Fitting a HDD into a NAS - Help required.


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2009
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Hi folks. I hope someone can help me out here.

I've never had to fit or replace a Hard Disc Drive in any computer or other device.

So far I've not had one fail on me (...I bet that's put the mockers on me now!).

I'm thinking of buying a Synology DS211j, which normally comes without HDD's fitted, but some sellers offer them already fitted.

Although I expect to pay a little extra for the retailers efforts and the convenience of getting a ready to go item, the cost seems quite steep compared with DIY. For example, for the price of this NAS fitted with 2TB (2x 1TB HD's) is slightly more than the cost of DIY fitting of 4TB (2x 2TB HD's).

I just watched a YouTube review on this NAS, where the reviewer fitted a couple of drives.

All that he did was open up the case (2 screws) , slide the drives in (automatically plugging in via the built-in connectors) and secure the drives with 2 screws, both top and bottom on each drive. Close the case, replace the 2 screws to secure it shut and that was it.

Unfortunately the reviewer didn't say anymore.

My question that all there is to it? Do you have to configure the NAS or drives, other than the normal NAS set up routine; i.e. do the drives need to be "installed" in the NAS software or whatever?

Sorry for being a bit naive on this subject :oops: ; but I would appreciate a bit of help. Thanks in anticipation.


Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Yes, that's usually it: the operating system in the NAS will configure the drive or drives – which will take quite a while, and you can check/set the configuration via a connected computer and web-based interface – and then you'll be good to go.


Been recently playing with one of their DS411+ii boxes... very nice!... installation of the disks is just putting in the 4 screws necessary and plug back in... however, you do have to configure a "volume" - the Synology boxes all come with software called Disk Station Manager (look for the user manual on their web site)... it lets you build various volumes using various RAID options - so you can combine more than one disk and stripe/mirror the data as you'd like..... takes a little while (hours!) as Andrew said...

One thing.... I'm moving away from a "cheap" (aka poor) Linksys NAS to one of the Synology boxes... the one thing that I have seen in discussions is not to use cheap disk drives! You should be using Enterprise class drives (again - look at the drive compatibility on the Synology site) which have a large "mean time to failure" far higher than some of the more consumer units that are typically installed - and another reason not to buy one pre-stacked with disks that you don't know how reliable they are....


Dave C.


It's a bit off-topic, but IMHO enterprise-class disks are a bit overkill for a simple soho nas. You're not just buying higher reliability, you're also buying faster disks, and you're paying a lot for it (over twice the price of a normal drive). Given typical usage patterns at home, you probably won't benefit from that speed even if your nas can handle it.

There used to be another factor here: consumer drives are designed to run in desktop systems, so they are built for an average 8hrs/day usage and lots of power cycles. NAS drives are running 24/7 and can be continuously powered on for months. Both Seagate and Western Digital have introduced new lines over the years for this usage (mainly driven by pvr manufacturers before media players arose), the WD-AV and Seagate Pipeline series. These drives are consumer-grade but are rated for continuous operation just like the WD-RE and Seagate Constellation series, but without the enterprise price tag.

So for me, enterprise drives are not worth their price (at home). Save yourself some money, just buy normal-grade drives. Buy one disk more than you can use, so you have an immediate replacement if one of your drives fails. You'll still pay only half of what you would have paid for enterprise drives.

edit: unless you're not using a RAID setup. Then you really should buy the most reliable drive you can afford.


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Jun 10, 2011
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most HDs have a MTBF of > 500,000 hours or 57 years.

You should be fine - any raid level other than 0 gives u additional security - providing you replace the defective drive before any other drive fails.

I have 2 NAS each with 4x2TB Samsung Spinpoints running over raid5. The 2 NAS are the same model so if the bios in one NAS fails I can put the drives in the other to do a temporary back up.


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