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[Re-]Install ADM on as AS5202T

[Re-]Install ADM on as AS5202T

Postby acbarbos » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:03 am


I'm wondering if it's possible to install the ADM OS back on an Asustor device, AS5202T in my case, after a different OS has been installed on it. I haven't yet installed a new OS on my Asustor, but I'm more inclined in doing so and I'm just wondering if it's possible to come back to ADM.

Has anyone on this forum done something like that? Is it possible to get an ISO image that can be then used to re-install the OS? Another possibility I'm thinking of for restoring the ADM OS is dumping the partitions that are on the internal flash memory using dd [e.g. while being booted in a different OS in a live environment] and reconstruct them.

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Re: [Re-]Install ADM on as AS5202T

Postby father.mande » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:22 am


Using an external USB live Linux, changing the BIOS, you will be able to save the DOM even it's not your case have a look to : viewtopic.php?f=49&t=10117&hilit=+recover#p32691 as a first approach.
Do the same reverse to copy back the DOM saved if need.

Using the same USB live (for ex. with Ubuntu on it) you can install on disk Ubuntu, just take care of :
... be sure to don't use the DOM except to put Grub and kernel on it OR better install only on disk and boot from the disk, then ignore DOM (hide it to don't erase it) this require some Linux knowledge.

For other O.S. like Windows ... the problem is the DOM, on some NAS the DOM is an extra module, so you can dismount it

In all case, you can have some part not available, like led management etc. be sure to get a full list of hardware in ADM using tools dmidecode, etc. (some from Entware APKG) and be sure to have the corresponding driver.

NOTHING is sure ... so it's at 100% your OWN responsibility and your NAS warranty is over. :roll:

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Re: [Re-]Install ADM on as AS5202T

Postby Nazar78 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:32 am

Just to add to those already mentioned by Philippe, if you want to thinker with running new OS it's fine (not warranty wise and some things like LED/Fan control will be missing). But be extra careful with the DOM. Don't mess with it in the bios or turn it off else it could disappear and the only way to bring it back is to reflash the bios as not even reverting bios to default will bring it back.
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Re: [Re-]Install ADM on as AS5202T

Postby acbarbos » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:45 am

Hi Philippe and Nazar78,

Really appreciate your answers. Sorry for my late answer, I took some time to try to have a better understand the inner workings of my Nimbustor.

Truth be told, my quest only scratched the surface with respect to the inner workings of the NAS, however, I did manage to find out that:
    - my AS5202T has a DOM of 8GB (the specifications on the product page say it has only 4GB)
    - on the DOM there are a total of 3 partitions (one EFI partition and two identical partitions for the dual boot that hold the kernel and the initramfs, which by the way never gets replaced and hence acts as the root filesystem) which take up roughly 0.7GB leaving a free space of roughly 7.3GB
    - volume0, which holds the non-volatile system data, i.e. data that if modified survives rebooting, is actually created on the HDDs that are inserted in the trays - I previously thought that it is stored on the DOM
    - [Bonus] on the motherboard it actually says AS5304T v1 :D, though don't know if this information serves me any purposes
Overall, it's a pretty clever design, they limit at the maximum the use of the DOM and hence ensure a long life of the NAS (it's straightforward to change a HDD vs a DOM that is soldered on the motherboard).

To give a bit of a context, I have one big issue with the current incarnation of ADM, namely that at midnight, and I mean precisely at midnight [with respect to the timezone that is set], it wakes up the HDDs. My NAS resides in the same room that I sleep, hence having the NAS wake up at midnight is a big disturbance given that I tend to go to sleep around midnight. I do understand that the HDDs can be "randomly" woken-up even when there is no apparent user access to the NAS since the NAS is a complex piece of software and hardware. However, given the precise moment that the wakening up occurs, that's anything but random, it's a design that's baked in ADM and that I either don't have a means to control or I don't know how. I presume that the operation that takes place at midnight access something on volume0, hence the wakening up of the [spinning] HDDs.

When I asked the question of whether is it possible to reflash the ADM OS back to the NAS, my intentions were to install the alternative OS (OpenMediaVault [OMV] is the current OS of choice) on the DOM. Your answers made me change my intentions and I really appreciate your answers. I wanted to be able to come back as a backup plan for the case that the new OS doesn't behave "well" or that I decide to switch to a different NAS and still be able to sell the current one. I understand that some hardware components and features might not work and I'm OK with that.

The solution that I will go is to install OMV on a USB key as the NAS is able to boot from a USB key. Given that the OS is on solid state drive and that OMV in theory should allow to change most if not all pre-set behaviours with respect to the time at which certain actions are carried out, the issue of having the HDDs wake up at midnight every single day should be a thing of the past. The DOM will remain untouched, so if I want to go back to ADM all that I have to do is to remove the USB key and boot from the DOM. More so, OMV has a plugin that helps reduce wear on the USB key if the OS is installed on one. And they also have a guide for backing up the OS, thus if the USB key gets defective you can just write the OS backup to a new key and be up and running in no time.

Once again, really appreciate your answers, they made me really consider my choices and enabled me to take, what I believe to be, the best choice.

If you do have any remarks/comments with respect to the choice that I made, please don't hesitate to share them, they will serve well.

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