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Hacking the Promise NS4600

A couple of weeks ago, I bought myself a Promise NS4600 to replace my old Promise NS4300n NAS. These Promise devices are not particularly special but are cost effective and the new one performs well. As you might expect, both the old and news ones run Linux, but Promise do not allow direct access. Some people found ways in to the NS4300n and even worked out how the plugin format worked so you can extend its functionality fairly cleanly. Initial work had been done on the NS4600 but no one had documented the new plugin format or produced any plugins. So, I took it upon myself to do exactly that – I put together a guide and have linked to my initial plugins from there.

The NS4600 is pretty neat because it’s actually x86 compatible – it uses an Intel EP80579 SoC with a Pentium M core; it’s not a common sight (we’re drowning in high-end Atom based NASs) so the novelty is neat and being able to compile and run code easily is a plus.

The guide is here.


{ 12 } Comments

  1. x | 23rd February 2010 at 14:30 | Permalink

    I’ve managed to get an optware/ipkg setup running on the NS4600 which has made things easier in terms of precompiled binaries. i’m very much a linux novice, so i’m not sure i could package up what i’ve done to distribute but i’d be happy to explain if you’re interested.

  2. Leibnitz | 10th November 2010 at 23:46 | Permalink

    Hey, is this hack still working with the new firmware released 2/1/2010? Because i didnt get the telnet plugin to work…

  3. Hans | 15th December 2010 at 02:47 | Permalink

    Did someone had any success creating a plugin for nzb downloading?



  4. Philip Langdale | 15th December 2010 at 07:27 | Permalink

    Leibnitz, I actually don’t use the NS4600 anymore, but I did up until very recently and the telnet plugin worked after the firmware update.

    Hans, I don’t know – but I thought it had nzb built in?

  5. Sam | 29th August 2011 at 12:26 | Permalink

    What are you using now? Why did you move away from the Promise 4600?



  6. Philip Langdale | 29th August 2011 at 14:34 | Permalink

    I built a six bay nas with an atom motherboard.

  7. Haukur Kristinsson | 28th November 2011 at 15:51 | Permalink

    Took me about 5 mins to hack the newest firmware (released Nov 2011).. Just used PHP and the built in Apache server to do it ;-)

  8. Robert | 27th January 2012 at 15:13 | Permalink

    Do any of you know which file system and which partitioning and volume scheme is on the NS4300N?

    I need to mount the drives in a linux box and copy off the data ’cause the NAS is burned.
    In linux the drives sounds healthy, but I can’t figure out how to mount the raid 5 and the volume.
    Is it EXT3, 4, XFS? Is it LMV or LMV2 on top of and md device?

    Thank you for any tip.


  9. Philip Langdale | 27th January 2012 at 15:17 | Permalink

    I honestly don’t know. The RAID is handled by a closed source promise kernel driver. To have any chance of recovering it, you’d probably need a promise adapter for your PC that worked with the driver (and note that the driver on the NS4300N was a newer version than the one available on their website last time I checked).

    You’ll really need to ask them…

  10. sdaww | 15th May 2012 at 01:04 | Permalink

    Where i can find worked ssh plugin for NS4600?

  11. norb | 25th August 2012 at 03:40 | Permalink

    @Robert: Is the problem still up-to-date? My NS4600 has obviously a malfunctioning OS. I managed to recover my data and I can probably help you with your configuration.
    I need a way to completely wipe my NS4600 settings, since it wont accept my admin password and the reset function doesn’t work porperly. I think I’ll try contacting promise support first.

  12. norb | 25th August 2012 at 09:55 | Permalink

    Update: I managed to wipe the NS4600 for myself. All you’ve got to do is hold the reset switch for about 30 seconds until the buzzer gives a single long beep signal. Afterwards, the NS4600 is completey reset “factory-fresh”. Just in case someone runs in the same kind of trouble as I did and is looking for a solution…

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