Putting external hard drives on a server

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Networking' started by LDG, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    Hi all!

    I'm hoping this is an appropriate place to post this question. Here is the rundown of equipment:
    Three laptops, each running a different OS-7, 8 (or 8.1), and 10.
    Three external hard drives that are used and accessed regularly (and one back up)

    Currently, I have a Homegroup hosted on the W10 laptop. That allows 7 and 8 to connect to it for file sharing, transfers, and streaming. This current set up requires one computer (7) to be rooted with hard drives connected. The others can be carted around as we please.

    I'm posting this in Windows 10 based on the idea that a 7 computer can connect to a 10's Homegroup, but not the other way around.

    My goal: I have this idea that I could just get a server to house my hard drives and then stream to all three computers wirelessly. This would help me clean things up as I'd love to transition to some sort of hard drive rack or holder that would stack them.

    I'd also need to be able to continue streaming, sharing, and transferring as I currently am. I stream a lot to my Roku 2 using Emby and for the sake of ease would like to be able to continue doing so.

    I am just not very knowledgeable when it comes to servers, so I don't know if this is possible the way I envision it. Hoping someone here can show me to a simple but effective solution (you may also have to tell me how to use the server...).

    Thanks!
     
    Andrew Jacowski likes this.
  2. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    It looks like you need a NAS (Network Attached Storage).
    For a start look at the site of Synology: Synology - Network Attached Storage (NAS)
    There is a lot of documentation and examples to help you through.

    Henk
     
  3. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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  4. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    Thank you both for the fast replies! Sounds like NAS is my direction then. I unfortunately don't have an old tower though. What would be the recommendation outside of that?
     
  5. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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  6. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    I use the 2t seagate central;
    specs = http://www.seagate.com/www-content/product-content/goflex-fam/seagate-central/en-gb/docs/seagate-central-ds1773-1-1212-gb.pdf
    shop around STCG4000300 : Seagate STCG4000300 Central 4TB NAS USB2.0 : Bargain @ ddcomputer.com.au
    or get P-cloud from seagate Personal Cloud: Storage Device For Your Home Media | Seagate

    Now lets be clear, a NAS is for storage... you full it up and it keeps all your files indexed without taxing your other systems but the data stays there... A P-cloud is for streaming fast but the movies/ data only stays on it for a while and is always getting replaced with new stuff. If you buy a NAS (full it up) and for the most part just leave files on it then a NAS box will be faster than p-cloud but if you keep changing all the files stored a NAS box then it will spend all its cpu-cycles indexing and slow to a crawl
     
  7. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    All the NAS examples here are great, but these prices are a lot higher than I was hoping for or expecting (I suppose I didn't know what to expect...).

    If I were to search on newegg, amazon, ebay, etc, would I just type in NAS? I only ask because I noticed one Amazon link about was a search for synology.

    P-Cloud sounds like a great alternative, but very fluid. Lots of streaming capabilities, but not necessarily built to store data (as well). I'm not sure that is what I'm looking for.
     
  8. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    I linked to Synology because they are some of the better NAS' you can get. I'm sure there may be cheaper ones on amazon and you should be able to just search NAS on there. As soon as you get up to a 4 drive bay NAS they do tend to get expensive.
     
  9. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    These bays are expensive...I would have figured them around the same price as externals. It looks like I'll be spending $150-$200 to get my three current drives supported. Then I may as well buy another system when I get another external. By then I might even have to buy a second back up drive as well.

    (If I want to access my back up drives, I will probably connect them directly to a computer).

    I think this also solves my desire of having an external hd holder as well. I'm about to check out the Synology link from bochane's reply (and that may answer this question), but I was curious...can any of these systems be programmed to restart the drives or scan for viruses?
     
  10. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    Some routers also support an USB external drive to be plugged in an shared.
     
  11. Kash

    Kash New Member

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    How to join Homegroup from Windows 10 and share files and printers
    Windows 10 supports Homegroup functionality and you can use it to share files between Windows 10 and other supported versions like 7 and 8.

    So you do not have to go the NAS route if you do not have the spare cash for it.
    How to join Homegroup from Windows 10 and share files and printers
    Shows you how to join a homegroup from W10 to W7.
    For the Homegroup password issue:
    To FIND your HomeGroup password in Windows 10, click your cursor onto your "Ask me anything" search bar (Cortana). Type the following:
    HomeGroup; hit enter
    Click on HomeGroup/Control Panel (this will be a colored box choice at the top of the list that pops up)
    A new box will pop up titled Change HomeGroup Settings.
    Under "Other Homegroup Actions," click on
    "View or Print the homegroup password"
    A new box will pop up titled "View and print your homegroup password"
    Inside the highlighted box is your Homegroup password.
    Try these tips. You can connect all your HD's to the W7 machine and share them over the network.
    Let us know if this worked.
    K
     
  12. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    Might be a dumb question, but will a 4 bay NAS accommodate two WD Element drives and two WD My Book drives? I think that's where I am right now. Three drives of media and one of back up.
     
  13. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    I think that those WD My Book drives should be connected to a NAS with an USB cable, they can't be and don't need to be accomodated by the NAS.
    They look like great backup devices.
     
  14. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    Does that mean they wouldn't sit inside the bay? My WDS have all been great, last night we were watching some older files from one of the two elements drives (I think) that isn't accessed too often and had many playback problems, so I'm wondering if a server would help.
     
  15. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    Those drives won't sit inside, they have there own case.

    Playback problems may be caused by read errors, but also by the player, think of performance problems. Have you tested more?
     
  16. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    I think I see what you're saying. The case the hard drive comes in would have to be taken off? Does that go for any drive or just My Books, because I do have Elements drives as well. Would those cases have to come off as well?

    Only tried a few episodes of one show from that particular drive. The issues were fairly on going, but would improve of the router was restarted. That was also through computer playback. Roku and PS4 playback are typically fine.
     
  17. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    A server would be slower than a nas box but faster than externial drives (only mildly) because the server would index the files and a nas box does that itself without the need of the server which would just get in the way in that senario.
     
  18. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    When you want to use a disk as an internal disk in a NAS you will have to take the case of.
    When doing so, you may not be able to recover the data that was on that disk.

    But every NAS has an USB port, that can be used to connect an external disk in a case.
     
    #18 bochane, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  19. LDG

    LDG New Member

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    Since my drives are all WD, would it behoove me to get a WD NAS or does it not matter?
     
  20. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    No.

    But there is more:

    The HD's to be used in a NAS differ slightly from those to be used in your desktop.

    Those in your desktop have built-in error recovery procedures, and these procedures may take some time, even quite a time.

    That is different in a NAS. Disks in a NAS are used in some RAID configuration, or an own RAID-like protocol. It spreads disk load over the available disks, it makes it faster. These protocols use their own error correction. If a disk of the 'desktop type' is used in a NAS and it starts its error recovery - and this takes time - the controller in the NAS may detect "this transfer takes too long, I have lost a disk" and drops that disk and starts its own recovery.

    Look in the compatibility list of your NAS manufacturer to see which disks they advise.

    Hope you understand my English....
     
    #20 bochane, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016

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