Another Use for the Hackintosh

I just bought bigger hard drives, as I was running out of space with my DNS-320 network storage. Unfortunately, the DNS-320 does not support RAID scaling. So I needed to remove the old drives, set up a fresh new RAID array with the new drives, and manually copy the data over from the old drives to the new drives.

The zinger here is that the DNS-320 formats the hard drives in the Linux EXT3 format, which is not supported in Windows. I tried a bunch of different free Windows utilities to read the EXT3 partition, but none of them behaved well with my Windows 7 machine.

Enter the Hackintosh! A quick search let me to instructions to install MacFUSE and FUSE-Ext2, and after a very short time doing the installation, the EXT3 drive automatically mounted, and I had no problems reading from it!

Now it would have been nice to connect both the old and new EXT3 drives to the Hackintosh and copy from one directly to the other, but the drives automatically mounted with read-only access. That same page above outlined a fix to the auto-mount script, but after that, the drives wouldn’t mount at all. The main software page had ¬†instructions for manually mounting the drives with write access, but I’m still on the steep part of the learning curve for the Terminal commands.

So I ended up copying the old EXT3 drive to a FAT32 drive, which will then be copied to the new EXT3 drive. But this was still a good use for the Hackintosh, and it was definitely a time savings over trying to do this in Windows!