I own a Buffalo LinkStation LS-CHL NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. It basically gives your home network a network disk like the one you probably have at the office. Super easy: Just plug it to the network and to a power outlet and you’re good to go. One of the many* great things about the LinkStation is you can attach an external drive to it to expand your disk space.
I had a 300GB file (a backup of an old laptop) I wanted to move from the LinkStation to an attached USB drive. Since they both appear in the Finder (i.e. Windows Explorer) I just grabbed the file from one drive to the other and it started copying as expected. Wait, remaining time 17 hours? There has got to be a better way. And there is…
The file transfer was going to take so long because my laptop was playing a game of monkey-in-the-middle with my network. The file I was copying from the source drive had to come to my computer (via wifi) and then from my computer (again, via wifi) to the destination drive. It would slow down my computer and the network for the entire 17 hours. It’s just the way these things work.
Since the LinkStation has a server built in (!) it should be able to manage the copy process without involving my laptop. After searching for a while in the BuffaloTech forums, I finally found the solution from rickjames8 (paraphrased):
- Log in to the LinkStation admin console via your web browser. (See the instructions that came with the LinkStation for details. Default username: admin, password: password. You *DID* change the password when you set it up, though, didn’t you?)
- Under the tab “Shared Folders” you’ll see “Folder set up”. You should see both ‘share’ and ‘usbdisk1’. Make sure under the ‘Support’ column both disks should say at least “Disk Backup”. Mine say “Windows, Apple, Disk Backup”
- Click on the “System” tab, and go to the “Backup” tab. Click the little button that says “create new job”.
- Assign a job name (whatever you like), mark the schedule ‘immediate’, and the operation ‘normal’.
- Click the green “Add” button under backup folders. From backup sources, select “usbdisk1” and for backup targets, select ‘share@LS-CHLF22’. (Your model number may be different.) It may take a few seconds for it to find the available source and target drives as it searches the network.
- Finally, click “Apply”. The screen should now show your transfer name with the status ‘running’.
The copy process is slower than I’d expect it to be, but at least it will run in the background, so you don’t have to keep your laptop connected if you don’t want to. Nor will it slow your wifi network to a crawl for anyone else while it’s working.
* Other things I think are great about the LinkStation, and I believe the newer model:
- It is inexpensive – Not much more than a plain-old external drive.
- It is small – About the size of a plain-old external drive.
- It has a gigabit ethernet connection! (Of course, it will work with the more common 10/100 ethernet too.)
- If you are on a Mac, you can use it for wireless Time Machine backups.
- If you want, you can set it up to be available from anywhere via the internet. (I don’t use this.)
- Generally, it is very easy to use. After you set it up using the clear printed instructions, you really don’t need to ever do anything else to keep it running. It will just appear as a drive available to all computers on your network.