Looking for NAS drive with 4 bays that has USB3 & GB network

May 2, 2015 at 06:53:51
Specs: win7 ult., ivy bridge
I'm looking for a nas drive with 4 bays or more that has usb 3.0 and GB network. I want to use my existing ntfs driver, not format them. Ideally I want a nas drive that will not use RAID so that I can remove the discs and put them in another computer and see the data, write, delete, ect, and put them back in the nas if necessary. I realize the nas system will do all of that but looking for the option non the less.

Will anything do that?

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May 2, 2015 at 10:49:14
I think you are being overly complicated....; and possibly misunderstanding what an NAS is for... An NAS is for storing/sharing files across a network; and whilst the NAS file format is typically ext3 or ext4 (Linux formats) that isn't an issue over a network. (File formats are - abstracted - removed from the process over a network.)

An ext3 or ext4 drive can be accessed - read certainly (and I think also written to) with suitable add-in utilities for Windows and Mac. Otherwise one must use a Linux OS to access (read/write to) them.

A typical NAS can be two or more drives; and many (all?) use a Linux based OS to run themselves. Certainly the QNAPs range do.

The most basic (minimally safe) is a (two drive) Mirror system RAID-1. The two drives are identical. RAID-0 (again a two drive system) stripes data across both drives; and if one fails. then all is lost...

So looking at simpler arrangement to that which you seem to envisage...

Perhaps use a two drive system in Mirror configuration - which means both drives are identical to each other; and if one fails the remaining one can rebuild the Mirror to the replacement drive. Either drive "can" be removed and read/written to via Windows or Mac OS using a suitable utility.

If concerned about possible failure of "both" drives at any time... then simply attach an additional external drive - via usb - to the NAS; and backup the server to that drive. Equally - and takes longer - copy the contents of the NAS to that drive.. - and use ntfs format for that additional/external drive. That external drive can then be connected (via usb) to any windows system and read/written to. For Mac systems you may need a another add-in ) if wishing to write to it...

Some reading about NAS and ext3/ext4 etc... and accessing the file system:






QNAPS have decent kit; and likely they have usb3 systems etc. I have an older QNAP Mirror system; been very happy with it. When a drive did fail (not QNAP's fault) they were top marks in support re' setting up the whole system afresh - to enable the good disk to rebuild the Mirror on the new drive. This was done by their tech support chaps via Team Viewer.

Any system is only as good as the drives installed of course... Ensure yo put in drives that are designed to be left on/running as it were for prolonged periods. Many NAS are delivered with drives more designed for short term use; as in a typical laptop/desktop etc. There are drives designed/spec'd for server us.. WD have three models and I suggest that Seagate etc. likely are similar?

Others here with more experience with NAS (mine is somewhat limited thes edays..) may offer other approaches; so watch this space?

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May 2, 2015 at 10:54:11
No actually that reply is over complicated. I'm well aware of all of that and there are plenty of ntfs based nas's out there. I have 8 TBs of data I really dont want to back up just to move to a nas drive. I want to put my already ntfs drive in a shareable device. Just don't want t use my computer for sharing any more.

I dont want protection, or security it's for my home. I just want a place to store a lot of data in one place out side a full blown os. Along with that the only "need" I have is to be able to take a drive out and see it on a NTFS based system. I do not want to remove my current FS on that drive.

Maybe my best bet is a mini windows based computer?

message edited by ulaoulao

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May 2, 2015 at 11:23:21
More than two drives in an NAS means they will be in a "striped configuration' which means they cannot be accessed/read etc. individually when connected to any computer?

I guess I shall step back and leave you await other input here (and possibly elsewhere)...; as based on your initial post and the subsequent one I don't see how you can do what you wish using NAS...

A stack of individual networked drives - yes; but all in one NAS environment?

In response to your last line: Maybe my best bet is a mini windows based computer?

A stand-alone windows based computer (with all the drives network attached to it
(if the are designed for it) - or connected to the windows system via usb) and that computer shared over the network - would seem possible? In effect you use a windows computer as a simple file server...

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May 2, 2015 at 14:37:16
I have TWO External USB drives that are AC powered. My main computer runs 24/7 so I can share those drives if I want and others can use them for storage.

Same thing can be done with a stand alone computer.

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May 2, 2015 at 14:41:30
In some respects it's a useful way to extend the life of an older computer; use it as print server.. Allowing for tthe fact it will of course be consuming around 150+ watts if left permantly powered up?

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May 2, 2015 at 17:51:22
Looks like we are on point now, and yes looking for something in the way of a mini computer but I really dont want that. I understand why all NAS drives would not support this idea but in the same way why not (it's just not what they are used for). I'm looking to ovoid useing a computer for yes, power consumption and more importantly dealing with up keeping an OS. Linux would be a better choice and I'm pretty sure you can mount and use NTFS drives on it but hoping to not go that far (nothing against linux, I use it for my home server).

I guess I should explain my reasons for this a bit more. Maybe it will help with a few suggestions.

I want to move my 8TB off my system. Things happen to systems and it should not get in the way of shared drives. My Son wants to watch a movie over the network on my Popcorn hour and I need to do work on the system sharing the data. I have to give in and not do my work ;) System may get a virus or hardware issue and it's down. Son and Wife go insane, no movies to watch. They pull out the VHS collection.

So one solution is to just buy a NAS and fill it up, but I really have zero interest in paying for 8 more TBs. Plus once you go RAID you dont go back. If I wanted to pull a drive out and put it in a system I can't. Say the NAS driver goes belly up, SOL. Sure I could get it back maybe by creating a linux box RAID array but that is just way too much work for such a simple request.

The entire idea of a RAID is like locking up your data in encrypted cloud. It goes in and comes out but you never get to use the media without the NAS. I want control of my drives. The best solution thus far is my system that has 8 SATA ports on board.

So I guess I need a place to store drives not data. Maybe it does not exist? Maybe a Pie could do the job but looking for a ready solution.

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May 2, 2015 at 20:38:55
I'm using NAS as storage, backup and streamer (audio). No RAID just 2 independent HDD. Can use NTFS or SAMBA for sharing and transferring. This one is already old and low-end. Todays NAS have all the features for sharing and streaming (video) and have GB networking.

However, repeated removing and inserting HDD is NOT done and can create unexpected behavior like loss of data on HDD.

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May 3, 2015 at 04:57:50
Some phud for thort...:

This discussion (although centred around a Mac system etc) may be if interest...?


and this item - one of many found via a google trawl:

http://tinyurl.com/nasknnf (The link is to the UK site; and there is a USA site as well.)

A google trawl using - muti hard drive enclosure - as the string/search term, will bring up both of the above and many more...

I guess if you include usb3 in the sting (and whatever else matters to you re' specs) the list will change of course...

Have to say that the idea of regularly removing a hard drive to connect (via whatever means) to another computer doesn't attract... The connectors on hard drives are not mean to subjected to that use. Either one has the drive(s) in removable caddies - which can be be connected (by whatever means) to another computer - without removing the drive from the caddie; or seriously risks losing a drive in due course (due to the wear 'n tear on the connectors?

A workaround, which would minimise drive connection failures, would be to ensure you have a caddie system for the bulk drive storage; and a compatible caddie housing within your main computer; i.e. a housing that can accept the caddies from the bulk storage system?

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May 3, 2015 at 07:44:24
I never said regularly removing drives, only "if needed". Ill check out the links.

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May 3, 2015 at 07:56:38
so far all looks great but the 3/2 TB limit is an issue. Not going to buy something that limits me later. I think I'm before the trend here? I'll keep looking around but will be interested in the newer and newer drives that will be coming out soon. It is looking like a mini computer solution is still best.

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May 3, 2015 at 08:14:06
true re removal of drives... But so often "if needed" can become "regularly... in some circumstances.

I tend to favour the mini computer router overall; and one could make a simple shelf stacking system - out of wood - to hold the drives?

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May 3, 2015 at 14:37:50
LOL I did that with 10 scsi's once in 98.

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