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Portable external HDD as NAS vs not

Discussion in 'General NAS Discussion' started by getan, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. getan

    getan New Around Here

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    Hi guys,

    Just wanted to know your opinion on using a portable HDD as NAS. I recently got hold of a Asus RT-N66U and I've been itching to attach a hard drive to it as a NAS. But I don't have a proper NAS at hand so I used one of my extra portable drives. It went okay for the first couple of weeks but not without some hiccups accessing the drive. Not sure if it's the router's issue or not. Then one day, I couldn't access it at all and the drive seemed to fail. Weirdly enough.. it only failed when attached to the router. When attached to a machine, it works. So I decided to use my old desktop external storage and so far I haven't encountered any hiccups of sorts.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? I'm thinking that it's an access with power thing (external desktop hdd always has power and the portable external relies on the USB power). But other people may have some other experience. Thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. Nerre

    Nerre Senior Member

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    I'm using a disk with a separate power supply, so I don't have any problems like that.
     
  3. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Opinion: The USB disk support software in most/all WiFi routers is very sub-par. It all comes from the Linux software. It's much less problematic if the drive is formatted with the FAT file system rather than NTFS (you can format that drive on any windows PC and choose FAT). And FAT limits max file size to 2GB if I recall correctly.

    Even still, IMO, a drive plugged into a WiFi router can be OK for very light duty.
     
  4. Nerre

    Nerre Senior Member

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    If the disk is only going the be used connected to the router I see no reason to use FAT32 or NTFF, samba can store files on ext2/3 disks.

    The disadvanted of course is that you can not connect the disk straight to your Windows computer if needed, but I have enough linux machines to be able to access it anyway.
     
  5. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Yes, best to use native linux file system for speed reasons. But then it's quite difficult to use that drive when plugged into a windows PC.
    If the router gets replaced, you want to assure that those files are not lost due to incompatibility. That's the impetus for NTFS or FAT32.

    I've yet to find a viable/trusted driver for windows to mount/read (not write) an ext4 disk.
     
  6. getan

    getan New Around Here

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    Thanks guys! Yeah the problem with FAT32 is that it couldn't handle large files, which I have a lot of. I plan to stream videos from the router to a PS3. But at times, the hard drive (I think) hiccups and the playback stops. :( Any clues on this?
     
  7. Nerre

    Nerre Senior Member

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    You can always boot from a linux live CD to access the disk.
     

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