rsync backup between a Synology DS207+ and a very big external drive…

There are some discussions on various fora concerning problems getting external (USB) drives working reliably with some of the Synology DiskStation products. Well, I’ve got a DS207+ and I’ve got a FreeCom XS 2TB drive and I’ve got some problems with it. Basically, with some external drives (my FreeCom one inclusive), when you try to back up large amounts of data to it (using the DSM interface) – the drive eventually is ejected and the backup fails. The bigger the job the more likely the ejection…
I will not speculate as to the cause of this but suffice to say that it was a major show stopper for me when I wanted to back up about 630Gigs of data from the DS to my new drive.

After much trying and testing I think I’ve finally found a solution that at least seems relatively stable. It involves using rsync directly from a telnet or ssh log-in on the DS to do the backing up.

Here’s what I’ve done:

  • Formatted my 2TB drive to the EXT3 linux file format. I tried FAT32 and I tried NTFS but permission problems prevailed. EXT3 seems to work best with the 207+ at least
  • logged in to the DS using ssh and…
  • ..ran this first just to get the whole directory structure mirrored (this took a LONG time with a couple of restarts, hence the “ignore-existing” flag…)
    • rsync -rv –progress –ignore-existing /source/on/DS/ /dest/on/USB/drive
  • ..thereafter, whenever I’ve backed up from my other machines to the DS or anything else has changed, I run this to update the external drive
    • rsync -rvu –progress /source/on/DS/ /dest/on/USB/drive

These things mostly work and are stable (sometimes the drive mysteriously ejects but it seems to do less so than if I try to use the DSM interface)