Synology News & Security Recap – Mid-June 2018

Synology News

Synology News tileThe first half of June brought some Synology news. Synology released the beta for a new software package and moved another package from beta to official release. Both of these products promise recurring revenue to Synology.

Vulnerabilities continue to be found in Intel chips, along with a couple software vulnerabilities. At least the software bugs were patched. The CPU vulnerabilities are a harder to solve problem.

Security Bulletins

Web Station has a vulnerability that allows phishing attacks. The vulnerability is patched in version 2.1.3-0139 and above. The vulnerability has conflicting ratings in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:29. The bulletin header rates it as Important while the bulletin body rates it as Moderate.

The Synology SSL VPN Client has a vulnerability that allows a man-in-the-middle attack. This is rated as Important in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:30. The vulnerability is patched in version 1.2.5-0226 and above.

Intel CPUs have yet another vulnerability as described in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:31. The vulnerability is rated as Moderate by Synology and is unresolved. Currently, only a small number of models are affected, the DS36, RS36, and RS34. See the previously linked bulletin for the latest list. All DSM versions running on vulnerable Intel CPUs are vulnerable.

Synology released Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:32 to let us know that their products are not affected by the latest ISC BIND vulnerability (CVE-2018-5738).

DiskStation Manager (DSM) Updates

Synology News

Synology continues to expand its services business by releasing the official version of Active Backup for Office 365, which was previously in beta. This software backs Office 365 data to your local NAS. Active Backup for Office 365 has 10 free licenses on any Synology NAS that supports it. More information is available here.

Synology Active Backup for Business is a new offering that’s now in a beta period. Active backup for Business allows backing up Windows PCs, Windows Servers, and virtual machines. The software is free during the beta, but will then require a separate license per host being backed up once the beta is over. More information is available here.

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DSM 6.2 Upgrade (From DSM 6.1)

Synology News

DiskStation Manager 6.2 (DSM 6.2) has been out for a couple of weeks, and you may be considering the upgrade. Here’s the overall process to follow and what to expect.

Prep Work

There are a few things to do before you begin the upgrade.

Updates

Update DiskStation Manager to the latest version of DSM 6.1. Also, update all installed packages to their most recent version. While this isn’t an absolute requirement, it’s the safest way to upgrade.

I also like to reboot the NAS before the upgrade. The reboot gives me extra confidence that there’s no problem hiding in the old software. I admit to skipping this if there’s been a reboot in the last few days.

Backups

Make sure you have backups and that you can restore the data from them. If you use Hyper Backup, you can verify the backup integrity. Select the backup task, then click the drop-down hamburger menu and select Check backup integrity.

Screenshot of Hyperbackup Check Backup Integrity menu selection

If the backup is encrypted, you’ll be prompted for the encryption password. Then you’ll be prompted to select the type of check to do. You’ll want to confirm that the data can be restored, so check that box. The integrity check will take a long time, and depends on the amount of data that you have.

Screenshot showing the Backup Integrity check options

The Integrity Check will the begin.

Screenshot showing the backup integrity check progress.

Wait for it to finish.

Obsolete Features or Packages?

Make sure you aren’t using any features or packages that can’t be used on DSM 6.2. There are only a few things that lose support with DSM 6.2. These include:

  • The WiFi dongle won’t support parental controls or the device list if set in bridge mode.
  • Virtual Machine Manager will no longer support creating clusters on older DSM versions.
  • SSH authentication by DSA public key is prohibited for security reasons.
  • Office 2.x and below are not compatible with DSM 6.2.

The full release notes are here.

The Upgrade

Even though the update settings are set to “Newest DSM and all updates” the new DSM 6.2 version will not be made available (at least not at this time).

Screenshot of my update settings

To do the upgrade go to the Update & Restore section of Control Panel.

Screenshot of Control Panel

The top of the DSM Update panel will have a link to the Synology website.

screenshot of the DSM update panel

Click the link to go to the download section of the Synology website. It will automatically find the downloads for your Synology NAS. Click the Download (pat) link to download your firmware. Remember the download destination.

Screenshot of the firmware download page

Once the firmware file download is complete, return to DSM Update in control panel and click the Manual DSM Update button.

Screenshot showing the Manual DSM Update button

Use the open file dialog to select the file that you just downloaded.

Screenshot showing the firmware file selection

When you click OK, you’ll receive a confirmation prompt. When you click Yes to this prompt, the upgrade will start.

Screenshot of the confirmation dialog

The 10 to 20-minute estimate is generic, and not based on how long your own NAS will take. My DS1815+ took less than 5 minutes to do the upgrade.

Once the upgrade is done, and the NAS reboots, the login screen will be displayed. Go ahead and log in. You’ll have to confirm (or deny) some privacy settings.

You should also check notifications to see if anything else needs to be done. In my case, I had two related notifications. I needed to update a couple packages and setup bad sector warnings. Click the link in the message to go to the correct location to make the change.

Screenshot of the after upgrade notifications

Clicking on the Package Center links opens it up. In my case, I had to update Virtual Machine Manager and Storage Analyzer. Click the Update All button to save time.

Screenshot of Package Center showing package upgrades needed.

Clicking on the disk warning setup link opens Storage Manager and automatically goes to the HDD/SSD General section. Make the changes you feel are appropriate. My choices are shown below.

Sceenshot of my HDD/SSD General tab

The upgrade is complete, and everything is ready to use.

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Synology News & Security Recap – May 31, 2018

Synology News

Synology News tileThe big Synology news in May was the release of DiskStation Manager 6.2 (DSM 6.2). Data protection and enterprise features were the primary focus of this update. The user interfaces for several system features (such as storage manager and package manager) also received facelifts and streamlining. Here’s the press release. I wrote about the release here.

Security Bulletins

PHP has a vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code. Synology has given this their highest severity rating. It affects PHP 5.2, PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0. A fix for this vulnerability is not yet available from Synology. Full details are in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:20 PHP. Refer to the bulletin for contact information if you need immediate assistance.

DiskStation Manager (DSM) has a security vulnerability introduced by a flaw in the Linux kernel. The vulnerability is currently unresolved. This has the highest severity rating (Important) on DSM 6.1 with a Moderate severity rating on other DSM versions. Refer to Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:21 Linux Kernel for a complete list of models and DSM versions affected.

Synology released Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:22 EFAIL to let us know that their products are not affected by the EFAIL vulnerability which affects some email clients.

The Spectre related CPU vulnerabilities continue to expand. Synology released Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:23 Speculative Store Bypass to track the latest Spectre related vulnerability. Synology rates the vulnerability as moderate, and it affects all DSM versions. Refer to the security bulletin to see if your NAS model uses an affected CPU. There is no current mitigation.

DiskStation Manager has a vulnerability that allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code, or set a new password without verification. Synology rates this as Important, although since it does require user authentication, you may be less concerned, depending on how much you trust your users. This is covered in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:24 DSM. While it is listed as resolved, the resolution is to upgrade to DSM 6.2 which you may not be ready to do. DSM 5.2, 6.0 and 6.1 are all affected.

Synology Router Manager has a vulnerability rated as Moderate. This allows a remote attacker to inject arbitrary scripts or HTML code. The resolution is to upgrade to SRM 1.1.7-6940 or above. See Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:25 SRM for more information.

DiskStation Manager has a second vulnerability that allows remote users to inject arbitrary web scripts or HTML. This doesn’t affect the newly released DSM 6.2 and is rated as a moderately severe for other DSM versions. Older versions of DSM can be upgraded to DSM 6.1.4-15217-3 or above. The only mitigation for DSM 5.2 and 6.0 is to update to DSM 6.1.4-15217-3 or above. This is also the only patch option for DSM 5.2 and DSM 6.0. Full details are in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:26 DSM.

Universal Search has a vulnerability that’s rated as Moderate. Authenticated users can bypass permission checks to access directories. Universal Search is installed via Package Center, although it is automatically installed and run. It can’t be disabled. To resolve the vulnerability use Package Center to update the package to version 1.0.5-0135 or above. Full details are in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:27 Universal Search.

The SSO Server package has a vulnerability rated as Important, which is the most severe rating. It allows remote attackers to conduct clickjacking attacks. If you use the SSO Server package, you should upgrade to version 2.1.3-0129 or above. Full details are in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:28 SSO Server.

DiskStation Manager (DSM) and Synology Router Manager (SRM) Updates

DSM 6.1.7-15284 was released concurrently with DSM 6.2 and includes needed security patches for those of us not immediately upgrading to DSM 6.2. The full list of fixes includes:

  • Improve stability of Docker when using Btrfs under low memory configurations
  • Improved stability of the snapshot replication feature
  • Enhanced stability of MCS in Windows environments
  • Fixed an issue where a file’s Last Opened Date may be incorrect when using Spotlight
  • Fixed an issue where enabling SSD Trim may cause file services failure in a high-availability cluster
  • Fixed an issue fan where changes to speed settings do not apply immediately in a high-availability cluster
  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding Wget (CVE-2018-0494)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding PostgreSQL (CVE-2018-1058)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding Linux kernel (Synology-SA-18:21, CVE-2018-1000199).

SRM 1.1.7-6941 was released. It contains much more than the previously mentioned security fix. The complete list is:

What’s New

  • Added support for IPv6 relay
  • Added support for IPv6 DS-Lite
  • Added support for FLET’s IPv6 service in Japan
  • Added support for subnet mask configuration for guest network
  • Updated Privacy Statement and adjusted related settings

Fixed Issues

  • Fixed an issue where Traffic Control might not work properly on 3G/LTE interface
  • Fixed an issue where channel selection for 2.4GHz band might not be available with 40MHz bandwidth
  • Fixed an issue where PPPoE might not work properly with certain ISPs

Security Updates

  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding PostgreSQL (CVE-2018-1058)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability (Synology-SA-18:25)
  • Fixed multiple security vulnerabilities regarding Linux kernel (CVE-2017-15649, CVE-2018-1000199)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding DHCP (CVE-2018-5732)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability regarding 7-Zip (CVE-2017-17969)

Synology News

Synology has released a new NAS model, the DS1618+. It has six internal drive bays and is expandable to 16 drives with two optional expansion units. Synology says this is their “fastest Plus series NAS ever.”

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DSM 6.2: A Fresh Install

Synology

I’ve been running the DSM 6.2 beta software on a Synology DS218+ for several months. Now that the official DSM 6.2 release is out, I decided to do a fresh install of DiskStation Manager, to clear out any crud that may have been left by a bug in the beta software, and to become familiar with any changes to the installation process.

So I did a factory reset (Control Panel -> Update & Restore -> Reset (tab) then click the big red Erase All Data button).

Screenshot showing a factory reset through Control Panel

A factory reset results in an installation process that’s the same as the first installation on a newly unboxed Synology NAS.

Once the NAS reboots (or powers up), and is online, it will beep. Open a browser on your computer and go to http://find.synology.com. After searching a bit, it will list the Synology NAS devices that are on your local network. If you have multiple devices, you can use the arrows to scroll through the devices.

Click the Connect button to start the installation.

The web assistant will list any Synology devices it finds on the network.

A license agreement will pop up, and you’ll have to check the box to agree before moving on.

The next screen will start the setup process.

Screenshot of the web assistant showing the setup button

What happens next may change since this is all web-based Synology can modify it at any time, and it may vary by hardware model. In the past, the assistant has automatically installed from the web, although with DSM 6.2 I’ve had to download the file. Downloading the firmware to your computer is more reliable since an unexpected network outage won’t affect the installation.

If you need to download the firmware, click the Synology Download Center link.

Screenshot of the firmware upload screen

Your browser will open the Synology Download Center in a new tab (or window, depending on your browser settings) and automatically open the download section for your NAS model. Click on the Download (pat) link for the firmware of your NAS. Remember your download location.

Screenshot showing the firmware download link

Return to the Synology Web Assistant and browse to the firmware file that you just downloaded, then click the install button.

Screenshot showing the Synology firmware selection screen

You’ll then have to confirm that you know any existing data will be lost. Once you do that, the installation will kick off.

Screenshot of the Synology firmware installation progress.

Once the installation finishes the NAS will reboot, and the configuration phase will start.

Screenshot of the administrator account creation screen

Give your NAS any name you like, and pick a username and password. This account will have full access to your NAS as it is the default admin account. Avoid the name admin. Currently, a user called “admin” is automatically created, but it is disabled by default. Using a well-known account name as an administrator account is frowned upon for security reasons. Once you’ve filled in the information, click Next.

The installer will do some configuration, and then ask how you want to receive updates and do maintenance.

Screenshot of the DSM Update & Maintenace screen in the installer.

Because updates will often reboot the NAS, I pick the “Notify me…” option and make sure I have notifications properly set up to email me. If you’d prefer a more hands-off approach, you can pick the “Install the important updates…” option, and pick a convenient time to do the updates. I don’t recommend selecting the first option, “Install the latest…” automatically as this could result in significant changes after an update and break things until you can attend to them. The “important updates” option will give you all security updates, so you’ll remain secure.

Once you select an option, you’ll be prompted to choose the day(s) and time for the update (or update check). The installer randomizes the days and times to avoid overloading Synology’s update servers. Pick whatever is convenient for you. Since I don’t automatically install any updates, I check daily. I also recommend doing the SMART tests and bad sector warnings to monitor drive health.

Screenshot showing my update settings

Next, you’ll be prompted to set up QuickConnect. QuickConnect requires setting up an account with Synology. If you don’t want to do this, then click Skip this step at the bottom of the page. QuickConnect allows you to connect to your NAS when you’re away from the home or office. To set it up, fill in the information or log on to your existing Synology account. If you are re-installing or replacing an existing DiskStation, you can re-use the QuickConnect ID. You’ll be prompted to confirm that it’s OK to re-use the old ID on this new device.

Screenshot of the QuickConnect setup screen

After setting up QuickConnect (or skipping it), you’ll be prompted to install Synology’s recommended packages. You can skip this by clicking Skip this step at the bottom of the screen, and then install only the packages that you want. If you do click Next, the packages will be queued to install. The installation wizard will not wait for them to finish before proceeding. It’s likely you’ll see the DSM desktop before all the package installations end, so you’ll need to wait. I prefer skipping this step and then installing the packages when I’m ready to use them. If you do install them all, you can quickly remove them at a later time.

Screenshot showing Synology's recommended packages

You may have to approve more terms of service or privacy policies, but you should soon see the message:

Screenshot of the installation completion screen

I typically uncheck the “Share my Synology device’s network location…” since I don’t have a need for it, and to be honest; I’m not sure exactly what it enables and what the security implications are. Click Go once you’ve made your choice.

Once you click go, you’ll be prompted to accept (or decline) more privacy and the terms of use, and then be presented with a series of popup tips.

If you created a new Synology account, you’d have received an email to activate the account. Go to your email and click the link that they sent to activate the account.

Ther Synology NAS is ready to use.

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Synology Releases DiskStation Manager 6.2

Synology News

After a long beta period, Synology has released DiskStation Manager 6.2 (DSM 6.2). This is Synology’s major release for the year. DSM 6.2 is a little later than usual for Synology’s yearly release, DSM 6.1 was released in February 2017.

DSM 6.2 is now being pushed out through their update channel and it’s available in Synology’s download center. I’ve been running the beta version for several months on a DS218+. The beta has been relatively stable and mostly problem free. That said, you shouldn’t expect the upgrade to be problem free. Waiting for the first update to DSM 6.2 is always the safest path, but if you don’t want to wait, allow some time in your schedule to sort out any problems. There aren’t any officially supported ways to downgrade back to DSM 6.1. While there are ways to downgrade, plan to restore everything from backup if you do a downgrade. So as always, have good backups before you upgrade.

The update has appeared in the updates for my DS815+ & DS1511+. It does not appear on the DS218+ which is running the beta (updates have never appeared on the DSM 6.2 beta software), so I upgraded manually.

The most visible changes include

  • A redesigned package center
  • An updated storage manager.
  • If 2-factor authorization is enabled then email notifications must also be set up.

There are some limitations added with this version

  • This will be the last DSM version that will support IPv6 Tunneling in Network Interface.
  • USB device drivers will no longer be updated.
  • The WiFi dongle does not support parental controls and device list if set as bridge mode.
  • Virtual Machine manage will no longer support creating clusters on older DSM versions.
  • SSH authentication by DSA public key is prohibited for security reasons.
  • The original RAID scrubbing schedule tasks will be migrated to smart data scrubbing. In addition, data scrubbing will automatically be executed shortly after the upgrade.
  • This will be the last major DSM release for some models. They will receive updates to DSM 6.2 for at least two years. These include:
    XS Series : RS3412xs, RS3412RPxs, RS3411xs, RS3411RPxs, DS3612xs, DS3611xs
    Plus Series : RS2212+, RS2212RP+, RS2211+, RS2211RP+, RS812+, RS812RP+, DS2411+, DS1812+, DS1512+, DS1511+, DS712+, DS412+, DS411+II, DS411+, DS213+, DS212+, DS211+, DS112+
    Value Series : RS812, RS212, DS413, DS411, DS213, DS212, DS211, DS112, DS111
    J Series : DS413j, DS411j, DS411slim, DS213air, DS212j, DS211j, DS112j
    Others : DDSM

There aren’t any general release notes yet. While my link appears to be model specific based on the page title, it is all-inclusive. See the full release notes here. The marketing page is here.

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Synology C2: Tier 2 Data Deduplication

Synology

White clouds in a blue skyI’ve been backing up to the Synology C2 Backup service since it became available worldwide. For the first month, I used the Tier I plan. This tier comes with low prices, but it also has some limitations. I then looked at the Tier II plan, to see what benefits it brought in real life. The two significant differences (besides price) are unlimited backup version and data deduplication.

The price of unlimited backup versions is that all those versions count against your quota. Whereas, the Tier I plan only counts size of the size of the files that are on your NAS and ignores the backup versions. Synology promotes data deduplication as a way to save the space used. They also say “However, the Plan II-exclusive deduplication can help you reduce duplicated data across different backup versions, thus optimizing the storage usage.” But, is this really the case? In my testing, I found data deduplication does not save space across backup versions.

The Tier II plan offers data deduplication which might reduce the space used on the C2 service, and therefore how much you can back up for your money. While there are indeed specific cases where data deduplication on Synology C2 can save significant space, for typical home and small business users it won’t help very much.

If your thinking about switching to a Tier II plan for Synology C2 Backup, these are the things to consider.

HyperBackup does file-level data deduplication

According to the documentation, HyperBackup does file-level deduplication. To be deduplicated, the file contents must be the same. These means a small change in any file will result in a new file being backed up and the old file saved as a backup version. I confirmed this in my testing.

HyperBackup does not deduplicate across backup tasks

Files are not deduplicated between two Synology NAS devices, or even two different backup tasks configured on the same device. I did confirm this with testing, with and without using encryption.

So if you want to backup your primary NAS along with a backup that has the same files, you won’t be saving any space. To maximize deduplication on the Synology NAS, you’ll want everything backed up to Synology C2 in a single HyperBackup task.

HyperBackup does deduplicate identical files with different names or attributes.

In my testing, I renamed some files, and they were deduplicated correctly. The amount of storage used did not increase when I copied, then renamed 12 GB worth of files and backed them up. (There is some overhead, my storage usage increased about 50 MB.)

I also touched that 12 GB worth of files to change the modified date (this doesn’t change the file contents). and the files were properly de-duped. In this case, the old files are now a backup version, and the new files are the current backup.

There may be cases where data deduplication fails

In one of my tests, not all the files were properly deduplicated. In one test I had five identical 2.4 GB files, but with different names. After the backup, there was 8 GB of additional space was used on Synology C2, which indicates only a couple of the files were deduplicated.

To verify the files could be deduced I then backed up one of the files on its own, and then the other 4 in a second backup. In this case, all four additional coped were deduplicated.

Data deduplication takes place on the client

HyperBackup will do the deduplication before sending the file to Synology C2, which has the benefit of saving both bandwidth and time.

Summary

A Synology C2 Backup Tier II plan allows more flexibility in your backup strategy. You can keep backup versions for years, or one version per day for however long you want. But, that flexibility needs to be weighed against the added cost in space used. By their nature, the backup versions are different files and therefore won’t benefit from deduplication.

Deduplication will be of limited benefit in many situations. Unless you frequently have the same file scattered around different locations on your Synology NAS, there won’t be much space savings.

While there are reasons for wanting a Tier II plan, deduplication will not save you space over a Tier I plan if you will be keeping a lot of backup versions. You can adjust your backup rotation, but if you’re too liberal in your scheduling, you could hit the 1GB quota and be required to pay an additional €69 for the 2GB plan.

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Synology News & Security Recap – April 2018

Synology News

News tile

Security Bulletins

Drupal had a major vulnerability at the end of March which Synology has finally released on April 18th. Synology covered this vulnerability in Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:17.

Drupal is the CMS that keeps on giving. Synology announced another severe Drupal vulnerability on April 26th. Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:18 has a new Drupal vulnerability. Synology rated this as “moderate” and already has an update available in Packages.

Synology patched a vulnerability in their SSL VPN Client. Synology Security Bulletin SA-18:19 has the information. If you run the SSL VPL Client, you should upgrade to version 1.2.4-0224 as soon as possible since Synology rates this vulnerability as important, which is their highest rating.

Synology News

Synology has released a Beta for High Availability Manager 2.0.

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Synology C2 Backup: Changing The Subscription Plan

Synology

If you jumped on Synology C2 Backup soon after it became available worldwide it’s time to decide if you want to renew it, and if so, what plan to use. If your free-trial hasn’t expired yet, and you want to make a change to your Synology C2 Backup plan, then read on.

While unrelated to the actual change, it’s worth mentioning that all billing is in Euros. If you’re outside the EU, like me, then your payment method will determine the conversion rate along with any fees. Today, Google says 1 Euro will cost 1.22 USD.

I covered the various Synology C2 Backup subscription plans in my overview of the C2 backup service. To change your subscription plan, log in to your account at c2.Synology.com and go to the Backup -> Manage Subscription section.

Screenshot showing the Synology C2 Subscription management page

If you want to cancel your subscription, click Cancel under Next Plan. You can continue to use Synology C2 Backup until your current subscription runs out.

To switch to a new plan upon renewal, click Select a plan under Current Plan.

After agreeing to the terms of service you can upgrade or downgrade. There are no refunds, so if you downgrade you will have the old plan until it expires, and then renew for the lower-level plan.

Screenshot of the Synology C2 Backup subscription selection page

An upgrade is immediate. You won’t be charged until the trial ends if you are still in the trial period. If you are beyond the trial period and upgrading, you will immediately pay the difference between the old and the new plan. Click Next when you’ve made your choice.

You will then confirm your selection.

Screenshot showing the subscription confirmation screen

The My Subscription screen is updated to reflect the new information.

Screenshot showing the subscription management screen after the changes

I upgraded from a Tier I plan to a Tier II plan. The backup rotation and version control settings are fixed in Tier I plans. The version and rotation settings can be customized in Tier II plans. The screenshots below show the default settings in Hyper Backup immediately after I made the change.

Screenshot showing the backup rotation settings after switching to Tier II

Screenshot showing the backup version settings after switching to Tier II

 

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Synology Photo Station: Therapeutic Service Restarts

Synology

I’m a long time user of Synology Photo Station and have had an intermittent problem over the last few months. I frequently use the web interface or iPad app to move photos from one folder to another. This would work fine until it didn’t. I’d select multiple files to move. Unfortunately, only one file would move. This would continue until I stopped & restarted Photo Station. This wasn’t annoying enough to cause me to research the problem, and I still haven’t. But it’s been frequent enough that I decided to restart the service on a regular basis as a way to prevent this from happening.. While it could be weeks or more between occurrences, I decided to cycle Photo Station daily. I’d be doing it overnight, so there isn’t any reason not to do it.

Synology has been steadily expanding the abilities of Task Manager, and it now includes the ability to stop and start services (which includes packages).

This is simple enough to set up. Open Control panel and then open Task Scheduler. (You may need to enable Advanced Mode in Control Panel.)

Screenshot showing Task Scheduler icon in control panel

Then Click the create button and select Scheduled Task -> Service from the drop-down menus.

Screenshot showing the menus to schedule a service

This will open the Edit Task dialog for creating a new task. On the General tab enter the task name in the Task field. This will be the task that stops photo station.

Screenshot of the task scheduler general tab showing "Photo Station Stop" as the task name

Then click on Schedule to open the schedule tab. I’ll be stopping the service at 4 am every morning, so I enter that information here.

Screenshot show the Schedule tab

Then click the Task Settings to open the task settings tab. This is the Stop action, so I select Stop service as the Service action. It’s possible to select multiple services to stop, but all I need is Photo Station, so I check the box to enable it.

The Task Action tab of the task scheduler showing the Photo Station service selected

Then I click OK to save the task.

I repeat the process, changing only the task name, service action, and time.  I schedule Photo Station to start at 4:05 am.

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Synology C2 Backup: File & Application Restore

Synology

If you are a regular user of Hyper Backup, then you already know how to restore files and applications from Synology C2 using the Hyper Backup application. The process is the same; it’s just a different source location. Synology C2 also allows you to download files using the web interface in the event your NAS isn’t available. Installed packages (aka applications) can only be restored using the Hyper Backup application.

I’ll cover doing restores using the Hyper Backup wizard, the Hyper Backup Backup browser, and the C2 web interface.

In these examples, I’ll be restoring the following files which are located in a share called BackupTest, which contains the following files, along with the #recycle sub-folder.

Screenshot showing the contents of the BackupTest share

The #recycle folder contains one deleted file (desktop.ini is a configuration file for the recycle folder).

Screenshot of the #recycle folder

Hyper Backup Restore – The Wizard Method (Files)

Running Hyper Backup and selecting the Restore option is both powerful and limiting. It’s the only way to restore packages, while at the same time it will overwrite any existing files, even newer files. There isn’t an option to restore files to an alternate location.

In this example I’ve edited VersionTesting.txt, giving it a timestamp that’s now after the backup. I’ve deleted all the other files which are now in the #recycle folder.

So BackupTest now looks like this.

Screenshot of the BackupTest folder after editing and deleting files

While the #recycle folder looks like this:

Screenshot showing #recycle folder after deleting files

As the title of this section implies, what to restore is selected by running the restore wizard.

Start Hyper Backup and click on the restore icon on the bottom left.
 Screenshot showing where to click

Select Data from the popup menu.


Screenshot showing the popup menu

Select the restore source location (your C2 files), then click Next
  Screenshot of the source selection screen

Enter the backup encryption password (or select the key file) if prompted, then click OK
   Screenshot of the encryption key prompt
In most cases, you can accept the default selection to skip restoring the configuration. In this case, I’m restoring a few files, so I don’t want the configuration restored. Click Next when you’ve made your choice.

Screenshot of the configuration restore selection screen
The next screen allows you to select the files to restore. The area along the bottom (outlined in green, labeled “2”) allows you to select files from the backup archives. (Up to 30 days, or 11 versions, for Tier 1 plans. Tier 2 plans allow customization.)The area outlined in maroon, labeled “1”, is used to select the directories to restore. You cannot choose individual files. The red exclamation triangle warns that existing folders will be replaced and existing files will be lost if they are newer than the files being restored.

Click Next when you’ve made all your choices.

Screenshot showing the folder selection screen

Next is the application selection screen. I’ll cover this in the next section, so I’m not selecting anything now. In nearly all real-life cases you will want to restore data and apps at the same time. For some apps, this is required. Click Next to move on.

Screenshot of the Application selection screen

The final screen before the restore starts shows a summary of the selections. Click Apply to start the restore.

Screenshot of the summary screen

The restore progress will be shown on the screen until it reports success.

Screenshot of a successful restore

After the restore finishes, VersionText.txt is back to an older version having been overwritten by the restore. The #recycle folder is untouched.

Screenshot showing that the #recycle folder was not affected by the restore

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You are restoring from the internet. Your restore speed will be limited by your internet connection. The data restored will also count against any data caps imposed by your ISP.
  • Individual files cannot be selected, only directories (aka folders).
  • Any existing directories will be overwritten by the restore. Any updates since the backup being restored will be lost. Any files added since the ones being restored will be deleted.
  • The #recycle folder, if it exists, is not affected (it is not backed up to Synology C2).

Hyper Backup Restore – The Wizard Method (Applications)

Restoring applications from Synology C2 using Hyper Backup is the same as restoring data. The application selections are made in the same wizard used to restore files. The application selection screen appears in Step 7 in the previous section. I split it out for clarity, but you should typically restore data and applications at the same time. Several applications will insist that data be restored at the same time.

This is the application selection screen:

Screenshot of the Application selection screen

At one time it was necessary to install an application before doing the restore. If the application is not installed the restore wizard will display a message such as:

Screenshot of the Application restore warning message

This could be interpreted as meaning you should install the app first. I’m not sure when the requirement to pre-install the app went away, but currently, the application will be re-installed as part of the restore. A better message would be “…will also be installed.”

Some applications, such as Drive, Moments, and Photo Station, will automatically select any dependent file shares to be restored. These will be identified in the wizard. (Moments also requires that the Drive app be restored at the same time.)

These dependent shares cannot be modified. This can be troublesome for applications which rely on a sub-folder in the Homes share. The entire Homes share will be restored, even sub-folders that are unrelated to the application being restored.

For example, if your Moments app needs to be restored your entire home folder will be replaced from the backup, and any changes since the backup will be lost, even if they are unrelated to Moments. You may have to re-install the application through Package Center, then restore the files, and finally manually recreate any customizations (this could be a lot of work and time). Another option would be to get a current Home folder backup, then restore Moments, then restore the other Home non-Moments sub-folders from the backup you just made.

If you use Synology Office then you should select Office for restoration whenever you restore Drive. Office files are now kept in an Office database and not in Drive folders. This isn’t obvious since the gateway to Office documents is the Drive app.

If the app is already installed, it will be stopped during the restore and automatically restarted when the restore is done.

As far as the restore process goes, files are restored first then the applications are restored.

Hyper Backup Restore – Using Backup Explorer

In addition to restoring individual directories as the Wizard can, Backup Explorer can be used to restore selected files and folders while also providing the ability to restore to a new location. These are all things that the wizard-based restore cannot do. Backup Explorer can also be told not to overwrite existing files. Applications cannot be restored using Backup Explorer.

To use the Wizard start Hyper Backup then select the backup task that has the backup files that you need. Then click the Backup Explorer icon.

Screenshot showing how the start Backup Explorer

The Backup Explorer will open.

Screenshot of the backup explorer

The bottom section (labeled “2”) allows you to pick older backups if you want to revert to an older version. The top section is used as a typical file Explorer or Finder.

To navigate through backup versions, you can click the calendar to pick a date:

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer calendar date picker

Or you can click on one of the circles in the timeline:

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer timeline date picker

Finally, you can also click the navigation arrows to move to the previous or next backup in the timeline.

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer timeline version browser

You can browse and select files or directories to restore (or copy). The options for files include “Copy To,” “Restore,” and “Download.” The options for directories are just “Copy To” and “Restore,” “Download” is not available. You can select multiple files or folders as long as they appear together in the directory/file list on the right. The fie shares themselves cannot be selected, although you can select everything at the shares top level.

Copy To

The “Copy To” action allows you to copy the file to any location on the NAS, or to any share that the NAS has mapped. You can optionally overwrite files with the same name, or skip files with the same name. You cannot “Copy To” a location on your local computer.

Restore

The “Restore” action returns the backed up files to their original location on the NAS, overwriting any existing files or directories.

Download

The “Download” action is only available for files and will download the file(s) to your local computer.

Web Restore

You can also download backed up files directly from the web. The interface is similar to Backup Explorer, although the only option is to download files, one at a time, to your local PC.

To access your files on the web login to your C2 account at c2.Synology.com and select the Backup Dashboard. Then select the backup task that has the files you need, and click the backup explorer icon (it is hidden until you mouse over the task).

Screenshot of the Web restore main page

This will open the Backup Explorer which is nearly identical to the one in Hyper Backup.

Screenshot of the web restore backup explorer

The only option is to download files, and this must be done one file at a time. To download a file first select it. Click the download icon when it appears. The download icon only appears once you mouseover the file.

Screenshot of the Web restore download icon

Summary

  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard is the only way to restore applications (packages).
  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard can’t restore individual files; entire directories must be restored.
  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard can only restore files and applications to the original location, overwriting any files that may still be there.
  • The Hyper Backup Backup Browser can restore individual files. It can also copy files to an alternate location or be told to skip restoring any files that already exist.
  • The web-based Backup Browser can only download individual files, one at a time.
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