Synology upgrade DSM

Synology upgrade DSM

I have been working with DSM 7. Meanwhile, my DiskStation was still running 6.2.4. So why did I delay my upgrading my DiskStation for so long? Well, my DiskStation is a production machine. Not a toy. Many readers who end up here have chosen Synology for various reasons. Whatever the reason, the data stored on the NAS count. And we cannot afford to lose that.

Let’s upgrade our DiskStation to DSM 7. I will walk through the entire process, as I do with all my guides, and provide insight into all the options.

Guide

I will explain the entire process of upgrading your DSM. If you have seen an upgrade option for a newer version of DSM in the Update & Restore tab of your Control Panel, it’s gone. Yes, this is correct.

Upgrade option to newer DSM no longer available

If in the past you have seen an upgrade option in your Update & Restore tab of the Control Panel and now it’s no longer available, do not worry.

Synology will show you the upgrade option to a newer DSM version in your Update & Restore tab for a certain amount of time. Consequently, if you wait a long time, Synology will release a newer version of the new DSM. When this happens, a more recent version might be incompatible with a direct upgrade.

Example

Say your current version is DSM 6.2.4. Then for a certain amount of time, Synology showed the Upgrade to DSM 7 banner. This upgrade would have been to version 7.0.1. After a while, Synology released version 7.1.1 of the DSM 7 series. And that was the time the Upgrade to DSM 7 banner disappeared. The reason is straightforward. DSM 6.2.4 cannot be directly upgraded to version 7.1.1. For DSM 6.2.4 you have to upgrade to 7.0.1 first.

The Update & Restore tab checks for the latest version of your DSM series and the newest version of DSM in general. And it will show you the latest update available for your series. And if a higher version of DSM is available, it will only show you the banner if a direct upgrade is possible.

Check upgrade path

First, we need to check our upgrade path. In this guide, I will use my upgrade path as an example. I was running on version 6.2.4 and wanted to upgrade to DSM 7. So the first step we need to do is to check our upgrade path.

  1. Go to Synology Download Center
  2. Please select your product type; for DiskStations, it is NAS.
  3. Select your DiskStation model
  4. The open tab is Operating System
  5. Below the last available version for your model, there is a configurator Upgrade from your current DSM version to your preferred version.
  6. On the left, select your current version. Your current version can be found in Control Panel > Update & Restore. Now you can choose your preferred version.
  7. Synology will now list your entire upgrade path. The screenshots below show my upgrade path from version 6.2.4-25556 to version 7.1.1-42962 Update 3. And you notice that I have to perform multiple upgrades in a row. This is precisely why the upgrade banner disappeared from the Control Panel.
  1. Download all the required updates provided by the upgrade configurator
TIP

When saving the files to your computer, the filename suggested by the website does not include the order in which you must install them. When you download, when your browser asks for a filename, you add a prefix of 1- etc. to the filename. Suppose your browser does not ask where to save and saves your files directly to your Downloads folder. Going to your Downloads folder, add a numbered prefix to the file before downloading the next one.

  1. Now, you should have all the required files downloaded to your computer and prefixed them with the order in which they must be loaded.

Upgrade DSM

Now we are ready to perform the upgrade when you have downloaded all the required DSM files. The data in your storage pool will remain safe.

  1. Login into your DSM with an administrator account. Ensure that you are connected directly to your DSM from the local network and on the DSM port.
DSM connect from local network

DSM can have the DSM access available on a custom domain. When performing an upgrade of the DSM, do not connect through a reverse proxy or a custom setup domain. A common issue is that the webserver fails to start after an upgrade. Please take a look at the known errors below when you encounter this.

Please connect to your DSM on its internal IP and the DSM port, for example, 192.168.0.10:5000.

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Open tab Update & Restore
  3. Select Manual DSM Update
  4. In the pop-up Manual DSM Update, click browse and select the DSM file of the upgrade path you are in.
  5. Click OK, and the DSM OS file will be transferred from your computer to your DiskStation.
  6. The next pop-up will be the Update Notice, this is not some random Agree to our terms pop-up. This Update Notice actually contains valuable information. I recommend reading the entire update notice. After the upgrade it will list in the Package Center the packages which are no longer supported so you do not have to write them down here.
  7. Scroll down the Update Notice and check the I understand and agree to update the system
  8. Click Next
  9. The update will take approximately 10-20 minutes. Some DiskStations may take longer.
  10. Click Yes

Upgrade in progress

  1. Your DiskStation will automatically install and restart.
  1. After the restart, you should be able to connect to your DSM at the same address. However, if you connected through the internal IP as you suggested, then a simple refresh of your browser should be enough. If you are too quick after the restart, wait a few more seconds. When you reconnect to your DSM, it should show you the upgrade progress it’s currently in.
  2. Login to DSM when the upgrade completes. When you login, data and settings will be updated.

Post upgrade; repair and update packages

After you have upgraded DSM, you must repair your packages before you continue with your upgrade path. Several packages can be outdated, integrated into DSM, or simply obsolete. You must make your DSM fully operational before you continue.

  1. Open Package Center. Under the tab Installed it will list all packages that require attention.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the list of Action Required, and look for the packages that are no longer supported or are incompatible.
  3. Open each unsupported package details by clicking on it, and selecting Uninstall.
  4. Check if the Synology Application Service is in the list of Attention Required. If this is true, then repair this package first.

    The Synology Application Service is vital and can cause several necessary packages like File Station or the webserver to start. Please read the notice below if this happens and then go to known errors. Make sure the Synology Application Service is not in a stopped state before you continue to repair packages.
Synology Application Service stopped and fails to be repaired

The Synology Application Service is vital to several packages. When it fails to start, it does not only block vital packages like File Station or the web server from starting. It will also block several packages from being repaired. This is a common scenario when you have a custom certificate configured.

The natural action is to repair the Synology Application Service first; however, when this fails, please see known errors.

  1. Either click Repair All at the top right of the Attention Required list or repair each package by hand. I choose to repair each package one at a time because sometime when clicking repair, a wizard will pop up with requests for user decisions before continuing. By going package by package, you will retain more control.
  2. Complete a actions in the Attention Required list

Repeat; continue the upgrade path

You have successfully upgraded your DSM and completed all the actions required to continue your upgrade path. Please repeat steps 10 to 29 to complete your DSM upgrade. I repeated this until my DSM 6

Known errors

Synology Application Service fails to start or be repaired

After an upgrade of DSM, it is common for the Synology Application Service to start or fail to be repaired. This will cause vital packages like File Station and the webserver to start and block other packages depending on it to be repaired.

This situation is commonly caused by using a custom certificate, or something went wrong with the certificate during the update. Right now, it happens in cases where users have issued a certificate from Let’s Encrypt and set it as the default certificate for the DSM and removed the default Synology certificate.

In order to fix the Synology Application Service, the default certificate must be reset.

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Click Security
  3. Open tab Certificate
  4. Click Settings
  5. Open tab Advanced
  6. Click Reset
  7. Confirm reset by clicking Yes

This will reset your certificate to a default certificate signed by Synology. After this action, the webserver will start automatically, and File Station should start also. If File Station does not start automatically, you can start it from Package Center.

Final thoughts

This guide will help you upgrade your DSM without stress. This outlined my journey of upgrading to DSM 7. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Please subscribe to this blog for updates. If you have any tips, requests, or thoughts, please send me an email.