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Home: Home NAS with DD-WRT

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I have setup a home media server in my living room. I can play all media content I have through XBMC. I have an older computer I installed Lubuntu on. I install XBMC on top of that and it runs quite well for what it is. My issue was since it is an old machine it had limited SATA ports.

While I did not have SATA ports to spare, I did have a USB port on my router to spare. I have a WNDR3700 router which comes USB ready. It has been flashed with DD-WRT v24-sp2. Which offers FTP and SMB/NAS support. If your router has an USB port it will probably offer these services as well if you flash it with DD-WRT. I also had a Thermaltake HDD dock with two bays available. So I slapped an old 250 & 500GB 7200RPM HDD in the dock and plugged it up via USB to my router.

On the router I had to enable Core USB support. If your router has this feature you can find it under Services->USB->Core USB Support .

Next You must enable USB Storage Support

Then Automatic Drive Mount if you’d like to not have to mount the drives every boot of the router.

Next you need to set the mount point. I select /mnt

Your HDDs should now be detected at this point. You should see them under the mount point option. If you have multiple HDDs detected you may only see one with two “Status ” lines. THESE DRIVES MUST BE FORMATTED AS EXT2/EXT3. I made the mistake of formatting with ext4 and they would never mount.

On to the NAS setup. You can find it under Services->Nas->Samba. Since XMBC does not support FTP servers (which wouldn’t make sense) I chose Samba. Samba is the Linux version of Windows File Sharing.

I’m not sure what the “Server String” field does. It doesn’t matter if you set it or not. Workgroup you need to set the same as the workgroup of your computers/XMBC for easiest setup.

Under Share you will see the Paths field. This is where you create the shares that you can access via another computer. Your drives should have an option in the drop down menu. Select one, then give it a name. This will be the name that you use to access it. After that select appropriate permissions.

You must then setup users that will be able to access the shares.

Once that is done you’re all set to connect to it and test.

From a Linux computer you can use the smbclient command: (make sure to escape your slashes or use /’s)

smbclient \\\\<ip of router>\\<shareName> -U <username> <password> 

OR

sambaclient -L <ip of router>

From windows you can use explorer to Map a network drive or from the command line:

net use * \\<ip of router>\<shareName> /user:<username> *

Do this on all your computers and you will have shared storage throughout your network. Makes a great backup target. You won’t see the greatest speeds unless you upgrade drives. I am seeing around 15MB/s with 7200RPM drives that are 5-6 years old across Cat6 and USB 2.0.

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