Solution: Cannot access QNAP NAS from Windows

The problem: You cannot access the SAMBA (SMB) shares on your QNAP NAS from the Windows File Explorer and after you tried, access to the web interface also stopped working. The NAS is still accessible from other PCs on the same network.

The reason: Windows will first try to connect to your NAS using your Windows login credentials. If this fails too many times and Network Access Protection on your NAS is enabled, your PC’s IP address will be banned:

QNAP Network Access Protection

You can see the failed login attempts in the System Connection Logs (if enabled for SAMBA):

QNAP System Connection Logs

Solutions

There are many threads about this issue on the QNAP forum proposing various solutions, such as:

  • Creating a user account on the NAS with the same user name and password as on Windows.
  • Disabling Network Access Protection on the NAS.
  • Making all folders public.
  • Disabling all guest shares on the NAS to force Windows to show the network credentials dialog.

I tried a different solution which I found here. I left everything on the NAS unchanged. In the registry of my Windows PC, I enabled insecure guest logons for the SMB client. This allows the PC to connect to SAMBA shares which are not protected by a password (such as the Public folder on a QNAP NAS).

This registry setting can be found under Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates ->Network -> Lanman Workstation -> Enable insecure guest logons:

Windows Registry editor

Note: The description says that “if you do not configure this policy setting, the SMB client will allow insecure guest logons.” This was not true for me on Windows 11 21H2, the setting had to be explicitly enabled. On other PCs running Windows 10, the described behavior was correct and the entire problem never appeared.

Now (and after the IP ban period has expired, of course) it was possible to access the NAS through the file explorer. Clicking on a protected folder brought up the Enter network credentials dialog:

Enter network credentials

Why did this work? Apparently, Windows only tried to use the current user credentials once when connecting to the NAS and then used guest access. As this resulted only in a single failed access attempt, the PC’s IP address was not banned.

For further support, please visit the QNAP forum

Easy CPU cooler replacement for Acer PO3-620 i7 10700

Buying Acer’s Predator Orion gaming PC is one way to get an RTX 3070 graphics card without paying absurd prices. However, it comes with a standard CPU cooler that is loud and not very effective.

I replaced it with a Xilence XC026| I4026 (Amazon.com / Amazon.de affiliate links), which led to a significant CPU temperature drop under load. While this doesn’t turn the PC into a quiet machine, the cooler can be installed without replacing the backplate.

All you have to do is modify the cooler itself by moving the two brackets that hold the large screws as shown below.

Original configuration

CPU cooler in original configuration
Bracket at the bottom of the cooler

After modification

Modified CPU cooler
Bracket after being moved (ignore the incorrect orientation of the bracket the back, I wasn’t paying attention and also might be stupid)

On one side you can remove the fan to fasten the small bracket screws. On the other side there is very little room (this is the only challenge with this procedure):

Very little room to access screws on one side
Still easier than removing the motherboard to replace the backplate

Follow the instructions that came with the cooler for the rest of the (simple) installation process.

CPU temperature at full load

Temperature after 30 minutes of Folding@home, ambient temperature 24°C:

I found the recommendation for this cooler on the German Acer forum.

Driver for LogiLink AU0033 USB 2.0 to 8x Serial Adapter

You can download it here.

How I found it

I went to the product page on the LogiLink website, clicked on “Downloads”, then on the link to the driver which sent me to a 404 page on 2direct.de.

I then searched for the product directly on the 2direct.de website, found it here, clicked on “Downloads”, then on “Treiber AU0033” (Treiber is German for driver), which led to a PDF document that in turn contained the link to the actual driver ZIP file (which is hosted on the LogiLink website where I started).

Note if you’re reinstalling the driver

You can find an uninstaller under “Logilink AU0033 8x seriell\CD\Driver\Windows\64X\9710_7840_QUADPORT_MSUninst.exe”, running this before the installer fixed a problem on my system where only half of the ports would appear.

Connecting a scale or balance to a Raspberry Pi: project ideas

On digitalscalesblog.com, I showed how easy it can be to send the weight from a scale to a Python script running on a Raspberry Pi (if you choose the right scale). As I had never used Python before, all the script did was print the weight data. That doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Here a some ideas and links to get you going.

  • Use the Raspberry Pi as a serial device server (from RS-232 to TCP/IP over Ethernet or WiFi). Code examples can be found in the pySerial documentation.
  • Build a protocol converter. Most scales use proprietary protocols, but you can convert the data to MQTT or other protocols as shown here. Do not say that you have developed a protocol converter, call it an IoT gateway to get more attention.
  • Use speech synthesis to output the weight as spoken words for visually impaired users.
  • Use speech recognition to send commands to the scale (e.g. the tare command).
  • Install a Pi Camera Module and take a picture of the user every time the scale is overloaded.
  • Turn the scale into a checkweigher by comparing the weight with preset values and making under/accept/over LEDs light up.
  • Transform the weight into a proportional analog signal (voltage) because… I have no idea! Why do people keep asking for weighing scales with an analog output? Seriously, if you know the answer, please tell me.
  • Trigger an alarm or something worse when an object is removed from the scale: