To begin with, I logged in via SSH and inspected some stuff
the system is based on the following CPU
CPU processor : 0 cpu : APM82181 clock : 800.000008MHz revision : 28.130 (pvr 12c4 1c82) bogomips : 1600.00 timebase : 800000008 platform : PowerPC 44x Platform model : amcc,apollo3g Memory : 256 MB
With that out of the way, A look at /etc/apt/sources.list revealed that it is a Debian Distro, the only problem with this is that debian stopped supporting this CPU some time ago, so you can’t go past Debian 8 (Jessie)
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main #deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main #deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ sid main
Checking the disk info with hdparm revealed that the disk is a WDC WD20EARX-00PASB0, which is as i expected a Caviar Green
A good alternative for this Gigabit Lan network attached storage might be openWRT, the same firmware I use for my routers !
there are things you need to know in advance though, first of which is that changing the firmware will require you to delete everything on the drive ! as Western Digital have used an unconventional bunch of things such as a 64 kB block size !
With that out of the way, you can skip down to the installing openWRT about the upgrade process step by step (Including backing up your system), then come back to why etc…
What if i want to revert back to the WD software ?
That is indeed a good question, and to make it easy to do that, I have already backed up the entire disk to another while I am sure that i don’t want to go back. Also worth mentioning that the latest firmware on the WD website dates back to 2015 ! which is at the time of writing 6 years ago !
Where can i find the up to date openWRT distribution for this drive ?
OpenWRT has a page dedicated to this drive, both the single and the Duo here (https://openwrt.org/toh/western_digital/mybooklive)
Why use the enclosure, why not just take out the hard drive and put it in a PC somewhere.
The Western Digital My Book Live has a super low power CPU, and when the disk is spun down, it consumes very little energy (Not a significant load to your UPS for example), It is also fan-less, so it is with the exception of the spinning drive when it is spinning silent, which is also a nice thing, So i would argue that keeping it by updating it’s software is a good idea
Another reason is the amount of relevant software provided through openWRT packages, covering many more things than the original firmware (miniDLNA included).