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.

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7 responses to “Home Network Hard Drives.”

  1. inforbi says :

    Hi all,
    Some days ago, I’ve started to use Iomega Home Network HDD with Ubuntu 8.10
    I’m absolutley beginer in this, so after review this previous post I’ve tryed to use in this way.

    The result, I’m not able to work with. Really I’ve reached to mount the drive and enter in, but every time I’m modifiying a file, when saving I did’nt receive any message but the file remains without any change and it apears a file like “.gedit-save-XXXXX” with the new changes.

    What I’m doing wrong. Please a help. Some one knows this problem?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  2. skintythe1andonly says :

    Hey

    I am suffering from the same problems when transfering large file sets. Did you ever find a solution to the problem. I am also using ubutnu intrepid

  3. ccollins says :

    @skintythe1andonly, I have upgraded the drives firmware, and also applied all Ubuntu updates. I haven’t had many freezes lately, so I was assuming this helped.

    Sometimes though, copying large files from Ubuntu to the drive (which I access over a wireless network) will fail part way through. The only workaround I have for this is to enable the FTP feature of the drive, and connect via an FTP client for transfers.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Chris Bolton says :

    Hi – liked your post so went and about a 1T iomega Network HardDrive. Tried using the Terminal command to enter your suggested script – no luck. Note that your 3rd line of script in your post is cut off at the end. Any chance of reposting? I note that since you 2008 post iomega has made zero progress with respect to a quick and easy install using Ubuntu. Our company is currently on Ubuntu 10.x and despite some issues with our older version of SAMBA (8.x) have been quite happy with it.

    • ccollins says :

      @Chris Bolton,
      The line of configuration for /etc/fstab should read:
      “//192.168.1.103/PUBLIC /media/public cifs auto,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=000,user 0 0”

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