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Fixing my Buffalo Linkstation Live LS-CHL

I bought a NAS drive a year or two ago and I was trying to upgrade the firmware to the latest version, 1.60. Unfortunately along the way the firmware update managed to fail and I ended up with a bricked NAS. The result was a RED LED light blinking at me six times in a row upon reboot requiring. I tried quite a few combinations before I was able to restore anything. I’m writing them out here, step by step, just in case it helps someone.

Pre-requisites
I work on a mac, but the only software they provide to reset firmware effectively runs on windows. Fortunately I had a windows netbook still around that I could use to reset it.

Boot the machine using TFTP
This approach for booting the machine remotely is well-documented here, but unfortunately their linked software didn’t work for my case. A kirkwood one floating the internet and listed on this forum post seemed to work best for me.

The steps that worked for me included:

  1. Connect the NAS via ethernet directly to the windows laptop
  2. Set a fixed IP to 192.168.11.1, allowing the default gateway details to fill in (tabbing away works). Save this
  3. Start the TFTP Boot.exe program from the kirkwood zip
  4. Start the LS-CHL Linkstation Live in TFTP mode (hold the function key down for a while, turn on the power and wait for the blinking blue lights). The red flashing lights came on, and when I hit the function key again, it would eventually bootstrap
  5. You should see two console messages as described in the post saying “uImage.buffalo, xxx Blocks Served” and “initrd.buffalo, xxx Blocks Served”

Reset the firmware
At this point, I figured, the machine is rebooted, now you have to apply some firmware. I downloaded the latest, and then waited to see if the machine would come up for an update. At this point, you need to make sure you follow the Force Firmware Update post instructions.

One extra step that I ended up having to do was in response to a “Couldn’t connect” problems. At this point, another post pointed out that I needed to remove my static IP I had set earlier. I changed the windows box, fired up the NasNavi (to obtain a different IP and to establish a connection to the Linkstation) and then I could follow the firmware update.

I rebooted the machine, and it still flashed red, but trying to go through this cycle again, at some point – I don’t remember when I saw yellow blinking lights. I counted them, and they informed me and, according to the manual, the machine was resetting its firmware. Yay! A little bit more waiting, and I had to repartition the drive and it was blue lights all on again.

9 Comments

  1. Hello my problem exactly, I have been onto Buffalo about it guess what? no help at all. not only that update 1.60 has gone from the download area, also I cannot get any tftp boot software from any ware all the links are not working

  2. Can anyone help???

  3. To M Johnson
    Firstly thanks for the link
    I have achieved getting up to loading the firmware onto the NAS, so can i assume it is not dead? However at the point where it goes to reboot I get the message the IP address is no longer there and it fails.
    Do you have any ideas?

  4. Hi thanks so much for the instructions. I have managed to get rid of the blinking red light but it has changed into blue. The device still doesn’t get picked up on the network and so I am not able to flash the firmware. Could anyone help please?

  5. If anyone else lands here, I have this drive and have recovered from this after 1x drive in the raid array died..

    If so post here that you need some pointers and I will do my best to help.

    Dan.

  6. Hi, my LS Live had an error during a firmware update and now seems to be fried. I have tried performing the reset procedure described as in holding the function button whilst turning on. However, I then seems to get an endless power cycle from the Buffalo. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any way round it?

  7. does the files saved inside buffalo will be deleted after firmware upgradE?? or it is safe to upgrade firmware without any saved files affected?

  8. As Chinese Said: No Upgrade No Die!

    Orz!!!

    In past 5 years, my buffalo works fine, but after I upgraded the firmware to version 1.6 it BE UPGRADED became a “BRICK”!
    Now the LED blinks “orange”, I counted and translated it to human readable message through the user manual, is: E22(Mount error. Contact a Buffalo service center for repair.)

    2 Days gone, God! Help Me!!!

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