Additional NAS (Network Attached Storage) & other external storage

I have a WD myCloud for storage with about 4TB of storage in a single bay. I’ve had it for a while and have stored a lot of stuff replicated across its partitioned areas. It is a single Drive and has worked pretty well. Its starting to get full so I need to add to it.

I have had issues with it regarding accessing it from different parts of the house and logging on, and have to do a re-training to figure out how to set it up again. Overall its been pretty good. A but slow, only .5G ram but it chugs along.

I have a few films on it and I usually copy the file across to my Laptop hard drive before watching it, so the speed is ok, as sometimes the wifi connection can be a bit slow.

I bought a Server for about $500 at Christmas and had a few issues with getting the right disk drives for it (SaTa or the other one) and ended up getting 2 lots. I thought I may be able to run it under a windows server but wasn’t able to. I lost interest in setting it up and it sits on the desk behind me. One reason was continuous power and noise, and although I may be interested in setting up a Linux distro on it, I’m rather more interested in a bit of software programming rather than setting up and maintaining older hardware.

So I only have the one storage system, and recently I went looking for some photos and found that I’d lost them all before about 2016, which is a bit sad as I’d taken a heap of photos. Ce Est la Vie.

Anyway, its been at the back of my mind that my storage and PC setup is not ideal. I got a wee email from TradeMe about Surface Books and as I was perusing the site I started to investigate NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices for sale.

4TB QNAP TS-228 2-Bay Home & SOHO NAS for data backup and entertainment

I saw this on tradeMe and decided to purchase it. It has 1Gb of Ram, still slow but I only really use my existing NAS as a storage device, so speed is not critical.

Its about 3 years old and comes with 2off 2 TB hard drives so its all set up and ready to go (ie no purchasing hard drives for it)

So this should double my storage capacity and allow me to have a backup. The interface also looks a bit more friendly and versatile than my existing WD MyCloud, so that will be interesting to explore, and if its faster, may become my main NAS with the myCloud as backup.

A new NAS in this class is about $320 NZ and the Hard drives are each about $140, so if purchasing from new it would set me back about $600 NZD. I’ve paid $320 for it.

You have to do a cold change on the drives, but hopefully some of the drives I bought for the server may be usable as well. If that is the case then I’ll do a bit of a backup on a lot of my stuff and have them in a couple of places.

Storage types

My main storage on the existing NAS is for:

  • Films & TV series
  • Audiobooks
  • eBooks
  • Photos
  • old CAD drawings
  • Bim Models
  • Programming stuff
  • Website stuff (which I should backup more frequently)
  • Documents I’ve collected over time from work.
  • Some bits and bobs that I don’t use but haven’t thrown away

I need to move some of the older stuff into Archival storage and off the active NAS

I do have my VPS where I have my websites running , and they need a cleanup too. I should transfer some of my stuff over from there to be backed up.

Arrived and running

It started fine and I got it up and running but could not log in so had to email seller for username & password, then I was ready to rock.

It was in a Raid 1 configuration and I wanted separate standalone drives for full use of the disks. So I had to re-set it and reconfigure.

I didn’t get it quite right as you have to give it a static IP address to allow for the individual disks running independently. All seems a bit hard to me.

I did try putting in my 1Tb hard drives from my server setup but they didn’t work and reviewing the models of the HDD’s they were not compatible types, so I put the original 2 Tb ones back in.

I now have a quasi setup and am copying files from MyCloud NAS across to one of the drives.

My intention is to backup info and be able to remove a HDD and store it elsewhere. Also trying to maximise the HDD storage that I currently have, so use 4Tb instead of mirrored 2 Tb (with backup in a Raid setup). Maybe a bit petty but that’s my thinking.

This video is a handy reference for reinitialising :


I suddenly realised that what I wanted was an external drive that I could store stuff on and keep secure. I was looking at 2nd hand HDD’s on trade me and came across an External Hard Drive Enclosure that I could swap out HDD’s after backing up stuff, so I could use my NAS for storage and access and External Drive to backup the bits I needed for long term storage.

I then realised I had a defunked Seagate External hard drive that died (4 Tb) that I could try and see if it worked for some of my existing drives.

It really peeved me off at the time, loosing all that info so I am a bit leary of Seagate after that. I have just opened the HDD up and tried to move the arm, that may work, or it may do nothing.

I wasn’t able to get the Seagate enclosure running , I found a couple of power supplies but neither of them started it up so I think just buying new enclosure is the best step forward. So I can then use the 2 x 1Tb HDD’s from the server for backup storage and also buy 2nd hand cheap HDD’s , smaller ones, and use them for backup too.

So for $40NZ (29.95 + 9.90 P & P) I’ve just ordered an external Hard Drive Enclosure that is for SATA 3.5 and 2.5 disks

Its Friday, August 20, 2021 and Wellington & the rest of NZ is in lockdown level 4 until Wednesday, August 25, 2021 so I do not think I’m going to be seeing this bit of kit until after we’re out of lockdown. So a while away.

I also came across this item that seems to do the same sort of thing, but will work with SATA and the older types (but they also need separate power to their drive as well). So enclosure still a good solution

So what about the NAS I just bought

I like the NAS, it is handy for storage and accessing multimedia and files around the house on different PC’s.

I have been concerned with loss of information and also age of my MyCloud, I’ve had it for quite a while now, also the new one has 1Gig Ram instead of .5Gb ram so hopefully it will be faster across the network. Also it is a dual disk I can have a backup Raid configuration to make it more stable if a single disk fails.

Now I have a NAS running I can play with the 2nd one and bugger it up a bit and try different things

Storage Strategy

  1. Keep existing 4 Tb MyCloud going
  2. Use QNAP NAS 2 x 2TB to tidy up info copied from MyCloud NAS
  3. Copy/Move reorganised Stuff, by Topic onto Backup SATA HDDs via External Hard Drive
  4. 3 above onto 2 x 1Tb SATA from Server
  5. Purchase cheap SATA HDD’s to backup othjer stuff by Topic
  6. Remap QNAP NAS to Raid 1 and use for main Storage for Day to day stuff
  7. Build some Backup folders for QNAP NAS on Laptops for auto backup.
  8. Clean/Tidy 4 Tb MyCloud so that its used to store backup info from QNAP NAS

End comment

I’m currently copying stuff across onto my new NAS so I can start cleaning those files up, ready for storing on disks.

I’m also watching tradeMe for cheap HDD drives, but since we’re in lockdown at the moment there will be lots of people on trademe watching for deals so I don’t think it’s the best timer to bid on stuff.

I’ll need to wait for the enclosure for doing the backup too.