WD MyBook as a backup device for another MyBook

I bought a new MyBook World Edition from PC World and another older model from ebay. The ebay one is purely as a backup for the primary.

With the old Thecus N299 (don’t buy one), the backup method was to run XCOPY from the NAS to a USB drive. It worked but was clunky and required me to actually get the disk out of the box and run the backup.

As I’ve forked out £100 on the single-disk MyBook, I wanted a better backup solution. £40 later I have the second MyBook. How to make it a backup?

There are lots of details on the MyBook Hacks wiki on ways to break into the OS on the MyBook. It is basically a Linux appliance with a very cut-down feature set. The newer unit has an SSH enable tick box which exposes the CLI. The older box needs a hack to get the same but is safe enough and worth the trouble.

Once you have CLI, tweaking the config to always boot SSH and never start the mionet tool is a must. Then, I dropped on OPTWARE and installed FTPCOPY.

A short script later along the lines of this to copy anything new in the last 30 days:

ftpcopy -u myname -p mypasswd -m 30 simkin /shares/internal/SIMKIN

OR if you want to mirror (like Microosft SyncToy) do this:

lftp -c ‘open -e “mirror /myshare/ /shares/internal/MYSHARE” -d -u myname,mypasswd’

MyBook Backup

and I have the last 30 days of changes from my main NAS to this local one. This assumes you have created the user and local shares already.

I have more comprehensive details below on how I did all this but to be honest, the wiki tells the story much better than me.

I heartily recommend these little disk devices. Only one drive in the entry-level units but quick enough, quiet and customisable. Get two if you can and hack the life out of one to backup the primary. Better deal than running a RAID1 NAS 24×7 in my view considering disk life is pretty good and the NAS barfing or dropping its config is more likely than a spindle failing. With physical separation of the boxes (one of mine is in the shed), you get as good protection as RAID1 without the noise, costs and hassles.


The Spoon-feed:

I assume you have a blue-ring and white stripe WD MyBook sitting on your network as follows:

MyBook #1 (Primary):

  • This is the newer “white stripe” model – WDH1NC10000, WDH1NC20000.
  • There is a user called “myuser” with password “mypasswd”
  • There is a share called “myshare”
  • ftp server is enabled

MyBook #2 (Secondary):

  • This is the older “blue circle” model – WD5000G032, WD7500G032, WD10000G032.
  • There is a user called “myuser” with password “mypasswd”
  • There is a share called “myshare”
  • No hacks have been undertaken so far.

All the following activity happens on the older “blue circle” model, MyBook #2:

1. Enable SSH


2. Follow instructions to make sshd boot every time. It involves using vi to edit /etc/inittab. Here is the 30 second guidebook:

By default, vi starts in command mode which means if you start typing you will just wreck the file.

Instead, use the h(left)j(down)k(up)l(right) keys to move around the file

i will put you into insert mode. Type what you want and press <ESC> to get back to command mode.

a will put you in append mode. Type what you want and press <ESC> to get back to command mode.

x will delete the character to the left of the cursor

dd will delete the whole line

When in command mode, <ESC>:wq!  will write the file (save it) and quit. :q!  will exit without saving.

Adding the line to inittab works something like this:

vi /etc/inittab


3. Change the root user password from blank to something you can remember:

passwd welc0me

4. Install Optware:

wget http://mybookworld.wikidot.com/local–files/optware/setup-optware.sh

sh setup-optware.sh

echo “/opt/lib” >>/etc/ld.so.conf


vi /root/.bashrc   and add this line:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/lib

echo “export PATH=$PATH:/opt/bin” >> /root/.bashrc

echo “export PATH=$PATH:/opt/bin” >> /etc/profile

/opt/bin/ipkg update

5a. Install ftpcopy rather than lftp

/opt/bin/ipkg install ftpcopy

5b. OR Install lftp instead of ftpcopy

/opt/bin/ipkg install libiconv

/opt/bin/ipkg install lftp

6. Create a backup script

cd /root

Use vi to create a file called backup.sh containing this line:

ftpcopy -u myuser -p mypasswd -m 30 myshare /shares/internal/MYSHARE


lftp -c ‘open -e “mirror /myshare/ /shares/internal/MYSHARE” -d -u myuser,mypasswd’

7. Make it run at 4am every sunday morning

vi /etc/crontabs/root   and add these lines:

# run the backup script at 4am on sunday

* 4 * * Sun /root/backup.sh

8. Restart the cron daemon

crond reload

9. Go make a cuppa and have a good sit down because you’ve just setup your backup.

10. Work out how to amend the above to provide some logging that you can view using the built-in web-browser on the MyBook without filling up the disk and comment on here before I post how to do it.

Extra info on ftpcopy: http://www.ohse.de/uwe/ftpcopy/ftpcopy.html

Extra info on cron:  http://www.unixgeeks.org/security/newbie/unix/cron-1.html