Mar 26, 2010

Configuring and Installing my Synology DS110j NAS

It is now time to configure and install my brand new Synology DS110j NAS. It comes with a CD containing V2.2 of the firmware and the desktop application. However I want to use V2.3, since it has support for backing up to a remote Amazon S3 account. I had downloaded and installed V2.3 of the desktop application. The desktop applications are the Synology Assistant and DownloadRedirector. The Assistant is used to find all the Synology servers on your network. When it does, you could use it to configure it and do basic setup. It also contains a resource monitor and a photo uploader. The DownloadRedirector is used for setting up downloads that downloads files directly to the DiskStation. Thus it is time to start the Synology Assistant.

When starting the Assistant you see a list of servers. In my case there was only one. The status of it was "not configured". By double clicking on it, I started a configuration wizard. I used the standard settings on every page. However at the last page I was given the choice to select which firmware version. Good! I selected the downloaded zip file. It complained that it was not the correct file extension. It should a .pat file, that is a firmware patch file. OK, I double clicked on the zip file to extract it. No .pat file inside it. I downloaded another version to figure out if it contained a .pat file. But no success. I decided to go with the supplied version while I was to figure out what the problem was. Some people have complained about the long configuration time, especially the formatting have been causing problems for a lot of people. When I started the configuration I was told it could take about 10 minutes. It looked like this:

Meanwhile I was trying to figure out what the problem with my downloaded firmware was. Could not figure it out. Time to test the support. I filled in a rather basic issue report on-line. After that I continued to find the problem. Unzipped the original zip file once more. What? I saw the status information flashing by "Unzipping .pat file" or something. Does it really contain a .pat file? Strange! Is it a hidden file. No, it would not be possible to select the file by default then. Maybe it was the archive utility that is causing me all the trouble? I decided to use the command line zip. An there it was. The zip contained a .pat file. However the .pat file seems to be a zipped file as well. When it is discovered by the archive utility, it unzips this as well. In normal cases this is a good thing. If you extract a .tar.gz file, this is what you want.

For those of you that encounter the same problem, let me explain in more detail. You start the Terminal. You find it in the Utilities folder in the Application folder. The type the following (assuming that you downloaded it to the Downloads folder)

cd Downloads


As a result you have a file called synology_88f6281_110j_1141.pat in your Downloads folder. Very easy if you know how to do it.

Now let me continue with the story. The next thing I decided to do was to setup the printer. The printer has always been connected to my wife's computer. The reason for this is that she simply print more documents than me and my laptop is not always at home. However I find it annoying to start her computer to print a single document. This day I for once really needed to print a document.

When the device was configured, I connected to it. This was done by double clicking it or select it and select connect. A web page was prompting me to login.

After login I found the "USB Printer" in the folder "External Devices".  I plugged in the printer and it was automatically discovered. This is how it looked like:

I Googled the Internet and found the same description on the Synology wiki. However it contained more information for newer Mac OS versions. I started the configuration, but halted when I was prompted to enter an IP address. Not good! I should enter a name and the IP should be resolved automatically. After a little bit of research I found something called Bonjour. It is a service discovery protocol. Actually it is Apple's implementation of Zeroconf. I found the configuration for this in Home->File Sharing->Win/Mac OS. I enabled the Bonjour broadcast as seen here below.

From now on it was simple. Just opened the "System Preferences", clicked the "Print & Fax" button.  Pressed the + button below the printer list. The printer was automatically discovered. Very easy setup.

This is all for now. Look out for my adventures with my DiskStation.