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post #1 of 16 Old 01-05-2020, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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New NAS User Needs Help

I bought a QNAP TS-431P (4-bay) and so far I've put one 4TB hard drive in it.

I have two uses for this box -

one - hold a lot of miscellaneous files (videos, photos, applications, books, etc etc) and
two - host 4k rips for my Shield.

I have no idea what I'm doing, I've never owned a NAS before. Right now I have initialized the thing but there's no file structure there whatsoever - can I just start dumping files in there or do I need to do some kind of set up?

The QNAP setup process stalled several times (the webpage said it was working but then 5 minutes went by and the page never refreshed, so I manually refreshed it and it looked like it was done) during setup but appears to be running fine now.

I'm in the process of trying to empty off a 4TB My Cloud drive to shuck and put into the QNAP - never done that either.

Then the coup de gras is my 8TB USB box which is currently attached to my Shield - is there any chance that I can shuck that and drop it into the NAS without clearing it off first?

Can I use 2 4TB's and an 8TB drive in the same NAS?

Help! TIA
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-05-2020, 11:39 AM
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I don't have a QNAP, so can only write in a general sense.

you'll need to setup some shared folders typically via the web admin interface. Think of these as network drives that you'll eventually map to a drive letter in windows later. Once you have some shared folders(Data, Media, Backup, etc, etc), you can make subfolders. So if you made a media share, assign it a letter like M (in windows not the nas) then make the subfolders. So => M:\Media\videos\MadMax4k

Depending on the filesystem on the 8TB unit (likely a linux one), and if QNAP will read it (I bet it can), you can hook via USB and xfer the files (often via the web interface for the nas). You'll likely have zero success directly putting the drive in the unit and having it magically work.

A purpose of the 4 bay nas (if you have at least 2 drives) is to have redundancy. If you lose one drive you can still function. If you have 4 drives in it, they are often put into an array. So some data is on drive 1, some on drive 2 etc etc. BUT it is setup so that you can lose only ONE drive and still not lose data (read up on Raid 5, a typical array type). Some units allow drives of different sizes. (if you only go with 2 drives you can have one drive be a copy of the other ... rad up on raid 0 vs raid 1)

So long story short, if I were you, I'd get 4 same size, same model drives in the unit, then build the array. setup the shared folders. then setup subfolders. then hook up 8tb drive to the usb connector or a PC that can read it and move the files over. You can then wipe the 8tb and use it as a local usb backup for the nas (if u want).

as noted for a 4 drive unit, typically if you lose one drive you're ok, but if you lose 2, you're screwed. Redundancy in the nas is NO substitute for true backup. I have my NAS backup to another NAS every Wed. That second NAS backs up to a third NAS every Sat. (I couldn't turn down a third as a neighbor gave it to me and I threw linux on it.) So even if I lose the entire NAS, I have TWO backups. If I wanted to be super safe, I'd have the third be offsite. If I had family nearby, I'd do it.

hope that helps, even though it is only scratching the surface of the issue.
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Last edited by kcgr; 01-05-2020 at 12:12 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-05-2020, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcgr View Post
I don't have a QNAP, so can only write in a general sense.



you'll need to setup some shared folders typically via the web admin interface. Think of these as network drives that you'll eventually map to a drive letter in windows later. Once you have some shared folders(Data, Media, Backup, etc, etc), you can make subfolders. So if you made a media share, assign it a letter like M (in windows not the nas) then make the subfolders. So => M:\Media\videos\MadMax4k



Depending on the filesystem on the 8TB unit (likely a linux one), and if QNAP will read it (I bet it can), you can hook via USB and xfer the files (often via the web interface for the nas). You'll likely have zero success directly putting the drive in the unit and having it magically work.



A purpose of the 4 bay nas (if you have at least 2 drives) is to have redundancy. If you lose one drive you can still function. If you have 4 drives in it, they are often put into an array. So some data is on drive 1, some on drive 2 etc etc. BUT it is setup so that you can lose only ONE drive and still not lose data (read up on Raid 5, a typical array type). Some units allow drives of different sizes. (if you only go with 2 drives you can have one drive be a copy of the other ... rad up on raid 0 vs raid 1)



So long story short, if I were you, I'd get 4 same size, same model drives in the unit, then build the array. setup the shared folders. then setup subfolders. then hook up 8tb drive to the usb connector or a PC that can read it and move the files over. You can then wipe the 8tb and use it as a local usb backup for the nas (if u want).



as noted for a 4 drive unit, typically if you lose one drive you're ok, but if you lose 2, you're screwed. Redundancy in the nas is NO substitute for true backup. I have my NAS backup to another NAS every Wed. That second NAS backs up to a third NAS every Sat. (I couldn't turn down a third as a neighbor gave it to me and I threw linux on it.) So even if I lose the entire NAS, I have TWO backups. If I wanted to be super safe, I'd have the third be offsite. If I had family nearby, I'd do it.



hope that helps, even though it is only scratching the surface of the issue.


Good info there. I’d add that you’ll quickly realize you need more storage. Why not shuck 4 - 10TB’s rather than 8’s? You’re going to lose some usable storage due to RAID anyway.


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post #4 of 16 Old 01-05-2020, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Good info there. I’d add that you’ll quickly realize you need more storage. Why not shuck 4 - 10TB’s rather than 8’s? You’re going to lose some usable storage due to RAID anyway.


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at the moment I'm trying to make the most of what I have without spending an additional $300 for 2 10's (at the least).
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-05-2020, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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hope that helps, even though it is only scratching the surface of the issue.
thanks, lots to digest there.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 09:59 AM
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Good info here, kcgr.
Never own a NAS. Really want to have one though.

I know the NAS is built for redundancy to prevent data loss but can we run max capacity (without redundancy) in 4-bay NAS? Say there are 4 10TB drives, making it 40TB NAS?
Also, instead of 4 drives, can we just pop one drive in?
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinhvo View Post
Good info here, kcgr.

Never own a NAS. Really want to have one though.



I know the NAS is built for redundancy to prevent data loss but can we run max capacity (without redundancy) in 4-bay NAS? Say there are 4 10TB drives, making it 40TB NAS?

Also, instead of 4 drives, can we just pop one drive in?


I believe the answers are yes and yes.

My NAS certainly ran with one drive in and then didn’t even complain while I hot added another drive.

Then my question is you load up a 40TB NAS with 18TB of data, can you then convert it to a RAID or do you have to clear the whole thing first?


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post #8 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
I believe the answers are yes and yes.

My NAS certainly ran with one drive in and then didn’t even complain while I hot added another drive.

Then my question is you load up a 40TB NAS with 18TB of data, can you then convert it to a RAID or do you have to clear the whole thing first?


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Well to have it be 1 40TB drive you will need to run some type of RAID. If you run RAID 0 then if you lose 1 drive you lose the entire Array.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Well to have it be 1 40TB drive you will need to run some type of RAID. If you run RAID 0 then if you lose 1 drive you lose the entire Array.


So you’re saying I would have to start over to go from 40 TB non redundant to 20 TB redundant.


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post #10 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 04:30 PM
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No not necessarily. THere's different types of RAID. RAID 0 just combines them into 1 drive and using all the data, there is no fault tolerance and lose a drive you lose the entire array. Replaced the bad disk you can rebuild the array but data isn't salvageable.

RAID 1 is simply mirroring. So with 4 10 TB you'd have 20TB of use space and everything would be written twice, where as whatever it writes to drive 1 it would also write to its mirrored drive, drive 3. Same with drive 2 to 4.

Then, the other common RAID type would be RAID 5 where it writes blocks on all drives, but combines with a parity block. This provides fault-tolerance of one-drive. If you have 4 10TB drives it would limit you to 30TB, but if any one drive fails it will be able to rebuild by using the parity block. With the idea, you replace the failed drive before any other failure. If you lose 2 drives in a RAID, you once again lose the array.

There's other combinations too, but for a simple 4 drive array those are really the ones to know. With software RAID soluations, like unRAID, I cannot comment to those as I'm just trying to learn about them.

But if you are just looking at getting 4 drives and using them to their fullest capability I'd treat them as separate drives then combine them to an array. That way if you ever have a failure you only need to redo the work of the one drive instead of the entire array. If that data does become critical you could take an image backup later if you justify the cost.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
So you’re saying I would have to start over to go from 40 TB non redundant to 20 TB redundant.


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I think I misread. My apologies. Yes, if you have it as a RAID 0 you will not be able to safely BREAK that and setup a 20 TB RAID 1. If you had a backup then I suppose you could break the array and copy over the data.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-07-2020, 06:16 PM
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I think I misread. My apologies. Yes, if you have it as a RAID 0 you will not be able to safely BREAK that and setup a 20 TB RAID 1. If you had a backup then I suppose you could break the array and copy over the data.
Raid options are obviously dependent on how many drives you bring to the table. A thought is to make a list of what is important:

- price
- how many drives to die and still have access to data while you add a fresh drive to rebuild the array
- how much storage space you ultimately want after the array is built (if you use raid that is ... you could just have one drive).
- do you want an emphasis on speed or safety (redundancy)
- need gigabit speeds?
- is noise an issue
-

- then google the ***** out of Raid differences and pick the one that fits your needs. If you already have a NAS, you'll have to see what RAID options that the mfr offers.

If you are starting out as a newbie: I'd get a mainstream brand rather than try to build your own. Find out the drive size limits for the model you picked and then buy the drives you need and stuff them in. Then figure out how you're going to back it up, cuz at some point you'll need to.

I ran a ReadyNas NV+ for many years (now a backup unit). It was bulletproof until one day, I lost drive 2 of 4. Uh, Oh. No backup. I eventually stuffed a new drive in, rebuilt the array, then bought a USB drive and copied the most critical data to it as another backup. My wife had a lot of business files on it, and worrying about the next drive failing was not fun. Now with three NAS units, I don't worry at all (Aside from lightning strike, but that is pretty remote).

Sorry to ramble, but definitely do your research. There's a lot of good data on the interwebs - much more than we can quickly type up on a forum.


one last thing: I'd STRONGLY recommend finding what UPS is compatible with your NAS and connect it via USB. If you get a power blip, you'll ride right through it. A multi drive array does not like rapid power cycles.

Good luck
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-10-2020, 06:19 PM
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RAID 5 is the best option for a four-bay NAS... Note that in a RAID array, all the drives should be the same size, or else the RAID will configure itself with the smallest drive installed, e.g. if you have three 6-tb drives and one 4TB drive, the RAID will configure the NAS as four 4-TB drives, wasting 2TB on each of the larger drives.


It is NOT recommended you use non-NAS drives. The reason is that the error correction timings are different on a NAS drive. A non-NAS drive may error out in the NAS even if it is perfectly fine because the non-NAS drive will not respond correctly to the NAS.


Note that the NAS can take a LONG time to configure itself when you use several drives. IIRC, my NAS took two days to configure the array. If you keep rebooting the NAS, it will start the configuration all over again. Just let it do its thing until it is done.


I have a comprehensive thread here about QNAP NAS. You should go through it as it will answer most of your questions. Read the section about error correction on hard drives. This will make you think twice about using shucked drives.



Understand that a NAS is NOT the ultimate backup for your files. Far from it. While it is a big step in saving your files, a NAS can still crash, wiping out your data. While the chances of this is slim there are possible scenarios where a total NAS failure can occur.


You can have a power surge that fries two drives. That will result in a total data loss.


Or you can have one drive fail in a RAID 5 array. That usually is not a problem. You can replace the bad drive and the array will rebuild itself. But if a second drive fails before the rebuild is complete, total data loss. The likelihood of this occurring is extremely slim, but I can attest that it has happened to me. I had Toshiba NAS drives fail at the same time, that's why I stay away from them. I like to stick with WD Red NAS drives.


That is why I have two NAS systems. One is a backup for the other. The second NAS is an eight-bay configured as RAID 6, which allows two drives to fail before any data is lost.



Hope this helps...

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post #14 of 16 Old 01-11-2020, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I'm just going to go with one big multi-volume (is that raid 0?) for this go round.

What you guys are talking about is hundreds of dollars of additional expense and I'm just not up for that right now.

Maybe I'll buy another one later.

That being said, the box just failed to update its firmware so this thing might be going back to Amazon
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-11-2020, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
I think I'm just going to go with one big multi-volume (is that raid 0?) for this go round.

What you guys are talking about is hundreds of dollars of additional expense and I'm just not up for that right now.

Maybe I'll buy another one later.

That being said, the box just failed to update its firmware so this thing might be going back to Amazon

if you just have one drive in it (assuming your first post is still the case with one 4tb drive), there's no RAID involved. It'll be just a disk. But if you have a 4 bay enclosure, just using 1 disc is underutilizing the unit's capability. If you don't want to spend $ on 4 discs, you can get a 2 disc qnap unit with RAID1. That may fit the bill better.

you may be able to do a usb update before you go to the trouble of returning it. You'll likely need a program to 'SSH' into the box then do it from the command line. I use SSH-puTTy.

I stumbled across this: https://wiki.qnap.com/wiki/Manually_Updating_Firmware

linux command lines are not newbie friendly, but then again, this hands on learning will help you learn it a bit. Most 'bring your own disc' units use linux as the OS under the fancy web interface. Every now and then, I find a need to go 'under the cover' so to speak and tweak things.

For example, I have one NAS wake another. Since one NAS has power timers (a byod unit) and the other does not (a former windows server now with linux on it), I had to download 'wake on lan ' packages and get them working, so the first can send a 'wake up' signal to the second. The second can turn itself off.
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post #16 of 16 Old Yesterday, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
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ok so I'm assuming this isn't possible but I just wanted to ask. I removed a hard drive from it's shell (an old "MyBookLive" drive) and moved it into my QNAP NAS. The contents are still on it and I would like to just keep the contents where they are. I did copy them over to a different drive first but if I don't have to copy them again, I'd prefer not to.

But I don't see an option to "adopt" the drive.
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