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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:42 am
by chuckster
I'm starting to think you're right. I used to stream from my PC to my PS3 through PLEX, but I don't know if it'd be worth it to try and set up all my devices that way, and it sounds like an NAS makes that a pretty smooth experience. It looks like Synology is the way to go for the low-end of the market.

Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:20 am
by Anapan
I use exclusively Western Digital MyBook single-drive USB3 externals - 6TB of internals + ~40TB externals with a passive external cooling fan (tower exhaust). They've been going rock solid for many years, none have failed except one being dropped while accessing. I keep backups at my bro's place using all my smaller hand-me-down drives as I upgrade collections to 6&8 TB externals - he's got the few remaining Seagates, and they're kinda sketchy, he doesn't complain because they're free and I replace them soon after failure with another hand-me-down. Nearly all of my Seagate drives have died and were immediately replaced with Western Digital. The expandability is only limited by USB3 ports, and less important drives go through a powered usb3 hub; Surprisingly, the speed isn't hampered through a hub by much compared to drives individually connected to the motherboard... Backing up at USB3 speeds is not painful like USB2. Universal compatibility is also nice. I played movies off a 6TB drive through my phone's OTG on a road trip.
I know about NAS, but even with a gigabit connection, the transfer speed and portability of external USB3 is the most convenient for me. I heard you can use a cheap Asus router (RT-N66u ?) with a firmware flash to get two drives NAS'd for a lot cheaper than a direct hardware route, tho reading told me that WD's Mybook NAS solution would still be preferable. I have not looked into it much, so I can't recommend either solution.
I like direct memory access to my files through drive letters with Windows SMB Shares, PLEX and FTP for remote access through my server computer - that just works well for me. I can easily diagnose dropouts and other factors while the drives show up as drive letters like I'm used to. It's not so important anymore, but I regularly run CrystalDiskInfo to see how my file integrity on each drive is faring through use. Mostly to decide which drive I pass on to my brother :P.
Problems with Windows (Samba/SMB) shares? Windows Share Manager is really slick.
PLEX is really cool. It's still got some problems - I've done the PLEX Danceā„¢ way too many times for me to still be using the software, but it has become essential for off-site viewing as I have to leave town often for work.
I know my friend has gone to NAS for a lot of his stuff, but it's still a hassle for him when something randomly isn't going perfect. It's one of those Linux things that the solution takes a lot of forum reading to fix...

Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:08 pm
by chuckster
Whoa, that's a serious shelf of storage! If you don't mind me asking, were you limited on HDD bays internally too, or did you decide to go external for portability or other reasons?

Along those lines, I was actually looking at a docking station like this:

I found it on Amazon but I'm not sure about the policy of posting merchant links. It's pretty cheap and USB3.1 so I figure speed will be a non-issue. There are some reviews of it wiping or corrupting drives, but I could find another like it or just a dumb 4-bay dock (I just want a USB 3.1 multi-HDD enclosure). After the holidays I will look at some options and if an NAS seems too pricey or fiddly, I'll just soldier on with an external array like yours probably. I have a 1TB Seagate that's been going strong for about 5 years now.

Edit: Also, I know Win10 has auto-defrag on it's internal drives, does this apply to external drives as well?

Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:03 am
by Anapan
Space is abundant and properly cooled internally, but knowing that I bought the cheapest & largest single bay external drives, I expected failure - over 500G the error correction internally must be lying to the diagnostic messages IMO The CPU and error correction software is constantly checking integrity and there's several gigs of fail not reported - At least that's what I thought, and therefore I regularly back up to a different location. The decision was made to use externals to facilitate off-site backup and allow for failure like I used to experience with cheap external mass storage drives.

Docking Station: Neat! - Merchant links are OK here (?)
About the wiping and corrupting - I've experienced this as well with badly designed drivers that don't properly handle LBA and other drive formats. This could occur, tho the damage would likely be able to be recovered. It requires some linux tools to fix, but I did corrupt a co-workers drive using a badly built and supported adapter. I'd recommend against that particular one because of the possibility of it damaging the integrity, tho a multi-external bay is something I always planned on doing/using. Again the decision for self-contained externals was for rapid replacement and backup to offsite (bro's house) backup.

I regularly order from (tho you'd probably want [url][/url] unless you're in Canada)
Try targeting the hardware you want there, then balance the reviews on what's bad about it versus the Amazon ones to decide what you need vs what you want vs the price. Newegg rejects the lowest grade stuff, and is competitive on storage media. Still for Sandisk flash media (MicroSD etc) Deal Extreme does have the edge and guarantees no cheap chinese fakes.

Autodefrag? Yah, it doesn't "thrash" like it did in earlier OSes (ME to Vista it destroyed lots of drives in my experience), it's a good thing, and it will only activate when it would benefit your computing speed.

I think it's a great idea to get an external storage drive hub! No reason to not use one and save on external storage waste. I have a pile of useful shells, but when a failure occurs because I buy the cheapest, the shell just sits in the back of the hard drive cupboard. There's also a pile of laptop drives there; Need one? PM me. Not worth the shipping from Canada probably, tho a 650GB just arrived.