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toh:wd:n900

Western Digital My Net N900 and N900 Central

Dual Band (Concurrent).

There are two versions:

  • N900 (with 8x GigE and 2x USB, but no internal HDD) and
  • N900 Central (with an integrated 1TB or 2TB HDD, but only 5x GigE and 1x USB).

WD has discontinued the whole My Net product line in early 2014; the original MSRP of N900 is around 149 USD, but as of late 2013 and early-to-mid 2014, N900 w/ 8x GigE can occasionally be had at a firesale price of as little as 39,99 USD (at Staples and some other retailers), going back and forth to a non-firesale price.

WD Downloads (GPL Source Code):

Supported Versions

No OpenWrt support

Hardware Highlights

CPU RAM Flash HDD Network WAN USB Serial JTag VLANs
Ubicom IP8K@600MHz 256MB 16MB - 7x 1GigE 1x 1GigE WAN 2x 2.0 - - -
Ubicom IP8K@600MHz 256MB - 1TB/2TB 4x 1GigE 1x 1GigE WAN 1x 2.0 - - -

https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Western_Digital_My_Net_N900

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/31814-wd-my-net-n900-hd-dual-band-router-reviewed

cpuinfo

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Vendor          : Ubicom
CPU             : IP8K
MMU             : enabled
FPU             : enabled
Arch            : 4
Rev             : 1
Clock Freq      : 600.0 MHz
DDR Freq        : 533.0 MHz
BogoMips        : 589.82
Calibration     : 294912000 loops
Hardware        : UbicomIP8K
cpu[00]         : thread id - 6
cpu[01]         : thread id - 2
cpu[02]         : thread id - 3
cpu[03]         : thread id - 4
cpu[04]         : thread id - 5

meminfo

# cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal:         253376 kB
MemFree:           21664 kB
Buffers:           84368 kB
Cached:            66384 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:           110064 kB
Inactive:          72448 kB
Active(anon):      30480 kB
Inactive(anon):     3808 kB
Active(file):      79584 kB
Inactive(file):    68640 kB
Unevictable:         320 kB
Mlocked:               0 kB
SwapTotal:             0 kB
SwapFree:              0 kB
Dirty:                 0 kB
Writeback:             0 kB
AnonPages:         32080 kB
Mapped:            15328 kB
Shmem:              2208 kB
Slab:              34224 kB
SReclaimable:       4816 kB
SUnreclaim:        29408 kB
KernelStack:        2480 kB
PageTables:         2880 kB
NFS_Unstable:          0 kB
Bounce:                0 kB
WritebackTmp:          0 kB
CommitLimit:      228032 kB
Committed_AS:     145024 kB
VmallocTotal:     262144 kB
VmallocUsed:        3248 kB
VmallocChunk:     116464 kB

Original Firmware

Explore firmware

This section explain some of the things you can do with the router firmware. It is not directly related to OpenWRT however, it is a necessary section as not much is known about this chip and some further research would be needed before OpenWRT comes true for this platform.

DISCLAIMER: Performing some of these procedures and what you can do with them may void your device's warranty. Furthermore, any of the following procedures and any of the activities you perform through this access may brick or damage your device as well as cause data loss or corruption. Please, use this guide at your own risk as neither the author nor this site can be held responsible.

Access through Telnet

This gives you user level access to your router as a non-privileged user. It is useful to wonder around with command line with certain safety as most of your system files will be protected against non-privileged users. However, it may be possible that certain data stored in the router, specially user data, may be still at risk of your actions. To achieve Telnet access you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Access through the web-interface to ../telnet.php E.g. http://192.168.1.1/telnet.php
  2. In that page, you will find a switch named "Enable telnetd". Turn it on.
  3. Use a telnet client to access Telnet port(23)
  4. Use the users and passwords provided below to log into your router.
  5. A prompt will be shown and you can start typing commands. Please, be careful what you do here.
Model User Password
My Net N900 Alphanetworks wrgnd15_wd_pro
My Net N900 Central 1TB Alphanetworks wrgnd14_wd_storage
My Net N900 Central 2TB Alphanetworks wrgnd14_wd_storage

Access through SSH

This gives you user level access to your router as root user. It is useful as provides you with full access to all commands and files in your router, however it is highly risky if you do not know what you are doing. If you do not know what root access means and the risk it may bring for your device, you should probably stay away from it. To achieve root access you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Access through the web-interface to ../OrionInfo.php E.g. http://192.168.1.1/OrionInfo.php
  2. In that page, you will find a switch named "Enable SSHD". Turn it on.
  3. Use a SSH client to access SSH port(22)
  4. Use "orion" without quotes as users and password to log into your router.
  5. A prompt will be shown and you can start typing commands. Please, be careful what you do here.

Recovery Procedure

Western Digital has a recovery procedure in their website, however I do not know how effective it is and if it will work in a bricked device as it seems too dependent on the system working fairly ok. They advise to use this procedure when My Net Dashboard(web interface) is unable to be accessed which from my point of view does not imply the router is bricked. The procedure can be found in: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9618/~/how-to-recover-a-my-net-router-from-a-failed-firmware-update This is a summary of the procedure:

  • Make sure that the latest firmware file for the router in question has been downloaded and unzipped in the computer's internal drive.
  • Disable any wireless features in the computer to ensure that the system will use the wired Ethernet connection instead of the wireless one throughout the process.
  • Power down the router and the computer.
  • Connect the router and the computer to one another through the use of an Ethernet cable.
  • Proceed to power up the computer.
  • Set the computer to have the static IP configuration shown below:
  ^ Parameter ^ Value ^
  | IP Address | 192.168.1.50 |
  | Subnet Mask | 255.255.255.0 |
  | Default Gateway | 192.168.1.1 |
  
  • While the router is powered down, press and hold the router's reset button by using a paperclip. Then, without releasing the reset button, turn the power of the router back on by using the power button.
  • Hold the reset button for a minimum of 15 seconds. After that, the LED light on the front of the router should begin to blink. After at least 15 seconds have passed and the LED is blinking, release the reset button.
  • After releasing the reset button, the router may take another minute to fully power up. When it does, the router interface should open to an Emergency Room where an emergency recovery can be attempted by uploading the firmware file to the router.

  • Click on browse and browse to the firmware file in the computer's internal hard drive, select it and press on the Upload button to begin the process.
  • Once the firmware is successfully updated, the router will reboot again.
  • Once the device completely boots up, the My Net Dashboard should be accessible.

How to tweak it

Given that support for the ubicom32 architecture has been removed from OpenWrt for being unmaintainable, it is unlikely that we will ever see OpenWrt for this router. But it may still be possible to improve it by tweaking.

There are three issues with this router: it does reset every once in a while, the NAS performance is mediocre at best and terribly in certain situations, and it also throws errors during demanding operations such as running Google Picasa on the network share.

Investigating the system gives some hints as to why that may be. The hard drive is connected via USB, and formatted as NTFS. The file server is a heavily customised version of samba called KC_SMB. And the system is running a number of crawler processes that all seem to scanning for images and generating thumb nails: miocrawler, mediacrawler, and dms_smm. None of this is ideal.

So what can be done about it? The crawler processes can be stopped, but that requires turning off the DLNA function. The first two can be disabled from the command line, too. Without the crawlers, the system seems much more stable and more responsive. Formatting the hard drive as ext3 seems like another interesting option, but it may also require changing the mount logic.

Tags

toh/wd/n900.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/03 05:28 (external edit)