Home Network Hard Drives.
I decided to splash out on a Home Network Hard Drive this weekend. It was a spur of the moment decision to go with the Iomega drive, as I didn’t spend much time researching options online, as I normally would do.
I plan on using the drive primarily for backups of my music, photo and other data collections. Since I bought my girlfriend a digital camera, she’s also needed extra drive space for storing photos, etc.
The software that ships with the drive, in a word, sucked. It looks and works like it was knocked out by a hungover engineer, the morning after the Office Christmas Party. Usability sucked, though it was functional, and I had the Windows XP laptop configured to connect to the drive as a network share. The drive also sports a web based administration tool, which is also functional though suffers from the same usability issues as the desktop client driver.
While the box notes the drives support for Linux, there is very little mention of it in the help or on the support section of the Iomega site. When you search for Linux, you end up redirected to the Mac OSX instructions. Come on Iomega, it’s obvious the drive is based on Samba, so your not entirely unfamiliar with Linux. It won’t take a lot to document how to mount the drive on Linux, and include it in your documentation set.
Connecting the Ubuntu desktop to the drive involved installing smbfs support using:
sudo apt-get install smbfs
Then adding the following line to /etc/fstab and issuing a “mount -a” command as root.
//192.168.1.103/PUBLIC /media/public cifs auto,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=000,user 0 0
That is assuming you remain with defaults. As usernames and passwords can be changed through the web based administration tool, the connection string above would have to be modified in line. The IP may differ for your setup also.
Since then, I have registered with Iomega, to recieve notifications of software updates. I’ve updated the drives firmware, which forced an upgrade of the Windows client driver. It still sucks, from a usability standpoint, but at least it sucks a little less.
Once mounted under either Windows or Ubuntu, use of the drive is like any other. Though I have had some system freezes on Ubuntu when transferring large file sets, with large volumes of data. I have yet to diagnose the cause of this issue.