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.

27 comments to Restoring the IX4 – Firmware and Bootstrap issues

  • luke

    how do I use the image and witch partition do I copy

    • 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

  • Kenion

    Hi Simon,
    can this image be used for ix4-200r (rackmount).

  • Ranga

    Hi Simon

    Thank you for your quick response.yes it was an originally cloud edition.
    i took this screen shot before the crash (https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D6101633_619_6494852044)

    do you have any other boot recovery firmware for ix4-200d cloud edition, so i can try again.

    regards
    Ranga

  • 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.

  • Jorge

    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?

  • 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.

  • Thanks Simon

    I will try it

  • 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

  • Alessandro

    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

  • Ben

    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.

  • Ben

    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

  • Josh

    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

    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

  • Ranga

    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.

  • [...] I have made a copy of the active NAS OS partition and made it available ****** Please refer to this post for the correct links for the pre-cloud edition TIB files. ****** on a file sharing website [...]

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