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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Death of a Time Capsule Part 2 - Setting up a Synology DS212j

A couple of days ago, I blogged about our Apple Time Time Capsule, which ended its service unexpectedly. As discussed there, I decided to replace the Time Capsule with a combination of an Apple Airport Express in combination with a Synology Disk Station DS212j where I wanted to re-animate the Time Capsule's hard disk which I recovered. Here I want to talk about my experience with the device.

DS212j - What is in the Box?

I ordered the DS212j case without hard disk via Amazon and it arrived after three days at my home.  The box contains:
  • the disk case
  • a power supply with cable
  • a network cable
  • a set of screws to fix the disk(s) in the case
  • a "first steps" user manual
  • a CD with documentation and utility programs

Everything seems to be quite solid and of good quality. The case is equipped with some  electronics and a big fan for cooling te disks.

Mounting the disk

The mechanical mounting of the disk is very simple and does not represent any challenges. Simply slide the disk in one of the foreseen slots. In the DS212j there are two of them:

Fix the disk in the frame with the screws coming with the case. On the picture below I mounted the disk in slot 2:

Close the cover of the case and connect the device with power and to the network - in my case the Apple Airport Express.

Setting Up - Not Only Simple...

Quite excited I fired up the assembled box. The DS212j starts with flickering control lamps and after about a second, it signals with a beep that it is ready for the next steps.
The first step after the DS has been started, is to start the step assistant program which comes together with the remaining equipment. Alternatively one can download the latest version of the setup program from What you see after the program start is the following screen (please excuse the German screens):

The first thing that made me suspicious was the term "Not Installed" for my newly assembled Disk Station. The next step is to double click either on the line with the Synology server or to mark the line  of the server you want to administer and click on the "install" button in the menu on top of the window. The next window ended my dreams of keeping the data on the old Time Capsule disk:

The message on the screen told me that ALL THE DATA ON THE DISK WOULD BE ERASED during the installation process :(
What next? For me it was important to save the data which piled up in the timeframe since my last backup. Especially pictures of our last holiday were among the things I definitely did not want to get lost.

Please read my next blog post to learn how to master this kind of crisis.