first timer need help on setting up NAS for mac and pc network

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kyrian, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. kyrian macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    so, my WD my book 500 gb is about to die soon, according to my Disc Utility S.M.A.R.T. report ("not verified") I have several mac laptops, 1 hp laptop, a pc desktop and a PS3 so it seems to be a good time to set up a NAS in a Raid 1 configuration just so I don't have to deal with storage and access/file retrieval on too many machine at once. This is gonna be my first time setting up something of this caliber so I need some help with the hardware selection.

    I found these things on Amazon since the site seems to offer the best price
    D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Wireless Router ~ $100
    D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure ~$160 with a $30 rebate
    Western Digital 1TB SATA 32MB Cache Green Power Bulk/OEM Hard Drive WD10EADS ~ $109 * 2 = $218

    so I'd come to around $450 for this setup, I'm going with the WD drives because I've read the Tom's Hardware roundup 2008 winter review of several different drives and thought this would give me a good mix of performance speed and price point. I know, the NAS enclosure does not support hotswapping, but I can power it down before I do anything and it also have a dedicated USB port for printer so that would be awesome.

    my questions is that are there better choices for the price points? I'd like to keep thing under $500, btw. And is this WD drive offer decent longterm lifespan? Thanks a lot.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    The hardware you've selected looks like it'll do what you want it to, and the prices are reasonable (though I usually buy that sort of thing from Newegg or maybe OWC). I'm fond of those WD GP drives; though they haven't been in the wild long enough to draw any conclusions about reliability, the fact that they're lower RPM, lower power, and thus lower temperature may very well give them a longevity advantage.

    Besides, even with a gigabit ethernet connection you're not likely to max out the drives' transfer rates, so getting a faster 1TB drive gets you little if any speed gain (just latency, but I'd guess any advantages of the RPM increase would be negated by the NAS/network connection). It's a lot more likely the NAS unit is the bottleneck, so might as well keep it cool and save some electricity.

    I do have a question, though: you say Disk Utility is marking your WD MyBook as "not verified"; are you sure it doesn't say "Not Supported"? I wasn't aware SMART was supported over USB or FW, and I thought if status was actually failing you'd get a more descriptive error than that. Or is this one of the triple-interface ones and you've got it connected with eSATA?
  3. kyrian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    I have 2 WD ext. drives, one is a Passport, and the other one is the MyBook edition, both use USB to connect to the MBA. When I plug the Passport in, I could do Verify Disk and it would spit back a report, essentially saying everything is fine.

    Lately, whenever I deposit some files via drag'n'drop on the MyBook and then reorganizing some with the file names and folders, the drive would suddenly froze and would not do anything until I restart the mac or unplug the drive. So I got worry and check Disk Utility, which would just refuse to verify the risk, or pop up a screen that says unable to verify. It could have said "not supported" instead but I'm afraid it's gonna belly up on me, so I'm avoiding plugging it in until I have the replacement set up and running.

    I also checked Newegg and some other site on the stuff, but they all seem to be more expensive and charge shipping for them, that's why I go with Amazon. Thanks for your response, btw.
  4. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2006
    I have the exact same setup as you wrote up and have not have had any problems at all. In fact, you can add the fonz fun pack which allows you to use third party applications on the dns-323. I enabled the NAS disk 1 to be automatically backed up at a certain time each night to the NAS disk 2. It takes a small bit of linux knowledge, but there is plenty of information/tutorials on the dns-323 to do this. I went this way instead of a Raid 1 because my fear is that I would inadvertently delete something that I would need and mirroring the drives does nothing to get that deleted item back. I bought everything from Newegg which save me a little bit of money!
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Ok, that does sound like there's something wrong with the disk; I was confused because you're talking about the data-level "repair/verify" routine, which has nothing to do with SMART (that's a low-level hardware check internal to the drive).

    The unable to verify is worrysome, but doesn't guarantee an impending hardware failure; could just be a badly corrupted disk. That said, the periodic freezes sound like symptoms of some sort of hardware failure; could be the drive, or could be the power supply or USB cable--I've seen exactly that symptom resulting from both of those things, and that could in turn cause the data corruption.

    Either way you've definitely made a wise decision not to mess with it until you've gotten any unbackupped data off it. Just don't be too quick to toss it in the recycle bin until you've confirmed that it's actually a failing disk rather than a bum $5 cable.
  6. kyrian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2008
    Thanks, I did not consider the USB cable might be faulty, I'll check that after backup the info. I just got a dock for bare SATA drives from Thermaltake, maybe I can open the MyBook and take a peek.

    I did consider against the RAID 1, given that a lot people lost info they didn't want to lose. However, I've never did anything Linux, that might take some researching. Luckily, spring break is near, I can use that time to tinker with the setup.

    BTW, anyone knows anything about the router I chose on the first post? I read that its firmwares and the DNS' too, for that matter, still have some unresolved issues regarding security?

    My DNS just came and it's so compact looking :cool:

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