if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sdb
7498+1 records in
7498+1 records out
7862353920 bytes (7.9 GB) copied, 506.336 s, 15.5 MB/s

Cool so far. I plugged out the Docking Station and back in again.

I then ran 'fdisk -l' and got

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes, 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd9bd8d6f

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              21     7827203     3913591+  83  Linux

So, I had an 80Gb disk with a tinchy partition. 

Time to crank up fdisk again.

[root@wideboy ~]# fdisk /dev/sdb
Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.22.1).

Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes, 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd9bd8d6f

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              21     7827203     3913591+  83  Linux

Command (m for help): n
Partition type:
   p   primary (1 primary, 0 extended, 3 free)
   e   extended
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 2):
Using default value 2
First sector (7827204-156301487, default 7827456):
Using default value 7827456
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G} (7827456-156301487, default 156301487):
Using default value 156301487
Partition 2 of type Linux and of size 70.8 GiB is set

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes, 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd9bd8d6f

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1              21     7827203     3913591+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb2         7827456   156301487    74237016   83  Linux

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

All good again.

Create the new file system:

 [root@wideboy ~]# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb2
mke2fs 1.42.5 (29-Jul-2012)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks
4644864 inodes, 18559254 blocks
927962 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=4294967296
567 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
8192 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
    32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
    4096000, 7962624, 11239424

Allocating group tables: done                          
Writing inode tables: done                          
Creating journal (32768 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done   

I then mounted the partitions to check that everything looked OK. It did.

I then connected the Docking Station to the PogoPlug and powered everything on.

Note: the PogoPlug does not have the USB drive attached.

Low and behold, everything booted. The PogoPlug was booting from the eSata attached hard disk. Woo Hoo! Better then I had originally expected.

Test 2: Crack open a cold brew and blow the froth of it

Kick back and watch you favourite movie. You earned it

Love Linux. Love Arch Linux. Love Arch Linux Arm.

Low power computing. Save the world.

What will I use it for? I am going to try OwnCloud and see if it can run in 128Mb of ram. At least I should be able to run Samba and NFS on it.


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