Intel SS4200-E Lives Again

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Eradik8r

New Around Here
Well I found this little Jewel today... and I'm pretty happy I did. I have 2 current fujitsu Home Scaleos... or the ss4200. Currently running 4 2tb drives in raid 5. Its a backup of all my data, movies, pictures, music, games, but its passed its limit. I have a couple DNS 323s that run alt-F with larger drives that serve me well other than the stupidly slow transfer rates.
So I am looking for the best way to get the most out of my little system. I was intially looking for something along the lines of alt-f to let me load larger drives as that's all I really need. I'm ok with the read speed and write speed as I never need it right now and the DNS 323s are always up and running albeit slow.
So my question is what seems to be the largest drives to work in these systems? I know 2tb work, and I am curious if anyone actually tested the 4tb. I did try to check the xigma post but I have yet to actually find it again. Thanks Schof for the location update as I was concerned it was lost info.
Obviously I could buy some newer fancier piece of equipment, but this thing has been running every day for something like 9 years. ( I did have data loss with orange lights once due to being at my aunts with faulty power) But the drives are OOOOLLLDDD western digitals that I had planned to replace with some 3tb Seagates intially, and they just haven't died. One drive is definitely failing but still manages to limp along.
So now I would like to at least put some 4 tb drives in, or bigger if an option. Also wanted to keep this thing alive.
 

Samir

Very Senior Member
Power supply died after 10 years of 24x7 use :(

Fortunately I had purchased a backup so swapped DOM and HDs and was up and running quickly :)

Got me thinking about upgrading my system again. I've read in this thread that a CPU upgrade is worth it. Anyone know what motherboard the enclosure came with and which CPUs are compatible / suitable replacements for the Intel Celeron CPU 420 @ 1.60GHz)?

Incidentally, they have changed the XigmaNAS forum at the end of '20 and didn't transfer the old contents. Fortunately the old posts are still available here but they will eventually be taken offline which is unfortunate because they contain alot of great content regarding the Intel SS4200-E. Anyone know how to get the whole thing archived in https://archive.org?
Good think it's pretty much just a standard power supply so you can use a regular atx in a pinch to get back up and running. :) Great that you had some spare parts. :)

So the best upgrade that would not stress the original design while providing a performance boost is the celeron 450. I actually have one of these and plan on using it in my frankenstein build, but haven't gotten to work on that yet:

There are some dual core ones that you can use, but the tdp doubles and seems to have been a reason for early power supply failures in my research.

I would simply print to pdf all the relevant threads. If you want to do that and get me a copy, we'll figure out a way to put them online. :) I'm not sure how archive.org would do it and if it would be timely enough.
 

Samir

Very Senior Member
Well I found this little Jewel today... and I'm pretty happy I did. I have 2 current fujitsu Home Scaleos... or the ss4200. Currently running 4 2tb drives in raid 5. Its a backup of all my data, movies, pictures, music, games, but its passed its limit. I have a couple DNS 323s that run alt-F with larger drives that serve me well other than the stupidly slow transfer rates.
So I am looking for the best way to get the most out of my little system. I was intially looking for something along the lines of alt-f to let me load larger drives as that's all I really need. I'm ok with the read speed and write speed as I never need it right now and the DNS 323s are always up and running albeit slow.
So my question is what seems to be the largest drives to work in these systems? I know 2tb work, and I am curious if anyone actually tested the 4tb. I did try to check the xigma post but I have yet to actually find it again. Thanks Schof for the location update as I was concerned it was lost info.
Obviously I could buy some newer fancier piece of equipment, but this thing has been running every day for something like 9 years. ( I did have data loss with orange lights once due to being at my aunts with faulty power) But the drives are OOOOLLLDDD western digitals that I had planned to replace with some 3tb Seagates intially, and they just haven't died. One drive is definitely failing but still manages to limp along.
So now I would like to at least put some 4 tb drives in, or bigger if an option. Also wanted to keep this thing alive.
Welcome! Very cool about the DNS323 and alt-f--sounds like these are a bit of a gem as well if you need a very basic nas.

I finally have 4x 4TB drives, my cf card, my dell adapter, and my power supply for my frankenbuild/restoration. But it will probably be after May before I will be able to mess with it due to life. I believe I did run across a stock installation of 16TB or at least a 4TB drive at some point, but I can't remember where now. (Maybe I mentioned it in this thread?) I'm pretty confident that 4TB drives will work, but it has been a while since I have researched the topic, but I know I wouldn't have made a goal of acquiring all these drives if I didn't think it would work. :eek:

If you are running something like openmediavault or freenas, there is no real limit as I believe the sata controller maybe had a 16TB limit in my research. So in theory you could make a 64TB nas out of the hardware with the right nas os.

What is really neat about the ss4200-e is that it will work with drives that have bad sectors, failing smart, etc. When I put such drives in one of synologys, it refused to even look at them. And with raid 5 or raid1/1+0 that it runs, data loss isn't very likely so using marginal drives is possible.

However, this being said, raid in general cannot determine if 'bit rot' has occurred so it is possible to have data corruption and not even know it. The only way to really confirm or check this is to have other copies of the data and compare all the copies. I try to do this regularly with my important data.

If you're running the unit stock, I'm fairly certain 4TB drives will work, and if you're using something else, I'm certain it will work. Hopefully life will let me get back to this neat machine as my other two are working great. :)
 

Eradik8r

New Around Here
Yes I read all your handy work. It was nice seeing this system honored as such. The DNS 323 I think originally only worked with 1tb drives. It's old, it's slow. I had a failure last week, woke up one morning to find my nas was not online. Assumed it had a power hiccup. Logged i to nas, after a reboot to find it registered no drives!!! Removed drive, put in pc, showed a file system but couldn't access it. I have everything redundantly backed up, so eh.. I wiped the drive put it back in still no disk. Uh oh. So DNS must have gotten corrupted. Flash the firmware to factory.. still nada. Pulled my backup nas out hooked it up out drives in.. no disks. Now I panick lol. I put the drives that sit in that enclosure back in 6tb seagates fairly new, no disks. Well crap.
So I unhook them take them to the workstation hook it up.. drives are back. So I flashed both DNS for nothing, all 4 drives were fine. Power supply died just enough to not work. 4 pin new one off amazon on its way. Haha.
Now back to this ss4200. I don't mind that they are slow. They have been stable, roughly 3 times faster read than the dns. My first 4200 I bought off eBay as a backup for my dns in I think 2011 or 2012. Came with 4 2tb western digital drives that have been suspect since I got the device. Still work to this day though drive 4 will occasionally have to be rebuilt.
I'm not opposed to the dual core processor or the upgrade in ram. I have been searching tirelessly for alternate OS to get me larger drives. I'd like to use it with a minimum of 4 6 tb drives. Of course the other day 8tb were the best deal but anything larger than 4 will do the job for now. I'm still using the emc software, and... It's sometimes finicky. In short if I can throw 4tb drives in one I will do that now.. but would like to eventually drop bigger drives in the other one. So any guides on operating systems for this thing would be greatly appreciated. Admittedly it's slow, but it isn't bad looking and seems rather reliable. A friend got the seagate black armor and it's a monster in power by comparison. But it only came with 4 3 tb drives and was stupidly expensive. It's worlds faster, but to watch a movie from my iso files is no issue and I picked up my last 4200 for 45 dollars shipped. I have pc servers as well but the power on those xeons with high end video cards is stupid.
Thanks for your time and dedication. Even if I was the only one to find it a joy I think you've done a good job documenting and trying.
 

Schof

New Around Here
I've been using XigmaNAS running 4 x 8Tb (ST8000AS0002-1NA17Z) drives in raid1 configuration for quite a while now and everything is peachy.
 

Eradik8r

New Around Here
I'm searching for a guide to do this, but so far with xigmanas in the last days of the old info I can't find it
 

Schof

New Around Here
Have you installed a video card or do you want to do a headless install?

Do you have an extra DOM or have an image of the old one you can re-flash if the install fails and you want to revert back to the original?
 

Eradik8r

New Around Here
I have 2 stock machines. So I will have a way to get back the old system if it's viable.
As to extra parts, or video card installed I do not. I would have some video cards floating around. Though I'm not sure which ones work.
I'm thinking of trying my 3tb drives this evening. But in all honesty I need 6tb drives to house my mound of movies, photos, games and such.

But raid 5 on 4 3tb drives would cover most of my movies, other than blu ray.

I'm also curious if I pulled my 2 tb drives if I could build that machine with 3tb drives with the option just to change out drives and keep my raid build.
 

Schof

New Around Here
For me the easiest installation method was to install a riser card in the SS4200 so I could attach an old video card and do the installation right on the NAS itself. Once I had that in place I downloaded the latest embedded XigmaNAS build and copied it to a USB stick that I had Hiren's boot CD on. Then I plugged the USB stick into the NAS and booted from it. Once it Windows I cleaned the DOM using diskpart and flashed it sing physwrite. I rebooted into XigmaNAS, setup the network interface, etc and was then set to configure it further from any computer on the network.

I had previously flashed the DOM using a windows computer before installing it in the NAS but it uses an old interface which my newer computers don't have so ended up using the approach described above.

Here are some links you might find useful:





The XigmaNAS forums are the best source of help. The admins there, particularly raulfg3, are excellent.

I submitted the old XigmaNAS forums to the internet archive so if you have an old URL you can access them as follows:


1616861716359.png



URLs from before Dec 12th, '20:

Code:
https://www.xigmanas.com/forums/index.php > https://web.archive.org/web/20210312223823/https://www.xigmanas.com/oldforums/index.php

URLs from after Dec 12th, '20:

Code:
https://www.xigmanas.com/oldforums/index.php > https://web.archive.org/web/20210312223823/https://www.xigmanas.com/oldforums/index.php
 
Last edited:

Eradik8r

New Around Here
This is greatly appreciated. Having tried to find that info this is amazing. Hopefully I can get this figured out and will find myself super happy haha. I see a ram upgrade in the near future. Looks like I have a lot of digging to do to find the path to get my system to the point I want.
 

Schof

New Around Here
One other important point that I don't know if you are aware of and don't recall whether it's specified elsewhere in this thread... the bios hides the IDE Port from the OS, but in Recovery Mode it is shown. So when you want to install, start or simply access anything on the DOM you have to put your NAS in recovery mode. You do that by holding down the small button on the back of the NAS. Since I always want to use the DOM I put a screw in that hole that keeps the button permanently pushed in. You can try a pin or anything else to jam it but be careful not to exert too much pressure because the piece holding the pin can break.

Attaching some PDFs that might come in handy. User guide is too large to attach so here is the link to it.
 

Attachments

  • Parts List & Configuration Guide 2.1 (Mar '08) [ss4200ehw_config_guide_v21].pdf
    59 KB · Views: 12
  • Technical Product Specification (Hardware) [ss4200e_tps_11].pdf
    968.4 KB · Views: 12
  • Tested Hardware and OS List 1.3 (Jan '09) [ss4200e_thol_14].pdf
    96.6 KB · Views: 12
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