Restoring the IX4 – Firmware and Bootstrap issues

26th April 2012 60 By Simon

I was recently sent a request to re-upload my IX4 Acronis image again, this image can be used to image replacement disks to put into an IX4 (as Iomega don’t officially support non Iomega purchased disks). As I no longer had the original TIB file I decided to load up my old 500gb drives (they sit on my shelf gathering dust) and once I was happy that the IX4 didn’t have any fixed IP addresses was going to take an image of the drive and provide it again.

This is where things started to go wrong, placing the disks into the IX4 they would stick at 95% and wouldn’t go beyond that, in-fact even loading a single drive prompted the same results. It was then that I had an idea, I already figured out that the bootstrap for the IX4 doesn’t actually only reside on the disk (it was the initial assumption when people tried putting blank disks into the IX4), instead the bootstrap is loaded into NVR and then looks at the makeup of the disk and continues to load the disk up if it matches what it expects to see.

In my recent testing of my original IX4 disks I hadn’t taken into consideration the fact that I had done a firmware update to and this was what was causing my issue when trying to load up disks that had the older image across the disks bootstrap. The only option for me at this stage was to do a reset of the IX4 using the USB boot media found over on NAS Central. Following the instructions over there I formatted a USB key with the fat32 file system and extracted the contents of EMCTOOLS.7z to the root of the key, I then powered off the NAS and held in the reset button on the back of the unit when restarting the NAS, it’s at this point that I must stress that you’re going to be better off using a USB key with a transfer indicator light on it because as soon as it starts flashing you can stop pressing the reset button. A couple of minutes later the NAS drive should power off, remove the USB key and power it on as usual.

At this stage I was then able to boot into the original based image using my older drives. Ensuring that the data protection was not enabled I then powered down the unit and took a new image of the drive, next I decided to create a second image but this time covering the firmware. Downloading the ix4-200d-ix4-200d- file from Iomega I proceeded to apply this firmware file again to my system, applying the firmware went as smoothly as expected and the unit was soon running, at this stage I again powered down the NAS unit and took an Acronis image of the drive.

I am happy to be able to offer two different disk images for people to try and use to rebuild their IX4’s with, the first image IX4-olderfw.tib should be used if you’re using the older firmware in your NAS whilst ix4-latestfw.tib should be used if you’re using the firmware.

All the files linked in this post are hosted over on DropBox and ‘should’ be readily available, if there are any issues please let me know.

A quick final reminder, I built both of this images up using Acronis TrueImage Home 2011 although TIH 2012 should be more than capable of restoring these images (I have used 12 to restore images created on 11 previously).

Any questions or issues please don’t hesitate to ask.