Saturday, July 10, 2010

D-Link DIR-655 Updates

I noted in last week’s post while looking at the TonidoPlug Linux Home Server, NAS review by Paul that I never ended up falling in love with the D-Link DIR-655’s SharePort feature that came with that wireless router. 

I had originally planned to hook up a big USB drive for some NAS action but it just was too clunky for my taste at the time the router was originally deployed. 

While working on that post element, I dropped over to the D-Link product page for the D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router (DIR-655) and found that they had released updated drivers as well as SharePort application software.  (Look under “Support Resources” then “Additional Downloads” or “Firmware”.)

Updating router/switch firmware can be easy-quick or bad-difficult.  Typically I don’t bother if all is running well.  However, since it is used as a wireless access point for our home systems, it would be poor security to not ensure the router is fully updated/patched.

So this morning I decided to pull the pin.

Firmware First

Note: firmware upgrade done from my system that was hard-wire connected to the router, NOT over the Wi-Fi link!

I was running firmware version 1.21 back from 11/2008.  As of this post, the current firmware version is 1.34NA from 05/2010.

I logged into the router and used the internal tool to check for newer firmware updates but it said my 1.21 version was the newest.  Liar.

I downloaded and unzipped the newest firmware version to my hard-drive.

I then proceeded to obey the interface warning “Note: Some firmware upgrades reset the configuration options to the factory defaults. Before performing an upgrade, be sure to save the current configuration from the Tools → System screen.” which I did, appending the default filename with today’s date.

Then I uploaded the previously unpacked firmware .bin file, it took just under a minute to upload.

Then the update was applied, which took another 30 seconds or so.

I got a “success” notice and the router was requested for reboot.  Done.

When I then re-logged into the router, I found it had, in fact, reset the configurations to the factory defaults, including the “blanked” Admin password.  I then quickly uploaded my backed-up config file and reset the router again. Done.

All the settings appeared to have been brought back in with no issues…except for the time/date which was off.  I told it to use my Windows system settings and all was well.


Only later doing additional research on this post did I find reports of some users unable to do a 1.21 to 1.34 firmware jump, and that the saved configuration file settings didn’t work. So, YMMV.

D-Link does some funky javascript work, so it is very difficult to direct-link to any of the helpful pages. However you might find these few useful.

SharePort Second

The PC SharePort Utility is now versioned at 3.0 with a 03/2010 release date.  I think the major part is that it has been set to delay launch for 15 seconds after Windows startup to allow the Windows Firewall to get started up and settled down before attempting to connect to the router.  Sounds like a good plan.

I’ve not really needed it yet, so I’ve not bothered to install it on my Win7 system yet.  I’m probably going to decommission our aging SFF desktop system and use the 500GB drive in it with an external USB-based drive enclosure I have.  Then maybe I will hook it up and use it as a backup/archive source via SharePort.  Not sure.

The updated documentation PDF for SharePort also available from the download page seems to say nothing about Windows 7 compatibility, much less x64 flavor support.  However, there were a number of forum posts that seemed to indicate no Win7 x64 compatibility issues existed and others had got it working.

When I finally do so, I will post an update.


--Claus V.

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