Let me start out by saying I’m a fan of Synology. I have owned a DS216Play in the past and have upgraded to a DS918+ in recent years. In my view Synology DSM is one of the more user friendly interfaces for NAS type devices and so I decided to revisit the XPEnology project when I came across my old HP N54L.
While I found several other posts of people already running XPEnology on their N54Ls I did not find a detailed installation post specific to my needs. I decided to visit the installation FAQ and from there the DSM7x loaders and platforms page. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed at first but after a while figured that I needed the DS3622xs+ loader (broadwellnk) as the DS918+ loader requires a newer CPU and all the other DS36XXxs+ are marked obsolete.
The installation proces is well documented and not worth repeating here. Instead I will share the options I used during installation that resulted in a working XPEnology system. After booting into TinyCore some configuration is needed before building the image. Important to note here is that the USB you use to boot TinyCore from will need to stay connected to the system even after installation so keep that in mind when selecting your USB device. I used the following commands and settings for my install:
./rploader.sh serialgen DS3622xs+ realmac
./rploader.sh build ds3622xsp-7.1.1-42962
After running these commands and rebooting the system you should be able to find you XPEnology system with the Synology Assistant. However I found that my system never came back online even though the it seemed to be running fine. A quick google search showed me that I had to disable the C1E option, under the Advanced CPU settings, in the BIOS for the internal NICs to start working. After the change I was able to find my new system and continue with the DSM installation.
Now that the installation is finished I will do some more testing before deciding if I will place this system into “production” at one of my relatives. I think they can benefit from a system like this but I need to be sure it will run without issues.
I had some time this week to look into upgrading to newer versions of DSM starting from 7.1.1-42962. After several failed attempts I can share that I have version 7.2.1-69057 Update 4 running on my N54L. The path I took to get there was from: 7.1.1-42962-1–>7.1.1-42962-6–>7.2-64570-1–>7.2-64570-3–>7.2.1-69057. Updates were applied via the DSM update function and after each update I booted the TinyCore friend to update the loader. The TinyCore friend does not boot DSM on my N54L so I interrupted the boot attempt and just rebooted and chose the normal loader USB option.