PC Tech Forum

NAS Build Purchase Part 2 - Disks

In the first part (https://pctechforum.net/forum/threads/nas-build-purchase-part-1.196/) I was looking at off the shelf, and custom NAS hardware. Now, it's hard drives. I do not want to be replacing failed drives all the time, so failure rates are an important factor but so is cost and size. For reliability, it's difficult to use a large dataset like Backblaze (https://www.backblaze.com/b2/hard-drive-test-data.html) because a not all drives are well represented (or at all). It is certainly a good starting point, but unfortunately can't be used for all the drives available.

All prices are in CAD, and may be sale prices.

There are nearly 400 4TB drives listed on newegg alone. I'm not going to look at them all, it's just not feasible, plus a lot are just different sellers of the same drive. Scaling back to 7200 RPM 4TB disks ($149 - $229):

In this list, it's hard to beat $149 for the HGST. The WD drives cost a quite a bit more, and it's hard for me to make a good case to consider them, unless there is a huge difference term reliability, but that seems highly unlikely. And it's really hard to pay more for a 4TB when I could get a 6Tb for less.

For a moderate price bump, I could move to 6TB ($209 - $309).

Again, the WDs basically price themselves out of the contest. At more than $100 more you'd need to make a very good reliability case.

8TB drives start at $289, with a good number being around the $350 mark. They are worth considering, but I'm not sure if I will go that route.

Computer Service Calls

This will be an ongoing blog thread about any computer service I do with any of my clients I have. Could be anything to being weird, first time coming across a certain issue and how I fixed it, or just plain darn funny.

So on to my first blog post.

About a month ago or so one of my clients called me saying he couldn't get online. He's been having a lot of issues lately so I drive the hour to his house and turn his computer on and when it gets to the desktop immediately connects to the internet. I hover over the network icon and it says "internet access". I start up a browser and it loads up, but it wasn't his homepage. Can you guess what happened? If you guessed he downloaded something that changed his homepage, you are correct. For some reason he thinks that if his homepage doesn't load he don't have internet. I showed him how to tell if he has internet access. I try to install Teamviewer on all my clients pc's so that if its something simple, I can just connect from home and fix it. But when he says he doesn't have internet, I wouldn't be able to connect to him. So I look in his program list to see what has been installed recently and there were a couple browser addons that change your homepage, maps galaxy being one of them. I uninstall the apps and then run Malwarebytes and Adwcleaner just to make sure nothing else is found. I change his homepage back to what he wanted and within 5 minutes of arriving, I have the issue fixed and on my way out the door. The trip wasn't a waste as I was planning on stopping at a grocery store just down the road from him that carries stuff that we like that aren't stocked in any store near us.

NAS Build/Purchase Part 1

At home we've been using our PCs to host tv/movies that we have downloaded/ripped. Having been burned by my wife's impossibly slow and hard to use windows install, and ever changing smb permissions after windows updates I decided I wanted to look at a real network storage solution. Either a DIY or off the shelf, I'm happy with either but the following factors will be considered:
  • cost
  • ease of use
  • reliability
  • low power
  • quiet
Additionally, I'm looking at 4+ disk solutions. On the DIY front, I could look into configurations that will allow ECC RAM, but since I'm not hosting anything super critical, I decided that it was a nice to have. Drives are excluded from the lists, since it will be a common cost to either a diskless system or a DIY. I had also considered raid enclosures but decided that a hardware raid device connected via eSATA or USB wasn't what I wanted.

A quick search leads to the following candidates

Off the shelf:
DIY Parts list:
I intend to use 4TB drives. Likely HGST Deskstars.

More updates to follow once I actually decide to pull the trigger and buy gear.