Convinient enclosuere for external hard drives - AVS Forum
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any device that can accommodate 4 or more high capacity external hard drives to remove the clutter? Then, I want to connect to my dune player.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:44 PM
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Mediasonic makes 2, 4 and 8-bay enclosures.
I have the Mediasonic ProBox 4 Bay 3.5' SATA Hard Drive Enclosure - USB 2.0 & eSATA (HF2-SU2S2) for my server and am very happy with it.

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I was looking for simple enclosure. When I read this it says supports raid. Does it means it support accessing from media players like Dune player using smb or nfs? What is the difference between this and synolgy? It is so cheap if it really works to use 8 bay with 3 or 4tb drives.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:27 PM
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The link I gave you was for the simple 4-bay enclosure. Load 4 drives, plug it into the USB port of a PC and see 4 drive letters. It supports RAID in the sense that you could install a RAID controller card in your PC and plug this enclosure into it via eSATA. This box has no RAID controller in it. Their other 4-bay boxes (look at their products) do have RAID controllers built in.

In order for a multi-bay enclosure to work with your Dune or any media player, the media player must be capable of recognizing a USB hub, otherwise it will only see the first drive. In that case you can get one of the RAID boxes that will configure the drives as a single volume that the player can recognize.

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Old 05-20-2013, 02:32 PM
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These are ridiculously cheap and as convenient as it gets:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1DS0DA1587



I've got one on order now, so I can't yet attest to reliability or functionality, but considering the cost of other 4-bay options, how good does it have to be?

This is the only competitor with 4 bays:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817707270

I take that back, after doing some more digging:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817576013
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:42 PM
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The Mediasonic 4-bay enclosure I linked to is only $90 at Amazon.
Looks better than seeing 4 bare drives sticking up like a toaster, but either way should be equally functional.

- kelson h

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Old 05-21-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all replies. I would look for 8 bay (if possible support 4tb for future). I am trying to understand little more on how I can expose all my external hard drives as NAS. I guess I need bay and computer to setup my own NAS. I also don't want to open the case of external hard drives if possible to put in the bay.

I am trying to avoid buying NAS like synoloy and internal drives. Hopefully, they will be in my budget range in near future.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukumar View Post

Thanks for all replies. I would look for 8 bay (if possible support 4tb for future). I am trying to understand little more on how I can expose all my external hard drives as NAS. I guess I need bay and computer to setup my own NAS. I also don't want to open the case of external hard drives if possible to put in the bay.

I am trying to avoid buying NAS like synoloy and internal drives. Hopefully, they will be in my budget range in near future.

Many NAS boxes also have USB and other ports, and are able to serve up connected drives as well as internal drives. So you don't necessarily need a 8-bay box to serve up 8 drives. If you already have a PC on the network sharing drives, you don't really need a NAS box unless you wish to be able to shut off the PC. Many broadband routers are also coming with USB ports for setting up NAS functions. IOW there are many choices, maybe too many.
But in terms of fully managing all drives and the files on them, the PC is always the best choice as long as it has enough ports.

I really like the HDD docks because its so easy to swap HDDs around, and they allow you to turn on only the drive(s) you want to use - or all of them. A simple label on the drive lets you know whats on it. I intend to use the 4-bay dock connected to my PC and all drives shared, it's much faster and easier to manage files than it is to transfer them over the network. YMMV

If you're looking at docks, external cases and NAS boxes, pay attention to the speed of the various ports, looking for Gigabit and USB-3 to make your file transfers faster. Base-100 and USB-2 ports will slow things down considerably.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukumar View Post

Thanks for all replies. I would look for 8 bay (if possible support 4tb for future). I am trying to understand little more on how I can expose all my external hard drives as NAS. I guess I need bay and computer to setup my own NAS. I also don't want to open the case of external hard drives if possible to put in the bay.

I am trying to avoid buying NAS like synoloy and internal drives. Hopefully, they will be in my budget range in near future.
If you have a bunch of external drives you want to put on the network like a NAS but without using a PC, look for a networked USB hub. NewEgg sells them.

Setting up a small PC as a server is the best option. It has the most flexibility and you can expand it as needed by adding drives when you want. If you want RAID for protection, a software RAID solution like FlexRaid will let you use any drives attached to the PC of different sizes and build single volumes of multiple drives so your Dune will see only one drive volume.

- kelson h

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Old 05-21-2013, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to both Kelson and rdgrimes for detailed reply. Both agreed PC is the best option. Can it be simple $300 laptop or PC? Does the following works?

I will buy pc or laptop and connect one or more 12 port usb hubs or 8 bay boxes. I will connect all external hard drives to them all the time. I want to install some NAS software (Appreciate any recommended software) and only purpose is to create one or more volumes for movies and documentaries out of multiple hard drives. I don't need fault tolerance sine I can always rip back to hard drives. I want to run zappiti for movie database and connect Dune. My dune player supports SMB or NFS

In the worst case scenario, I can live with multiple drives to be able to see from Dune if I can't create one or two volumes.

Appreciate simple cost effective solution to expose existing hard drives as nfs or smb.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:11 PM
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Windows 7 offers SMB file sharing, no additional software is needed, (just the network). It can be a bit frustrating to find all the settings to make it work smoothly, but its there. Go for Gigabit networking, its worth it.

You can chain as many HDDs onto a USB port as you want, but performance and file management will be better if you use multiple ports. So a PC with 6 or 8 USB ports is better than one with one or two. PCI cards are fine for adding USB ports. They usually come in multiples of 2 ports, and 2 are paired onto a single controller.

You can set the Dune up to list all network shared HDDs on its main page along with any direct connected drives. The Dune also can be set to act as NAS, and attached HDDs can be accessed from any networked PC, its just a pretty slow connection.
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