Buffalo LinkStation Duo – How to replace HDD


The Operating System used by the Buffalo LinkStation Duo (LS-WXL) is installed onto the HDD, which means when the HDD is/are removed there’s no operating system to run. When there is no operating system, the LinkStation goes into EM Mode (Emergency Mode). To get out of EM Mode and back into Normal mode requires the operating system to be reinstalled by means of updating the firmware.

The following procedure describes how to reinstall the Operating System onto a Buffalo LinkStation Duo (LS-WXL). Production Information, including downloads, is available here: http://www.buffalotech.com/products/network-storage/home-and-small-office/linkstation-duo

Warning – The following instructions will result in destruction and loss of all data contained on the hard disk drives installed in the NAS.

Notice – The following is a guide only. No responsibility is taken for any direct or indirect consequences of loss of data.


  • A Windows Computer.
  • A means of connecting the NAS to the computer, either directly by Ethernet Cross-Over cable, or indirectly using a Ethernet switch. A router or gateway is not suggested.
  • Access to the internet.


Download the Firmware, modify the update application settings

  1. Download the latest firmware from the Buffalo LinkStation Duo website.
  2. Unzip the files.
  3. Make the following changes to the LSUpdater.ini file:
  4. Version Check = 0
    NoFormatting = 0
  5. Add the following 2 lines to the LSUpdater.ini file:
  6. [SpecialFlags]
    Debug = 1
  7. Save and close the file

Prepare Computer

  1. Set your computer’s IP address to a static IP address of with subnet

Install the HDD and prepare LinkStation for firmware update

  1. While the LinkStation is powered off, install the HDD(s). Refer to the owner’s manual and initial setup guide for instructions.
  2. While holding the function button, move the power switch to the On position.
    The blue power lamp will flash.
  3. Press the function button
    The blue power lamp and function lamps will flash
  4. After a short period, the function lamp will change to solid red. This indicates that the LinkStation is in EM Mode. This can be confirmed using the NASNavigator application.

Update the Firmware (to install Operating System)

  1. Open the LSUpdater (.exe) application
    The application should find the LinkStation on the network.
  2. Right-Click on the title bar, and select Debug(D)…
  3. Select all of the checkboxes
  4. Click on OK
  5. Click on Update
    The update/format process will take anywhere between 5 to 60 minutes depending on the capacity of the HDD.

The Operating System installation procedure is complete. Follow the product’s user guide for general use.


FAQ (1 of 5): EM Mode boot procedures
Buffalo Forums

FAQ (2 of 5): Force Firmware update procedure
Buffalo Forums

EM Mode

LinkStation(TM) Duo

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