Today I finally attached a hard drive to the Slingbox. It’s been sitting around doing nothing on the network for several months. After work I grabbed my USB drive enclosure and installed a new 160 GB IDE drive. I knew I wouldn’t be able to format the drive as NTFS from the Slingbox (which is the file system I wanted to use so I could easily attach the drive to a Windows system if I needed to) so I hooked it up to a Windows box and formatted it as NTFS.
It had been several months since I initially setup the Slingbox so I had forgotten that in order to setup permissions it must be formatted as Ext3 (which is the factory default partition format used by the NSLU2). As soon as I realized this fact I formatted it via the Slingbox Web interface and then setup two user-based shares.
So far it’s worked great. I copied two 7 GB files (a total of 14 GB) from a wired desktop to the drive in about an hour, which I consider acceptable performance considering that ultimately the data is being pushed through a USB 2.0 connection. It’s easily accessible from Windows XP (SP2) and OS X (10.4). In Windows XP I’ve setup a drive mapping and in OS X I created an alias from the drive icon that appears on the desktop.
I’m looking forward to fully utilizing this drive for backup purposes. It’s a cheap solution considering I’ve had the USB 2.0 drive enclosure for almost four years and that I found the NSLU2/Slingbox on clearance at Walmart for $25 (marked down from about $88).