Ikon

INSTALLING XPEnology ON ACER ASPIRE H340

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Through much trial and tribulation, I have finally been able to repeatedly, and reliably, install XPEnology onto an Acer Aspire EasyStore H340 NAS. There were a great many failures, but it turns out one thing was the key to success.

Here are the steps I followed:
 

  1. I downloaded the MBR version of Jun's loader image: DS3617xs_DSM6.1_JunsMod_V1.02b_MBR_Genesys.img. It seems it has to be the MBR version. The GPT version simply doesn't work. This is probably because the H340 dates from 2009 and doesn't understand GPT.
     
  2. I downloaded DSM_DS3617xs_15217.pat. There was no particular reason for picking the DS3617xs: it simply seemed like it might be the most versatile.
     
  3. I took a 2TB HDD and used Disk Manager on my Win10 desktop to remove any existing partitions and ensure it was initialised as MBR. As far as I know, the H340 can't use drives larger than 2TB, so the maximum disk space would be 8TB, minus the space for DSM itself.
     
  4. I prepared a SanDisk Cruzer 8TB USB stick as per Polanskiman's excellent tutorial. I used the tool pointed to by Polanskiman to generate a serial number.
     
  5. I installed the 2TB drive INTO THE TOP SLOT of the H340. NOT USING THE BOTTOM SLOT IS THE KEY ITEM TO SUCCESS. I attempted to install XPEnology/DSM onto various drives in the bottom slot; they all failed.
     
  6. On my Win10 desktop, I opened a window to my DHCP server. I also opened a command prompt window.
     
  7. I inserted the USB stick into the front port on the H340. I haven't tested installing with the stick in a rear port. I also ensured there was no keyboard or mouse connected to the H340.
     
  8. I pressed Power on the H340. I watched the LAN Activity LED closely. Once it started blinking I moved to step 9.
     
  9. I watched my DHCP Server's list of active leases until it showed me a new one, which was for the H340.
     
  10. I used the IP from the DHCP server's to start a continuous PING of the H340.
     
  11. I opened Synology Assistant. Http://find.synology.com doesn't work for me.
     
  12. After a couple of Searches, Assistant found the H340 and said it was Not Installed.
     
  13. I right-clicked on the H340 in Assistant and selected Install.
     
  14. I watched the progress until, at around 28%, 600 seconds, the install windows said the H340 was rebooting.
     
  15. I watched the continuous PING. After around 6 Request Timed Outs, and 30 Destination Unreachables, at around 61%, or 235 seconds, the Write Configurations began. It completed very quickly and said the installation was successful.
     
  16. I was then able to connect to DSM and complete the initial configuration items.
     
  17. I rebooted a couple of times to ensure the system comes up cleanly each time.
     
  18. I then used the Shutdown command to shut down the H340. This is the one thing that still doesn't work properly. The system does power down, but only for a few seconds, then it begins to power right back up again, almost like it was doing a restart instead of a shutdown. I've tried the Power Button package I found on the net. It also shuts the system down, but again it powers right back up. The only solution I've found is to wait until the light on the USB stick goes out, then pull the plug. I may connect the H340 to a power bar to simplify things. If someone can offer a suggestion, that would be great.
     
  19. After powering down, I added a 2TB drive to the bottom slot of the H340 and powered back up. Fortunately, XPEnology/DSM still managed to boot up OK, and the new drive was found by DSM just fine.
     
  20. Since the top 3 slots of the H340 are supposed to be hot-swappable, I added another 2TB drive to slot 2 (2nd from the bottom). It was also discovered without issue.
     

It seems the whole key to getting XPEnology onto an EasyStore H340 is to NOT use the bottom slot for the XPEnology/DSM drive. I know the bottom slot is considered special when H340s are used to run Windows Home Server 2011, so I can only assume something about the way the bottom slot is handled by the system interferes with getting XPEnology installed.

 

I do not pretend to say I've exhausted every combination that might, or might not, work. What I've posted is simply what started working for me, so I've stuck with it. I think an H340 makes a very nice Synology box, and they can be found very cheaply on eBay.

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As an addition. You can use the internal usb storage for the bootloader. 

I prepared a WindowsToGo stick for these purposes so that I'm able to use the win32diskimager.

Edited by Dreadnought

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Internal USB storage? Can you tell me where it's located?

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