NAS

Can I fix my crashed hard drive?

Episode 1486

Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ
Hard disks

Chip has a failed hard drive and doesn't really want to spend over $500 to repair it. Is there a way to do it himself? Leo says that a hard drive dying can mean a lot of things. It could be a hardware failure or it could be a software failure. It could be a corrupt sector on the boot record. Software failures are easy to fix and inexpensive. Hardware failures will cost a lot. Drivesavers charge a lot because they have a clean room with all the parts, and can replace bad parts and recover the data.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV
Synology DiskStation

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

Can I mix hard drives in my NAS?

Episode 1476

Josh from Sutter, CA
QNAP NAS

Josh wants to know if he should buy all one brand of hard drives for his QNAP NAS or if he could mix them. Leo says that there's no problem with mixing drives, but he should make sure that the drive size is consistent, as most RAIDs will manage according to the smallest size. If he's buying it all at once, then it makes sense to buy the same drive, but if he's getting a great deal on different hard drives, then by all means, he should save the money.

Why can't I use DropBox as a file server?

Episode 1476

David from Austin, TX
Synology DiskStation DS218play

David works with about ten other people in a small company, and they all share files using DropBox. They're getting conflicts, however with certain database files that they have stored on DropBox. Leo says if he has two programs accessing the same file at once, they will have problems. David wants to set up a VPN, and he was able to configure Hamachi. Leo says this won't fix the fundamental problem, though — it has to support record locking. David says that Microsoft Access supports locking, but it doesn't work with DropBox because people are accessing the file on their local systems.

How can I backup the Ring doorbell to my NAS?

Episode 1470

Naomi from Denver, CO
Ring

Naomi has a Ring doorbell and wants to know if she can back up the video and images to her NAS. By the time she gets the notification from it, the person who rang the doorbell is already gone. Leo says she could Live View it. Leo suspects that Naomi may have a bandwidth issue with her ISP. Ring goes to the Ring servers before contacting her, so there's probably latency in her network due to being in a rural area. Leo says a motion sensor camera could ping her faster than Ring.

(Disclaimer: Ring is a sponsor)

What can I do if my NAS has gone bad?

Episode 1468

Bruce from Villa Park, CA
Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

Bruce has a network attached storage (NAS) drive and he's getting an error message. He's worried he's lost the data. Leo says that if the network RAID was set to RAID 0 or "scary RAID" then there's a chance that's the case. But if it was set as "redundant" then if one drive has gone bad, replacing it will fix it. The error message Bruce is getting indicates the entire Western Digital NAS has been corrupted and the only thing he can do is reboot the NAS and see if it self-corrects. Bruce also said that the error occurred with all the drives taken out of the machine.

Why can't Windows see my network storage?

Episode 1453

Keith from Orange County, CA
Synology DiskStation DS216

Keith has two NAS drives attached to his network and none of his Windows-based computers can see the shared data folders, but his Android devices can. Leo says that since Keith's Chromebook and Android devices are based on Linux, it can probably see it without any emulation or extra drivers. The NAS could have a non-standard file sharing protocol that won't allow Windows to see it because it can't understand it.

Why can't I update Windows 10?

Episode 1427

Kyle from San Pedro, CA
Windows 10 Creator's Update

Kyle is having trouble updating Windows 10 to the Spring Creator's Edition on his HP PC. HP has had problems with the Spring Creator's Update and Leo has a hunch the fall update will have similar issues. Leo says not to force the update. Microsoft will only offer the update when the machine is ready to receive it. It locks up after about 35%. Leo says to get it as a stand alone update and update it that way. He should download it directly as a file and install from a thumb drive. If that doesn't work, he can try the latest update from Microsoft with the media creation tool.

How can we quickly manage backups in the cloud?

Episode 1426

Jerry from Santa Monica, CA
DiskStation DS1817+

Jerry is a network admin for an print shop. Has a ton of data to manage. He backs up to a Drobo 8 drive NAS, but they're looking to go with a cloud solution. It would take months to backup to one, though. Is there a faster way to do it? Leo says that it takes so long because the upload speeds are always slower. It's better to send them an external drive that has all the backups on it. Carbonite is a good option. Amazon Glacier is another one.