Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seagate 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Home NAS (STAM3000200)

Just like anyone else these days I got a couple of USB disk drives over time that eventually filled up with all sorts of stuff - file backups, ISO images, software, photos and what not. This time though I thought I might go a step up and get a NAS (Network Attached Storage) with a larger capacity, so I can access the files from my PC, laptops and Xbox, without the need to keep one of them on with a USB drive attached.

And so I got this Seagate 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Home NAS (STAM3000200) a few weeks ago – I got to play a little with it, but not too much though. Probably most of the disk drives I got from back in the day were Seagate; they are not the quietest or the fastest drives in the world, but they do the work and found them reliable. I’m not going to fully review the unit, you can find an extensive review at (in fact the one that made up my mind) and (found later), and I quite liked the features for I think a reasonable price (205 euro incl. shipping from I actually wanted the 2GB unit (a bit cheaper, I don’t see myself filling this up anytime soon), but that one disappeared very quickly from

What I liked about it, aside from the fact that it is a network drive, is that it has a USB port where I can connect an older Seagate FreeAgent 500GB USB2.0 I got from Komplett a few years ago, making that available on the network as well. I also like the fact that it has both SMB shares as well as FTP access, plus UPnP and DLNA on top of that - for media playback over the network (might try and post something later about connecting an XBMC4Xbox to the unit).

Another feature that I’m sure might come in handy sometime, is the ability to access the files over the Internet, through – although haven’t tried it, it looks like it’s presenting the files through a custom web interface (Flash?). That might not be a limitation though cause it it seems to be secure though, some people might find that reassuring, and I’m pretty sure I can easily setup the port forwarding in the router for direct FTP or even SMB access if I wanted to.

You might find the product labelled as “Wireless” in some stores, but what it means is that as an Ethernet device you can connect it to your wireless router and make the files available through wi-fi around the house.

A nice surprise after playing with the unit - although in a way I was expecting it - seems to be running a Linux 2.6 distribution, and from the web interface, it appears to be a HipServ. That should be interesting to play with (in fact I already logged on through SSH and wrote a PHP page to show some system info, I might post about it later :-). A couple of useful links: and – you might want to exercise caution especially if you are not a too familiar with Linux, you could break your unit and I’d be fairly sure root access is not covered by warranty :-)

Another interesting feature is going to sleep after 30 minutes if not used – although that doesn’t seem to be configurable through the web interface, looks like might be through SSH root access (/etc/pwrmgr.conf). The unit seems to come back up online when accessed through UPnP / DLNA.

Compared with the older USB FreeAgent I have, it seems to be on the noisier side, not from the disk heads on access, but due to disk spinning, the vibrations going through the desk making it a bit worse. I guess it depends on what you sit it on, although probably not recommended but if you don’t like the noise you could put a book under, obviously the problem with that is that if you knock the book… well you get the picture. At the end of the day though, that’s not a problem for me.

Temperature-wise I found it mildly warm even after transferring a lot of files – they seemed to have thought about it, the unit has slightly elevated top with a vent around it. I might look into installing smartmontools package or similar to get some information on the SMART stats, the original web interface doesn’t seem to show a lot of technical information on the unit, but I guess that’s fair enough for a general consumer unit.

The power consumption is reasonably low at 10-11W idle/load and 4W standby.

Seagate GoFlex Home NAS - top view 

Seagate GoFlex Home NAS - Web - Storage Devices  

Seagate GoFlex Home NAS - Explorer - UPNP-AV 

Seagate GoFlex Home NAS - Explorer - Read 700 MB file - 100 Mbps  Seagate GoFlex Home NAS - Explorer - Write 700 MB file - 100 Mbps

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Squirrel SQL – cannot update on Windows with UAC enabled

I had this problem before but I just worked around it by simply copying the updated installation from a Windows machine that didn’t have User Account Control (UAC) enabled – with SQuirrel SQL 3.4.0 update now available, thought I might look into it and see what’s causing the problems. Sure, if you are installing SQuirrel SQL into a folder somewhere that doesn’t require elevation, you should not have this problem – thing is I usually install it on Windows servers with UAC enabled and place it in %ProgramFiles%.

First of all, obviously, you need to first run SQuirrel SQL elevated (right click > Run As Administrator), otherwise when using the update feature it will fail promptly, as it wants to download the updated .jars into a subfolder of Squirrel SQL home.

Running Squirrel SQL as Administrator this time, will download the updates just fine.

Now the problem is, if you close and restart SQuirrel SQL not elevated, it will prompt to install the updates, but will fail as it doesn’t have the rights to update the libraries.

If you run it elevated though, it won’t prompt you to install the updates!!! Now that’s annoying…

Process Monitor to the rescue (again) showing that SQuirrel SQL is looking for the listing file in %WINDIR%\System32\update ?! Odd alright… The javaw.exe process in Process Explorer shows something that explains it: the current directory of the elevated process is not the one specified in the shortcut, but %WINDIR%\System32 !

Looking at squirrel-sql.bat it seems to prepare the home location into a UPDATE_PARMS environment variable, but maybe it’s not used by the application and it should be really added to the command line?!

The quick solution is to add a change-directory command to the SQuirrel SQL home - that way it will work when running under normal privileges (the same working directory is coming from the shortcut), as well as when running elevated (when current directory is %WINDIR%\system32).
SET UPDATE_PARMS=--log-config-file "%SQUIRREL_SQL_HOME%\" --squirrel-home "%SQUIRREL_SQL_HOME%" %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9
"%LOCAL_JAVA%" -cp %UPDATE_CP% -Dlog4j.defaultInitOverride=true -Dprompt=true net.sourceforge.squirrel_sql.client.update.gui.installer.PreLaunchUpdateApplication %UPDATE_PARAMS%
I’ve added my findings to a related ticket:


D’oh! now I see it, thanks to Notepad++ word highlight feature! The environment variable is defined as UPDATE_PARMS, but the one in the command line is UPDATE_PARAMS! so I guess now you have two solutions :-)