Buffalo Linkstation Read Error is often false


My Buffalo LinkStation was a doorstop


Don't waste your money on a new Buffalo Linkstation, when there could be nothing wrong but a need for a firmware update. Even if you "tried that already," you may not have done it right.

I learned from calling Buffalo that there's an easy, free fix, for nearly all "read errors." It turns out those are usually false errors, and that the firmware instructions can only be obtained by talking to the nice guy or gal on the phone.   

Here were the subtle hints that something was wrong:

Sources of these messages include email (because I'm signed up for notifications) and the Buffalo NAS Navigator 2 utility.

  1. My Buffalo Linkstation could not be found on the network 
  2. RAID Error Notification
    HDD error occurred
    Target array:RAID Array 1 (md2)
    RAID array can not be mounted.
  3. DISK Error Notification
    HDD error occurred
    Disk(s) the error occurred:"Disk 1"
    (sda) READ sector:3841073152 count:4
    Disk writing error
    Continuous backup is recommended
  4. Emergency mode -- update the firmware or contact support
  5. Sometimes the orange light was flashing, sometimes the red light was flashing

The Lesson: Call Buffalo First!


Buffalo Linkstation Read Errors are often false, says one of their reps while on the phone with me. "Usually, once we have the customer update the firmware, they don't call back."

But hey, it's not so easy to update the firmware. 

The instructions I found online were insufficient. Once I called Buffalo, I found the rep to be quick with more involved instructions. Then, once the firmware was updating, he gave me a case number, told me it might take about twenty minutes for the firmware update to complete, and that I should call him back if there's still a problem.

My bad luck: It didn't work for me

In my case, the firmware update didn't solve the problem. Now the unit was working for a while, then powering down in order to secure the data.

Both hard drives were bad, says the Buffalo rep. But he said it's unusual.

Notes:
  • Mine is the LS-WX6.0TL/R1. That's the 6TB (2 x 3TB) LinkStation Duo Media Server (NAS) 
  • I don't use this for a company; it's just for my kids so we have an in-home backup target
  • If you're considering buying your first one, this same model comes in smaller sizes down to 1 terabyte (the link above will take you to all the choices)