View USB storage attached to A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD over network

Some of us might want to view the content of that USB hard disk or flash drive that is attached to the A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD over the network (or samba).That is, viewing the contents of attached USB drives by access the network shares of A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD.

In fact, this could be easily achieved if you have installed a hard disk. In this guide, I will be sharing how I managed to access my USB drives attached to the media player over network.

This guide only require you to edit the file once and newly attached storage devices should be automatically detected and shared over network. You need not meddle with the smb.conf and samba service every time you want a storage device to be seen on network.

Disclaimer: Follow at your own risk. By continuing, you know what you are doing and you don’t hold the author responsible.

Finding out your A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD’s IP

  1. Press the “Setup” button on your remote controller
    The setup screen should appear
  2. Scroll to the “Network” tab
    Configurations for Network should appear
  3. Take note of the IP address you see on the Network tab

Now you have the IP address of your A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD. Mine is 192.168.1.100. Yours could be different. In the next section, replace <IP> with your A.C.Ryan’s IP address.

Gaining shell access to your A.C.Ryan

  1. On your computer, start Command Prompt
    A black command prompt window should appear
  2. Type in the following without the quotes “telnet <IP>“. Press <Enter>. For example, “telnet 192.168.1.100”
    You should be greeted by the prompt “PlayonHD Login:”
  3. Login using the username “root” without the quotes and press <Enter>
    You should see a warning and the prompt “/ “

Great. You have gained shell access to the A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD media player. Next we will edit the configuration file for samba.

Backing up the script

  1. In the same command prompt, type in the following without the quotes “cp /tmp/hdd/root/script/configsamba /tmp/hdd/volumes/HDD1/configsamba.orig
  2. Type the following without the quotes “ls /tmp/hdd/volumes/HDD1
    You should see configsamba.orig as one of the files

Great! The original has been backed up. Time to proceed to the next step

Editing samba configuration

  1. In the same command prompt, type the following without the quotes “vi /tmp/hdd/root/script/configsamba“. Press <Enter>
    A chunk of text starting with “#!/bin/sh” should appear on the screen.
  2. Type in the following without the quotes “/done“. Your text will appear the lower left corner of the screen. Press <Enter>
    You should reach line 5/42
  3. Type in the following without the quotes “/done“. Your text will appear the lower left corner of the screen. Press <Enter>
    You should reach line 39/42
  4. Type in the following without pressing <Enter> “i
    Symbol on lower left hand corner changes from “-” to “I”
  5. Press <End>
    The cursor should shift to the end of the line
  6. Press <Enter>
    The cursor should shift to start of the next line
  7. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “[ALL]” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  8. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “path=/tmp/usbmounts” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  9. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “hide dot files=yes” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  10. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “hide files=/.*/lost+found/”>>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  11. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “guest ok=yes” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  12. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “writable=yes ” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  13. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “force create mode=0775 ” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  14. Type in the following without the quotes “echo “force directory mode=0775 ” >>/tmp/package/samba/lib/smb_anonymous.conf“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
  15. Press the keyboard <Esc> key
    Symbol on the lower left hand corner changes from “I” to “-“. Your result should be similar to the figure 1 below.
  16. Type the following without the quotes “:wq“. Press <Enter>
    You should see the prompt “/ #”

playonhdconfigsamba
Figure 1: What has been entered

Restarting the A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD

Reboot the device as per normal. Allow it to boot up completely before accessing the next section

Checking if everything works

Access your A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD by hitting the address \\<IP>. For me I will be accessing \\192.168.1.100. Allow it to load the folders. You should see a new folder named “all”. Browse the folder “all” and you should see “sda1”. The “sda1” is in fact your internal hard disk. Try plugging in a USB storage device and it should appear as “sdb1” and if you plug another one in, it should be “sdc1”.

Have fun access your USB devices over network.

Reverting back the original configuration file

If you ever want to revert back to the original smb.conf. Use the following command “mv /tmp/hdd/volumes/HDD1/configsamba.old /tmp/hdd/root/script/configsamba”. Then reboot the device.

Warning

After writing files to the attached USB device, don’t plug it out immediately. You may encounter data lost. For those who are familiar with Windows Operating System, it is similar to why you need to safely unplug usb devices. In this case, you do not have this option so allow the PlayOn!HD to finish writing before unplugging it. You can judge it by observing the LED on your attached USB device. If it is still blinking, don’t attempt to unplug. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Type in the following without the quotes “[ALL]”. Press <Enter>
You should see the text appearing on the screen. Upon <Enter>, the cursor will shift to the next line
Additional Information
The chunk of text should be entered right after the done (for the loop) and just before the line “/tmp/package/script/samba-security anonymous”

 

Treat shadowandy!

If these step-by-step guides have been very helpful to you and saved you a lot of time, please consider treating shadowandy to a cup of Starbucks.  

10 thoughts on “View USB storage attached to A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD over network

  • October 30, 2009 at 7:29 am
    Permalink

    hi,

    I’m trying your procedure but my configsamba has 99 lines so doing /done twice must put me somewhere else than you because at the end it doesn’t work.

    Could u specify exactly where the echo’s should be placed. Also what firmware are you using (i’m on 2089_beta) as it’s quite odd to have different lenght in the configsamba file.

    Thanks
    d

  • October 30, 2009 at 9:33 am
    Permalink

    Hi dbogarde,

    I am using 2089 beta as well. You should insert those lines just after the “done” for the loop and just before the line calling “samba-security anonymous”

  • November 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm
    Permalink

    I upgraded the firmware to 2089, and now, I can see my USB device over the network, and I did not use any script.

  • November 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    Digitium,

    That’s good for you. I can’t view USB device over network on mine prior to editing the script.

  • November 23, 2009 at 6:58 am
    Permalink

    Hi Andy,

    Is it possible to subtract the whole script from Notepad++ and post it? I’ve been tinkering around for the whole afternoon and I cannot get it done . I tried to follow your steps one by one with a telnet connection but that didn’t work out and I’ve checked in notepad++ for the 2 lines you reffer to
    Quote:
    The chunk of text should be entered right after the done (for the loop) and just before the line “/tmp/package/script/samba-security anonymous”

    and they are far behind the (98 and 99) the other echo lines. It would be great when you are able to post the script so I can find out what i did wrong and have my little DOH!-moment

  • December 14, 2009 at 9:20 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, it worked very well.. thx

    I had some trouble copying the lines in with putty but after I figured out how to do a backspace (ctrl+h) I could correct the dots into quotation marks.

    Now I indeed have an extra share folder ‘All’ showing my usb-drives πŸ™‚

    ..but I cannot create/write to them over the network.. I can delete from them..

    Any ideas?

  • December 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm
    Permalink

    I found a non-persistent fix on the POHD support site to fix the write/create problem:

    hongfai: The problem lies in the mouting of /tmp/usbmounts/sdb1 (my external hd), it’s mounted with the ro (read-only option). Do a remount using the following command:

    mount -o remount rw /tmp/usbmounts/sdb1

    This works great during the session but after a reboot it works no more..
    How to make it persistent? Adding the line to the configsamba or some other config file?

  • December 15, 2009 at 9:43 am
    Permalink

    Skowals,

    Yes, the POHD mounts the devices as read only. I’ve actually written a script to remount them as rw. Only thing is that it isn’t automatic. But it actually detects all USB mounts and remount them as read write.

    You can check out the script Remount all read-only usb mounts as read-write.

  • September 1, 2015 at 4:02 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I’m trying to update my A.C.Ryan and on first step i’ve following answer from Ryan:
    cp: /tmp/hdd/root/script/configsamba: No such file or directory

    Do you have some idea? Thanks for any comment in advance!

  • September 2, 2015 at 7:56 am
    Permalink

    Andrey,

    The instructions were meant for the PlayOn!HD released back in 2009. These set of instructions might not work for your device (newer model or newer firmwares).

Comments are closed.