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Restoring the IX4 – Firmware and Bootstrap issues

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 2.1.40.8151 and this was what was causing my issue when trying to load up disks that had the older 2.1.38.22294 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 2.1.38.22294 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 2.1.40.8151 firmware. Downloading the ix4-200d-ix4-200d-2.1.40.8151.gz 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 2.1.40.8151, 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 2.1.38.22294 firmware in your NAS whilst ix4-latestfw.tib should be used if you’re using the 2.1.40.8151 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.

Simon

52 Comments

  1. When restoring, what partition layout should I have? The old firmware has 2 disks in it (C: and F:) how do I format my drives for the restore since they both cannot go on the same partition?

    • Josh,

      The restore should only create a single partition on the drive that takes up 1 or 2gb only, the rest of the drive will then be taken up by creating the new data partition when the device is powered on and run when all the disks are present.

      Regards,

      Simon

  2. This is what I am doing. Clearing all disks and creating new dos partition tables on all of them with gparted. I then restore the new firmware TIB to one of the disks and then put all 4 of them back in and it should come up? I checked in ubuntu after the restore and it just restored into my one large partition. Should i create a new ext2 partition for the TIB restore? It isn’t working for me..

    • Josh,

      Leave the drives blank and restore my image on it’s own, that should create the required first partition for you, the second data partition will be created by the system.

      Simon

  3. Hi, many thanks for the drop box files.
    One question, I have an empty ix4-200d and wondered if you know if these files can be used to install non seagate hdd’s into the ix4?

    Regards

    Ben

  4. I have answered my question and the answer was yes.

    I have tried a couple of hdd’s I had kicking about.

    1 Samsung 500gb and 1 sea gate 320gb, the USB method was used to get the unit working with the Samsung in it and then the seagate added after.

    This has also answered another question in that it can be used without having all four drives installed.
    I tried just one but it said drive 2 was missing (possibly due to mirror mode being default)

    Just need 2tb drives to return to their old price now and load it up !!!

    Thanks for the USB image and info, it helped get my unit back up and running 🙂

    • Hi Ben,

      I made sure that when I took the image of the drive that it was only set to no redundancy for that exact reason.

      My only advice with drives is that not every drive will work, I have some 1.5tb drives that simply don’t work in the IX4 but my 2tb drives do, the caveat is that the image will work but the drive may not.

      A lot of time spent testing has shown that the IX4 is a semi decent unit but nobbled by Iomega who don’t want this going around as an empty chassis and want to charge people a lot of money for the Iomega disks. Using the images I have provided helps people against that.

      Glad it’s all worked for you.

  5. Hi Simon,
    thanks for your work it is fantastic and can help many people with ix4. I have a SAMSUNG ST2000DL004 and ix4 do not work with your images. I thought to be due to incompatible disk.
    I have a request, which model of HDD have you used during creatin of the images? Could you tell us which disks was run in ix4 with your experiences?
    BR
    Alessandro

    • Hi Alessandro,

      I do know that I had success with my WD EARS drives but didn’t with my Samsung 1.5tb drives. I can only suggest trying other drives (expensive I know but as the Samsung drives didn’t work for me you may well have the same issues).

      Regards,

      Simon

  6. Hello Simon,

    I am new to the NAS and ix4. Since I am here it is because my nas has crashed. I have a question about the Acronis images you created. Do you have to restore that image to one drive or all drives in the raid 5? Please advise

    • Hi Joe,

      If you restore the image to the first drive and power it on to check that it’s restored ok, then shutdown the unit cleanly (via the UI) and insert a blank disk (ensure it’s completely blank with no format), then go through the disk settings and it should tell you that the disk needs importing, do so for all three of the new disks.

      It’s worth noting that there is only a single partition on that image, this is just the OS image and no data partition, don’t create the data partition until all drives are imported cleanly otherwise it will take an age to restore the disks to a workable state.

      Any issues give me a shout.

      Simon

  7. Simon, I have a ix4-200d give to me with 4 brand new seagate 1tb barracudas. I have tried to restore the OS for the Iomega using various forum tips including your own but have been unsuccessful. Do I need to prepare the HD’s in any manner prior to restoring your image to the HD (using acronis) such as partitions? In addition you had mentioned the emctools.7z (which I had tried to use to restore the drives) without luck… is there something I should be doing with these in addition to using your image or was that what you used to get your iomega bootable again?

    • Hi Mike,

      I found that not every drive would work and it’s a bit hit and miss (I was having trouble with Samsung drives the last time). I used Acronis to restore the entire image (there should be two partitions) and onces it’s restored just boot up from a single drive, let it do what it needs to do (initialising) and then power down, insert drive 2 and rinse and repeat for the entire drive set.

      Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

  8. Simon

    I downloaded the two images and tried to open with Acronis True Image Home 11.0.
    In both files the program informs that the file is corrupt and can not be opened.

    Any suggestions?

  9. Hi Jorge, were you using the desktop or USB version of the software? I am downloading both images now to test but I do know that others have used them successfully.

    • ix4-200d cloud edition
      8TB
      win7/8

      i am able able to recover my dead ix4-200d by usb boot recovery file ix4-boot.tgz ( https://app.sugarsync.com/wf/D6101633_71685638_616891 )

      my current sw version 2.1.42.18967 but cloud option and so many options missing there.
      i found the updated v3.2.6.17887 at IOMEGA site.

      my problem is when i try to update to v3.2.6.17887 it says THIS UPDATE ONLY APPLIES TO V 3.0.6.
      i couldn’t fined any V3.0.6 on web

      FYI screen print
      ( https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D6101633_619_6494534589 )

      please help me to update my NAS to current v3.2.6.17887

      regards
      Ranga

      • Was it originally a Cloud Edition? If so you may have to send it back to Iomega (Lenovo) and see if they will replace it.

        I have to admit that when I tried to upgrade my old IX4 to a Cloud edition it bricked it.

    • Luke,

      You need to use Acronis TrueImage, load the disk image on to the drive leaving the size as is, this will place the OS partition on the drive, the data partition will be created later on when you define what type of storage you want to go for (striped, mirror’d etc).

      I would advise that you do this on a drive that you don’t care about (ie it has no data on it) because I haven’t tried restoring a partition to a drive with existing data on it before (and I no longer own any IX4 units, moved on to Synology last year).

      Good luck with it.

      • If u wish to do fresh recovery i hve the usb flash files.
        Which i recovered my ix4-200D last time .
        But this will loos your all data will became like a new device.
        If u need more detail or files .
        Contact me via skype (rangamoto)

        Regards
        Ranganath

  10. Followed this procedure to a T and the closest I’ve come to a solution was a “USB BOOT” on the display with a purple light above the power button.Are there any other procedure that would make restoring the firmware on my lenovo ix4-300d possible?

    • So one thing I have to mention is that this was aimed at the IX4-200d not the 300d, the firmware I posted was for the 200d, you’re going to have to get the firmware for the 300d and give that a try.

      Sorry but when I originally posted this article there wasn’t a 300d and I no longer have any Iomega Lenovo devices at home.

  11. Personal ‘m making process but is not working out my stands at 75 % . Copied to USB root of all files and put USB stick into the USB port pressed reset and called POWER LED waited appear in the image of USB FLASH CARD and let out and at that time was a few minutes at most 3 and restarted put back in 75 %

    • Are you doing this using a single drive or have you left all the drives in the unit?

      If you’re trying to restore a 200d then use the Acronis images and restore a single drive and see if that works for you, I managed to get both the recovery USB and the imaged drive process to work but it’s been a couple of years since I played with the IX4 units.

      • Hello Simon , I am making all the disk 4 1TB . I do not care about losing all data I need and restore and back access to the IOMEGA interface. File boot card is ix4-200d -recovery – 2.1.42.18967 emctools ix4-200d_images files

  12. Hi Simon, I see you are the go to guy for this…. We have an ix4-200r. The OS Drive has failed and the NAS will not boot. We have tried to restore your images to a new (replica of failed) drive. All we get is boot media missing or we had a flashing cursor at one point. Still no booting though. Any ideas?

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately I haven’t used the IX4 in years, I don’t know what firmware version your rack mounted version is up to or whether it’s the Cloud version or not.

      What I would suggest is finding the firmware file for your device and then using the EMCTools file I have linked to above, it could well be that your device is using a newer firmware and needs that present rather than the older ones I have used.

      What I can tell you with the older IX4-200d devices was that there wasn’t a dedicated OS drive, it was striped across all the drives which is why there are two partitions on each of my Acronis images, the bootstrap and the storage partitions.

      • Dear Mr.Simon
        I hope you are doing good.
        In 2013 you helped me alot to recover my crashed
        Ix4 200D cloud Nas.
        It is still working fine with the help of your recovery boot files.

        Thank you again.

        I kept original files safely . I hope Mr.COIBHIM would be able to boot his NAS from those files.

        Following is the downlod link.

        https://copy.com/NZ62fY0pk6SLvRDi

        • Hello Sir,

          i have iomega ix4 200d
          starting its having booting issue after 75& its not loading stuck in that so then used Iomega FirmwareUpdater to install the firmware after that its booting upto USB AND NETWORK Display after that its again restarting then i used above procedure of Mr. Simun its installed and loaded upto 75% after that it is shutting down . now it is restaring continuesly. so please help me to solve this problem.

          • Hi Venkatesh,

            Are you using a single disk to try and rebuild? if not then please try a single disk and see if that works for you, failing that then I am at a loss as I got rid of my Iomega IX4 many years ago now.

            Simon

  13. Hi Simon,
    Hope everything is doing OK with you.
    I have tried your procedures but so far it still just boot in loop. I have put only one drive of 2 tb in size. The ix4-200d unit was bought from ebay with no drives which was working before according to the seller. I haven’t seen the usb key blinking when I started the restore process. I just bought some refurbished 2tb seagate drives. Do I need to do anything before the start of the restore using the usb prepared according to your instructions?
    Thanks!

    Ben

    • Ben,

      Apologies, it’s been a couple of years since I last played with the IX4 (performance wasn’t up to scratch for my home lab).

      First things first, have you tried downloading any of the tib images I referenced up in my post? They are Acronis images that I used to replace the initial hdd disk layout with. Essentially just the OS partition which you can then use to rebuild the rest of the raid stripe on.

      Now I am going to assume this is running a newer firmware so my Acronis images aren’t going to work, however if you download the firmware I have listed above then you can also use the Acronis image to try and recreate the right disk formatting.

      When you insert the USB key you are holding the reset button at the back aren’t you?

      Please get back to me with more questions / answers.

      Regards,

      Simon

  14. Simon,
    Thanks for the quick update. Yes, I did press down the reset button at the back of the ix4-200d. I did down loaded both .tib files but not sure what version of my ix4-200d running on. On the other hand, how do you apply the Acronis immages on the hard drive, hook the hard drive to a windows machine? Or I have to get the firmware reboot successful on the ix4-200d? By the way, I used a file named DriveFWUpdater-1.8 to install on a formatted usb drive with FAT32 and then extracted ix4-200d-recovery-2.1.42.18967. Do I have to extract everything including the .tgz file?
    Regards and thanks!

    Ben

  15. Simon,
    By the way, the link “NAS Central” is not valid in your original post. Do you know anywhere I can get the old 2.1.38.22294 boot files?
    Thanks,

    Ben

  16. Simon,
    I spent several hours and tried and usb key with HDD Regenerate to prepare for it and extracted the 2.1.42.18967 files to it. Then I restarted the NAS while hold the reset button with the usb key in front. But the led of the usb key only flashes twice then it died. So it never start to load the firmware. Is this one really not recoverable? I am so sad about it now.
    Thanks,

    Ben

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