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Upgrading B3

Posted: 14 Nov 2018, 06:19
by dkpilot
I have an original B3 wifi with 1 TB disk, its the original Squeeze distribution (Debian 6), kernel
I would like to upgrade to latest distribution (Deb 9), and also ensure that it can take disks > 2TB.
What would be the steps to do that? Can it be done using the original USB key with system, by putting an image on that stick, without affecting the data on B3?

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 14 Nov 2018, 12:47
by Gordon
Not sure I fully understand. If you want to install a new (larger) disk, then what's the point about wanting to preserve the data on it?

The original partition layout actually has a rather small root for modern Linux. The order of the volumes is also not optimal with swap sitting on the slowest section of the disk. In fact that whole volume thing makes the disk harder to access from another system if you need to correct some corruption. You should also note that not all data is stored in /home and as a rule you will either loose all data stored in other places or it will be incompatible with the newer software.

To my knowledge all newer operating systems you can find in the development forum on this site will completely erase your disk to make it suit the new version's requirements.

BTW did you ever run the wdidle3 patch on that original disk? If not, that disk is guaranteed to be way past its projected end of life and you should replace it anyway while you're still on grace time.

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 14 Nov 2018, 15:59
by dkpilot
Thanks a lot for coming back to me. Really I should have asked two questions: 1. upgrading the original system on the old disk, or 2. installing a new system on a larger then 2TB disk. You are right, no. 1 does not make much sense, since the disk is very old. My issue there would have been if I could upgrade to newer version Debian while retaining the Excito functionality (DLNA etc.). So I go for number two, new disk, new system, and copy data to that form backup. But again, will I be able to get the same Excito functionality on the new syrem/disk? Can you guide me to some not-too-complicated how-tos?

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 15 Nov 2018, 04:22
by Gordon
To know whether your B3 can handle larger disks you should run the following command form the ssh terminal:

Code: Select all

strings /dev/mtd0 | grep U-Boot
You should see either one of these two lines in there:
  • U-Boot 2010.06-rc2-00064-gf41e8d8-dirty (Sep 08 2010 - 13:06:20)
    This is the original boot loader that you will find on an older B3 and this cannot boot from a >2.1TB disk
  • U-Boot 2010.06 (Jun 10 2011 - 09:06:51)
    This one will support larger disks. It does not appear to support many modern SSD disks though
If you have a B3 with the large embossed 'B3' logo on the front (versus the ones with the white print in the lower right corner) you're likely to see the first one and you need to flash the B3 for which you can reference this Wiki page

At present Bubbagen is the only development that aims to offer the same functionality and web front-end as the original software. It's not Debian though, it's based on Gentoo Linux which can be something of a culture shock if you're used to Debian command line operation.

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 19 Nov 2018, 07:02
by dkpilot
Hmm, when I run the command strings /dev/mtd0 | grep U-Boot in the ssh terminal I get a command not found reply? How to deal with this? I have the one with the large embossed B3 on the front, though.....

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 19 Nov 2018, 12:41
by Gordon
Did you run that as root?

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 12 Dec 2018, 07:56
by dkpilot
Back again....
I found that strings was not installed - to get it, I installed binutils!
With that, I got following response:
root@b3:/home/mt# strings /dev/mtd0 | grep U-Boot
U-Boot 2010.06-rc2-00064-gf41e8d8-dirty (Sep 08 2010 - 13:06:20)
** Invalid partition type "%.32s" (expect "U-Boot")
So, I have the old version. What is the "invalid partition type", though?
I downloaded now the U-boot-3TB zip, and will try to install that. Will it accept also greater HD-size than 3TB??
Any danger to lose data in this process?.

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 12 Dec 2018, 09:16
by Gordon
Just something in the code that u-boot can spit out if it can't access your disk.

Updating u-boot does not access your disk, so no there is no danger in loosing any data.

Re: Upgrading B3

Posted: 29 Dec 2018, 09:38
by beatgr
dkpilot -

I have already written a “How To” for basic steps in
upgrading UBOOT and installing new 3 TB WD “Red” hard drive.