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Welcome to the Open MSS-II mini wiki at Scratchpad!

You can use the box below to create new pages for this mini-wiki. Make sure you type [[Category:Open MSS-II]] on the page before you save it to make it part of the Open MSS-II wiki (preload can be enabled to automate this task, by clicking this link and saving that page. Afterwards, you may need to purge this page, if you still see this message).

Welcome to the Open MSS-II miniwiki at wikia.
This is the new place where to collect all the MSS-II info in a central place.

why do we need this mini-wiki

  1. the forum at does not seem to be a reliable place to store info permanently
  2. the MSS-II uses a different board, cpu and kernel. The MSS-II is very similar to the LS-Pro because it is based on the same Orion chipset and reference design.

to find out how to begin.


Pictures of the board Mss2


Gain serial access

Gaining serial access is easy as the headers are already soldered to the board. The connector is CON7, which in the picture above has black pen marks near it.
The pins in order from closest to Marvell chip to farthest: Rx, GND, Tx, VCC(3.3V)
The serial signals are still at TTL levels, so they need to be converted to RS232 levels before they can be connected to a standard serial port. Creating a Serial port discusses how to connect signals like this to a computer.

What new capabilities does serial access provide?

Uboot control, loading other kernels/initrds via tftp

Additional HDD possible?

There are holes for an additional SATA connector (and maybe power as well), so adding a second drive may be relatively easy. The part number of the connector required is MOLEX - 67491-0020


The top LED shows status/error information through a series of green/amber flashes.

Green Amber Status
1 4 /share file system error or bad power supply
1 3 Boot Error - Attempting to boot from disk 0
2 3 Boot Error - Attempting to boot from disk 1
1 2 HDD S.M.A.R.T. Error - Attempting to boot from disk 0
2 2 HDD S.M.A.R.T. Error - Attempting to boot from disk 1
1 1 RAID Error
1 0 Sleep Mode - Disks are powered off


Analysis of the stock OS

what is installed by default, why is it needed for what?

-- Web Server configuration ?

You may manually go to the web page "/advanced/advanced_web_service.asp" and it gives you some configuration screen that looks like you could set up a web virtualhost on some of your shares.

-- Added by

The "/advanced/advanced_web_service.asp" is broken. It does nothing. (Firmware 3.1.28).

To read some debugging information you can access "/advanced/mss_dbg_1.asp" and navigate with "Next" button.

A new software/firmware is in preparation at Maxtor, apparently:


Q. It says the new Central Axis software adds “secure web access”.  What will that allow me to do with my MSS II?

A.  Having secure web access on your network drive means you can access content without disrupting your firewall;

 * Access content on your Maxtor Shared Storage II drive securely from any Internet connected PC or laptop browser
 * Invite friends, family and colleagues to access select content
 * View images and slideshows
 * No special client software required, no disruption to your firewall


Q. How will I know when I can download the software upgrade for my MSS II network drive?

A.  The software upgrade will be available this spring.
To receive notice when it is available, you can provide your email address at

-- Added by, March 2008

The Seagate upgrade to the MSS2 (to allow remote file access) is now available for download from Seagate's Support/MSS2/Download page. File access is free and unfiltered and is via --Added by SWGeek May 8, 2008 ---

Prebuilt Binaries and Packages

There is an optware feed for mssii at The instruction for ipkg installation and configuration is at

Due to similarities to the LSPro, certain binaries will work fine on the MSS-II.

ushare ncurses screen


Replace the hard drive

To replace the hard drive, you must properly partition and format the drive, and then put the software image on it. These instructions are written assuming the hard drive being prepared for the MSS2 is attached to a Linux computer. Be VERY careful as it is possible to lose data on your computer if you do these operations on the wrong disk. Using this procedure you should be able to put a larger drive in the unit, although I have only tested this with a 20 gig drive.

You may use a Parted Magic LiveCD (, only 40 MB), but your favorite Linux distro do the job as well.

Step 1: Partition the drive.

Two examples of how users' drives were formatted:

Disk /dev/sdd: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
   /dev/sdd1   *           1          32      257008+  83  Linux
   /dev/sdd2              33          64      257040   83  Linux
   /dev/sdd3              65          96      257040   82  Linux swap / Solaris
   /dev/sdd4              97       38913   311797552+   5  Extended
   /dev/sdd5              97         159      506016   83  Linux
   /dev/sdd6             160       38913   311291473+  83  Linux
Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1          32      257008+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb2              33          64      257040   83  Linux
/dev/sdb3              65          96      257040   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb4              97       60801   487612912+   5  Extended
/dev/sdb5              97         159      506016   83  Linux
/dev/sdb6             160       60801   487106833+  83  Linux

Hence the first partitions seem to have fixed sizes, regardless of the total drive size, and only the size of the extended partition and the last logical drive in it (which holds the shared folders) varies.

The partition use is as follows: 1: software image (boot flag set) 2: software image (redundant) 3: swap 4: extended 5: tmp 6: share

In the above examples partitions 1,2,3 are about 256 MBytes, with part 5 being about 512 and part 6 the rest.

Step 2: Format the partitions. The MSS2 uses the ext3 filesystem. Partitions 5 and 6 should be formatted, and swap should be made on partition 3. Partitions 1/2 will be dealt with below.

Step 3: Put software on the drive. The image used for this is the firmware upgrade image available from Maxtor (alternatively, you can use this patched firmware, which has SSH enabled). The download image is a compressed tarfile that contains a filesystem image.

amd64:$ tar -zxvf coyote-3.1.26.bin
amd64:$ file coyote-3.1.26.img
coyote-3.1.26.img: Linux rev 1.0 ext3 filesystem data (large files)

The coyote-3.1.26.img file is an ext3 filesystem image that we will put on the drive using dd. You must be VERY careful with these commands as they will happily overwrite any partition they are pointed at - make very sure that you are writing to the drive you want to.

amd64:$ dd if=coyote-3.1.26.img of=/dev/sdX1 bs=1024k
amd64:$ dd if=coyote-3.1.26.img of=/dev/sdX2 bs=1024k

This puts the same image on both partitions, which will make the unit boot up the first time no matter which partition it tries first.

Step 5: Put drive back in MSS2 and boot it up. This should now boot, and come up like an out of the box unit. I don't think that any of the configuration is stored in flash, so it will have all gone with the previous hard drive.

This has also been successfully tested with a Samsung EcoGreen HD204UI 2TB hard drive, which lets the drive provide 1.8 TB of network storage.

Changing Auto Power On

If the power to an MSS-II is disconnected, and then returns, the power switch on the back will need to be pressed to turn the unit on. This mod enables auto power-on, which simply turns on the unit whenever the power is connected.

The first step, as always, is to download a telnet or ssh enabled image, e.g. "coyote-3.1.26-telnet.img". After connecting, you'll need to:

1) Disable the script section which always makes sure that auto power-on is NOT enabled.

2) Change the mode, using the flash parameter utility, /usr/sbin/mxoparam.

Here are the commands:

cd /etc/init.d
vi rc.mxoinit

comment out these lines, using '#'

# Set wait for button press On
# if [ "`mxoparam -a | grep "Wait for button press" | awk {'print $6'}`" = "OFF"
# then
# echo -n "Setting wait for button press on.. "
# /usr/sbin/mxoparam -c 1 2> /dev/null
# if [ "$?" = 0 ]; then echo "done"; else echo "failed"; fi
# fi

save and exit vi.

Now, use one of these two commands.

mxoparam -c 0 -- don't wait for button press, so auto power on
mxoparam -c 1 -- revert to factory setting

You can print all settings available from mxoparam using "mxoparam -a"

Alternative Method (for the "vi" challenged)

If using vi across a telnet connection is not your cup of tea, you can also simply copy the rc.mxoparam file across to a shared folder, edit it from the shared folder location, and then copy it back:

cp /etc/init.d/rc.mxoinit /share/Public

(do edits from any editor ... as long as it supports unix text file format)

cp /share/Public/rc.mxoinit /etc/init.d/rc.mxoinit

You may want to make a backup first...

Creating a custom Image

  1. Untaring
  2. Modification
  3. Taring it up again

How to compile


This is the cross toolchain used to compile for the board:

The instructions for cross-compiling are here (USE AT YOUR OWN RISK and give feeback):

-- Added by

Cross-compiling with Scratchbox on Ubuntu:

Cross-Compiling the GPL-Kernel

Native Compiling

Native compiling means compiling directly on the box itself. Currently no one has created a specific native toolchain for the MSS-II.

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