Attaching existing drive to Linksys Network link

Posted on 2006-05-06
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I'm thinking of purchasing a Linksys Network Storage link box to put my existing hard drives on the my network.  All looks ok but I cannot seem to confirm that if I have an existing drive full of data will I need to reformat it to connect via the Linksys and then populate with data or can I plug it straight in and see / use the data right away.  I'm running XP on a 10/100 ethernet net work.

Obviously prefer to be able to plug and go...



aka Chamonixman
Question by:chamonixman
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    What model of Linksys are you looking at?  I am looking at the Linksys website that shows 3 different models:

    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    Normally you can't use a "full" drive in any such device. Most of them use an OS based on 'nix which might be able to read an ntfs filesystem, but it won't be able to write to it. Anyway, the user interface you get too setup these devices is restricted to a few functions and won't allow you to use an existing filesystem which wasn't created by such a device. You'll have to start with a "virgin" disk and then use the device's utility (probably webbased) to set it up.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    Rather than guess, I looked up the manual for both devices (there are really only 2 -- one that includes a hard drive - with space for a 2nd - and one that uses USB external drives;  the 3rd is the same as the 1st with a print server and larger hard drive).

    For the USB-drive version; there is an "important note" at the bottom of page 8; and a specific note regarding how to change the format in item 9 at the bottom of page 11; that make it clear you CANNOT use an existing drive without reformatting it specifically for the Linksys device (e.g. "The Storage Link's format is NOT compatible with Windows ...").

    For the versions that include a hard drive, the only possible way to use an existing drive would be to install it in the 2nd drive slot; and it's clear from the Appendix that describes how to install this that you MUST format the drive using the Linksys utilities -- so this will also NOT work with your existing data.

    So ... the answer to your question is NO, you can't keep your existing data.

    However, ... if you have a spare PC -- or even one that's not "spare" but is always on -- you could do what you'd like by simply installing your current drives in an external USB case (this is a good one, with 48-bit LBA support and good thermal characteristics:, and then "sharing" it on your network.

    Author Comment

    Thanks excellent answers... I suppose I just want the holy grail that everyone else wants, a small, very quiet big storage facility which I don't have to reformat all my disks for.    Didn't really want to buy another pc and equally didn't want to have one of worlds most annoying noises ... the FAN going all the time..maybe will just have to locate a cheap PC with a lot of disks unless anyone can suggest the Holy grail of course.



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