If I get a NAS do I have to reformat?

Keiron

Well-known Member
I currently had a couple of hard disks with media files on - one in my PC, one in my Dune media player.

I am thinking of putting them in a NAS so I can create a network and share the files around the house.

However, doing research, I see that I may be required to put this hard disks in the NAS and then format them. This will of course delete all my files. Withoug a backup disc to temporarily put all my files on, I guess I am stuffed am I?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
With some of the linux NAS you can use an NTFS HDD but only externally via USB and read only as well. Going with a WHS server you should be able to avoid a reformat but if you were looking at 4-bay QNAP or Netgear NAS then you will need a backup system in place.

Couldn't you copy the contents of one drive to the PC which would give you a spare HDD allowing you to shift everything over to the NAS, you don't need to create a RAID array in the NAS the drives will work fine standalone.
 

theronkinator

Active Member
Now could be a good time to get a backup setup?

Don't need to format depending on the OS you put on a microserver, still silly to have no back up.
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
The more I read, the more I feel I am perhaps beyond the limits of my capabilities...I just don't understand a lot of the language. I really thought naively that it was a bit like plugging in a hard disk to a router and away you go. I really don't want to be installing operating systems etc if I can avoid it.

Also surprised at the price differences, some QNAPs at several hundreds, some more budget brands at less than a ton.

One other question: I am getting the impression that NASs do and do not support certain file formats. I thought that would depend n the PC or media player connected to it? For example, I have blu ray ISOs, DVD ISOs, will they be "supported" by any NAS or do I have to choose carefully?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
File formats are irrelevant to the NAS, that is down to the media player.

Your media player browses the NAS via SMB or NFS do not use UPnP/DLNA as .iso images will not work through that.
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
File formats are irrelevant to the NAS, that is down to the media player.

Your media player browses the NAS via SMB or NFS do not use UPnP/DLNA as .iso images will not work through that.

Thanks...but now you have lost me. I don't understand any one of those terms :blush: When you buy a NAS, does it give instructions for idiots like me, or do they presume you have prior knowledge? I feel a bit out of my depth playing with the big boys here.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
SMB is Windows networking when your browsing a network and copy/read files from other PC's this is the underlying protocol that does that. Samba is the open source version of SMB and it supported by pretty much everything. Your NAS will default to SMB out of the box.

NFS is linux networking, it's not common at all in use for Windows but most linux based NAS offer the option of NFS support and it does deliver higher speeds than SMB, can be useful if streaming over wireless with HD media.

UPnP/DLNA is a network protocol that was design for streaming media but it terrible/buggy with lots of issues and just best avoided altogether when you have a SMB capable network media player.
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
Many thanks. There is a Synology DS 411 available on the forums. Can I ask if anyone would recommend that for my needs? It seems to get good reviews, as does the brand in general.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Synology have a nice UI for their interface, good for SMB access but no good for NFS - they do offer it but it doesn't perform that well and has some compatibility issues with NFS clients.

If your on a wired ethernet network then you wont have any problems with SMB but streaming HD video over wireless via SMB will cause buffering issues and not give smooth playback. NFS isnt a silver bullet either for wireless HD streaming, there's no way you can stream raw Blu-ray over wireless it has to be wired ethernet or at minimum homeplugs.
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
Thanks. I guess £30 odd quid for homeplugs in the scheme of things to ensure reliability is worth it.
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
Another question: I have a bit of a mixed bag of hard drives. Can I put for example a 2TB and a 1TB and a 320GB drive in at the same time, and just use them as either one large drive or 3 separate drives, or do I have to do fancy RAID configurations? I would rather (as I actually do now) back up my files on hard drives that I don't keep permanently connected but actually keep tucked away in my sock drawer upstairs! (When I think of security, I think about burglary as much as I do hard drive failure!)
 

Keiron

Well-known Member
File formats are irrelevant to the NAS, that is down to the media player.

Your media player browses the NAS via SMB or NFS do not use UPnP/DLNA as .iso images will not work through that.

Being in the middle of setting up my NAS and (slowly) transferring files to it, I am indeed finding that my Synology 410j will not play ISO files. I have read the following, in support of your comment:

"I'm using the latest firmware and I only have problems streaming iso-files when I access the NAS as a Media server. If I connect to it as a network storage I have absolutely no problems streaming ISO-file."

However, although on my Dune my Diskstation is listed under SMB, when I access it it just says "empty"/ On my WDTV, there does not appear to be any such option. Files are displayed, but will not play. I can't find answers in the Synology documentation or forums either. Help would be appreciated!

(I would add that for anyone who is less than a genius with computers, this is a very challenging area of technology and I am rather regretting it :blush:)
 
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