Can I use NAS drives on my desktop? Solved

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  1.    12 Jul 2018 #1

    Can I use NAS drives on my desktop?


    Hey guys,

    I'm running out of room on my NAS so I'm upgrading the drives to bigger ones. For the NAS drives that I replace, can I used them in a computer desktop? I want to combine all the NAS drives in an old computer and then use the computer as a movie server which everyone in the family can access.

    So, can I use NAS drives for desktop computers or does desktop computers need dedicated desktop hard drives?

    (By the way, I don't want to lose these copies of movies.)
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  2.    12 Jul 2018 #2

    One would think so but without model number we cant say for sure
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  3.    12 Jul 2018 #3

    You'll probably have to reformat the hard drives because most NAS boxes format the drives as an EXT3 or similar type filesystem and Windows would want NTFS or FAT32.
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  4. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,144
    Win 10 Pro x64
       12 Jul 2018 #4

    Your Windows PC may not be able to see the contents of your NAS drives. NAS devices usually use a custom linux distro which uses a different data structure not readable on windows PC.
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  5.    15 Jul 2018 #5

    Thanks for the helpful advice, guys.

    I don't mind formatting the old NAS drives to NTFS when installing them into my Windows desktop. That's easy to do. What I was worried about was something more serious like there was something structurally different about desktops than NAS's, which would prevent the usage of the NAS hard drives.

    For example, I know that you're not allowed to use desktop hard drives in a NAS because the constant use of the normal hard drives 24/7 would make the desktop hard drives fail only after a few months. (I found this out the hard way.)

    But, I would assume that the other way around wouldn't apply, no? The NAS hard drives are built stronger so as long as you format them correctly, I'm guessing that it's ok to use the NAS drives as desktop hard drives, right?

    Is my guess correct?

    Or, do I have to modify the build in a special way? For example, say NAS drives run hotter so do I have to add more case fans than usual?

    If I don't have to do anything special besides formatting, it'll be awesome because I can simply add the NAS hard drives to my desktops, formate them, and get massive amount of extra space.
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  7. Posts : 976
    Windows 10
       15 Jul 2018 #7

    "For example, I know that you're not allowed to use desktop hard drives in a NAS because the constant use of the normal hard drives 24/7 would make the desktop hard drives fail only after a few months."
    Not to my knowledge, I used higher performance consumer desktop drives in my NAS for many years. Not a problem.

    The distinction is between Consumer drives and Enterprise drives. The Enterprise drives are much more expensive be they for NAS purposes or not. It's the Enterprise drives that are supposed to be more robust.

    I don't know the design differences, but when I changed to higher capacity drives I used NAS type drives mainly because they were significantly quieter. Roughly the same price.
    The drives in my NAS are formatted to the EXT4 filing system. Need reformatting for Windows use.
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  8. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,144
    Win 10 Pro x64
       15 Jul 2018 #8

    CerebralFreeze said: View Post
    For example, I know that you're not allowed to use desktop hard drives in a NAS because the constant use of the normal hard drives 24/7 would make the desktop hard drives fail only after a few months. (I found this out the hard way.)



    .
    There is no written rule that you can't use NAS drives on desktop PC. NAS devices have been around for a while before NAS drives were developed. To me, classifying drives as NAS drives are just marketing tactics to increase the price of regular drives... haha.. this is just me.
    But personally, I am using regular desktop internal drives on my Qnap NAS for the past 7 years now and still running at this very moment without any issues. One feature I looked for NAS is the sleep mode. That way the drives won't be spinning continuously even when not in use. The NAS will switch to a low power stand by mode and only fully turns back on when someone is trying to access it.
    So to answer your question, I don't see any reason why you can't use NAS drives on desktop PC.
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  9. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,723
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       15 Jul 2018 #9

    I use a WDC 1TB drive that came out of the NAS case where the interface in the case failed, not on the drive, hasn't been showing me any problems. That interface allowed access by Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
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  10. Posts : 415
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64
       15 Jul 2018 #10

    I have been using Western Digital Red drives (Intended for NAS) in my desktop for a few years and have had no issues. Since I use them for storage, the slower RPM is not an issue for me.
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