WD-MBL: to UART or not to UART

Hello:

I am happily running OpenWRT on an WD-MBL 1TB single.
Once again, many thanks for that. =^ )

After finding my way around the power-off issue, I was considering soldering a header on the UART pads to have serial access to the board.

But seeing that the OpenWRT firmware in a MBL is written to the drive/s, what worth would UART/JTAG access have?
ie: taking out the drive/s to recover the data and then dd'ing the firmware to the drive/s again is a hassle but comparatively without physical risk to the board and components.

Am I missing something?
A possible scenario where serial access to a WD-MBL board would be needed?

Thanks in advance.

Best,

PCL

If it e.g. stopped booting and you wanted to find out the actual reason for that, instead of just blindly writing a fresh OpenWrt installation on the drive?

Hello:

Yes. I can easily relate to that. =^)

But in the situation you describe I'd want my data storage/handling capacity back asap. ie: take out the drive, plug it into a box and image sda3 before doing anything else.

With that done, writing a fresh image back on the drive and getting it back on-line is minutes away, more so if you have working sda1 and sda2 images safely stored away.

Not an urgent matter as this MBL is not much of a NAS (ie: single drive) and I use it as a secondary backup to a main one but still, Murphy is always lurking.

That said, I was now wondering if the 3.3v at the UART could power a small 5v netbook fan, this WD box can get quite warm in summer.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Best,

PCL

I had a Western Digital My Book Live for a few years using OpenWRT, managed to upgrade it if I remember correctly form OpenWRT 15.05 but for sure up to 21 without any issues, so probably you will never have the need to use UART for recovery.

If you use UART it doesn't matter if the firmware is on board or drive you will always see the uboot and OpenWRT boot log and after that if you press a key you will be able to enter in to the OpenWRT console.

Hello:

Good to know.
Thank you for your input.

Best,

PCL