Home network, leave one PC on 24/7 to leave network share available?

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  1. Posts : 7
    win 10
    Thread Starter
       #11

    Well I really appreciate the more experienced taking time to try and keep a newb on the straight and narrow. All good points - let me go a bit into my concerns:

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    If you are worried about whether a drive fails and you use the external USB enclosure method to attach a shareable HDD to a router -- you could use one of those multi USB HDD enclosures which have built in RAID --usually set via a switch or dip stick settings -- the device is presented to the computer / USB port as a "standard" HDD -- the RAID hardware and software functions are simply managed by a small chip within the enclosure.
    Yes, I've looked at these. Nice, simple. And I can format them NTFS so at least my files are in a standard Windows format. As far as I can tell, all 2-drive units offer Raid 0 & 1, and jbod. I would use Raid 1. My concern is, what if the box itself fails? Reading online, it seems that even though Raid 1 is supposed to be a simple mirror, the Raid overhead/filesystem means you can't just pull one drive and plug it into a Windows PC and read the data. You're into a Raid recovery process, like this:

    Recovering data from failed NAS units.

    In other words, my data is locked inside a system that requires special processes to recover, when all I really wanted was an external ntfs drive with automatic mirroring.

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    The preference for a NAS rather than a "standard computer" for sharing is that these things are designed for 24/7 operation, can have a much smaller OS - don't need as much power etc , can run headless (i.e no keyboard / screen needs to be permanently connected - or even connected at all) --commands via RDP etc and are better designed for multiple file sharing, media streaming etc and rarely need re-booting. HDD's can be "quiesced" when not in use - and respond pretty quickly as soon as an access request comes in --these things are designed for long continuous running.
    And I love those features of a commercial NAS. If I could find a 2-bay commercial NAS that uses NTFS and plain mirroring, such that if the unit itself fails I can just pull one drive and install it into any Windows PC and, bingo, there's my data, I would buy it in a heart beat. But such simplicity seems impossible to find.
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  2.    #12

    How much data are you talking about? Unless you have a large data pool, you don't need to go to all the trouble and expense of setting up and operating a separate NAS. Just share your data folder properly-there is tons of information on these forums- and either leave the desktop on or use wake-on-lan -info also on these forums. You would have to leave your computer on a long time to equal the cost of a NAS and some decent drives. Just my two cents. I have tried them all-now I use a standard desktop with Stablebit Drivepool storage for 15TB of data and it works the best of them all.
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  3. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 2,096
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       #13

    hollidayjr said: View Post
    How much data are you talking about? Unless you have a large data pool, you don't need to go to all the trouble and expense of setting up and operating a separate NAS. Just share your data folder properly-there is tons of information on these forums.
    That's what is OP is doing already. This thread is seeking guidance on an alternative.

    or use wake-on-lan -info also on these forums
    There are many discussions of WakeOnLAN in this forum and elsewhere but the OP's point about these was that there does not seem to be a single complete procedure available that can be used by all. If you post a link to one then I think the OP would be very grateful.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:40.
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  4. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,530
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #14

    sevenateten said: View Post
    Well I really appreciate the more experienced taking time to try and keep a newb on the straight and narrow. All good points - let me go a bit into my concerns:



    Yes, I've looked at these. Nice, simple. And I can format them NTFS so at least my files are in a standard Windows format. As far as I can tell, all 2-drive units offer Raid 0 & 1, and jbod. I would use Raid 1. My concern is, what if the box itself fails? Reading online, it seems that even though Raid 1 is supposed to be a simple mirror, the Raid overhead/filesystem means you can't just pull one drive and plug it into a Windows PC and read the data. You're into a Raid recovery process, like this:

    Recovering data from failed NAS units.

    In other words, my data is locked inside a system that requires special processes to recover, when all I really wanted was an external ntfs drive with automatic mirroring.



    And I love those features of a commercial NAS. If I could find a 2-bay commercial NAS that uses NTFS and plain mirroring, such that if the unit itself fails I can just pull one drive and install it into any Windows PC and, bingo, there's my data, I would buy it in a heart beat. But such simplicity seems impossible to find.
    Hi there
    @sevenateten

    You could use discrete discs (i.e no jbod and RAID) and then with Windows storage spaces enable Mirroring so if one drive fils fails you can recover. However Windows storage spaces are a disaster waiting to happen so not recommended.

    Your best bet in this situation would be for a 2 HDD box would be to use RAID 0 (for speed) and just backup data to another HDD every so often. These days HDD;s are fairly robust so the risk of a failure is quite small.

    Also with RAID 0 you get the combined space of the 2 HDD's available. Windows will see it as 1 bigger HDD. Of course with RAID 0 if you do lose either the box or a disk in the array you have to re-build from scratch but if you take sufficient backup I'd go for RAID 0 with its far (and very far) superior speed and ability to "aggregate" the HDD's into what Windows sees as a single fast disk.

    Provided you take regular backups RAID 0 is often forgotten but it really is a far superior performer on HDD Read / Writes)

    I run 2 NAS systems with 4 HDD's in each as a single RAID 0 array --haven't lost any data in over 2 years on either box --these things run 24/7 for months at a time before re-boots -- I take backups to external HDD's daily -- Linux Crontab schedules the backups -it's automatic -- set and forget. !!

    One box gives me an equivalent 20 TB HDD and the other an 11 TB HDD - plenty of space and performance for as much file sharing, streaming, Virtual Machine images, client (Windows laptops etc) backups and whatever -- haven't lost any data yet --but DO TAKE REGULAR BACKUPS IF USING RAID 0 - in fact whatever you use you should always take regular backups.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 7
    win 10
    Thread Starter
       #15

    hollidayjr said: View Post
    How much data are you talking about? Unless you have a large data pool, you don't need to go to all the trouble and expense of setting up and operating a separate NAS. Just share your data folder properly-there is tons of information on these forums- and either leave the desktop on or use wake-on-lan -info also on these forums. You would have to leave your computer on a long time to equal the cost of a NAS and some decent drives. Just my two cents. I have tried them all-now I use a standard desktop with Stablebit Drivepool storage for 15TB of data and it works the best of them all.
    Well this is extremely interesting, thanks for chiming in.

    Honestly, if I could have a commercial NAS that uses NTFS and simple mirroring, that would be the best of both worlds. But unless someone else has found such an animal, the only thing holding me back from going the PC route has been questions about accessing while asleep and a good automatic mirroring method.

    So, can I ask a bit more about your setup?

    Wake-on-LAN - From reading it seems certain that if the storage PC goes to sleep, the drives will not be accessible over the network. Commercial NAS units deal with themselves, but for PCs we have Wake on LAN.
    But I'm wary of this because of threads like these:
    Need Help Setting Up "Wake On Lan"
    Can't get WOL to work

    I don't want to trade NTFS and simple mirroring for a constant nightmare of fighting to keep WoL working. But maybe these are the exception? Have you found it easy to setup & use, and reliable even on successive Win10 updates?

    Drivepool - I went and checked out their website. This is brilliant and exactly what I had in mind. Thank you.
    So, if I set it up with just two drives, say D: and E: - I'm thinking two 4TB WD Reds - and put them into a pool, say I call it P:, then when I open Windows Explorer I'm going to see D:, E:, and P:? That's how it appears in this demo video:
    YouTube

    But, will the laptops on the network via wifi see H: in Windows Explorer as well?

    They talk a lot about specifying folders - but can I just designate an entire drive in a pool?

    I particularly like this from their website:
    All your data is stored in standard NTFS files on each individual disk in the pool. The data is simply stored in a hidden folder under the root directory. *
    This means that if something goes wrong with your computer, you can simply connect any of the pooled drives to a different PC to gain full access to the pooled files stored on that drive. No need to install StableBit DrivePool or anything else to access your original data.
    No databases are involved, no special RAID like formatting is involved that requires the original software / hardware to function, just plain NTFS that is compatible with virtually all computers.


    Have you had occasion to verify this in practice?

    Finally, Windows 10 has an automatic mirroring feature built in, as described here:
    How to set up a mirrored volume for file redundancy on Windows 10 | Windows Central

    Any chance you've already tried this and just found DrivePool a superior tool?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Try3 said: View Post
    That's what is OP is doing already. This thread is seeking guidance on an alternative.
    Just to be clear, right now I'm not really "doing" anything. I just have one PC and two laptops on a home LAN with sharing enabled. As I accumulate masses of data I want to keep, it occurs to me I should start thinking about a central storage solution with redundancy and backup, and I'm exploring how best - for me - to do that. While I like many advantages of NAS, I'm uncomfortable with having my data converted to a file format and system I am ill equipped to deal with if something goes wrong. This thread has already so far helped me formalize my requirements/desires, and I'm to the point of knowing that I want either (a) a commercial NAS that runs NTFS and simple mirroring, or (b) to set up my own PC with multiple large hard drives and simple mirroring.

    Try3 said: View Post
    There are many discussions of WakeOnLAN in this forum and elsewhere but the OP's point about these was that there does not seem to be a single complete procedure available that can be used by all. If you post a link to one then I think the OP would be very grateful.
    So true. I've seen lots of articles and threads about WoL that leave me wondering just how robust this really is, adn can it even be set up and managed by mere mortals.
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  6. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,038
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1903 - 18362.53 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #16

    I have all my systems set to never switch off any drives or use any sleep provision, I leave the towers / laptops on, I set the screensaver to something suitable with a password required to clear, what I do is switch off the screens, which lowers the energy footprint to an acceptable level. any access request is not met with any hoops to jump through, it just works.

    The basic thing is that the potential onrush of starting up any electro mechanical device will be the same over time of leaving the system running, ( and I include the electricity cost in that equation over time )
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7.    #17

    So, can I ask a bit more about your setup?

    I use a standard desktop with one drivepool which consists of 3 harddrives for a total of 15TB. Once you add the drives to the pool, you now have one drive visible in explorer showing(select any unused drive letter). You can share this drive or any folder on the drive however you wish. I have 6 computers in use and you can access this shared data from any computer, including 2 wireless laptops. You can backup this pool of data by any means you feel necessary just like any other data on windows, just depends on your requirements. I personally would not use windows for backup-too flaky for me. I use SyncBackSE to backup to another computer but there are many choices.

    They talk a lot about specifying folders - but can I just designate an entire drive in a pool? Any way you wish. You may want to consider- if you store personal/private data in the pool drive then use folders so you can share each folder separately with whomever/however you wish.

    Have you had occasion to verify this in practice? Yes I have -it works exactly as the site describes.

    Wake-on-LAN - From reading it seems certain that if the storage PC goes to sleep, the drives will not be accessible over the network. Correct. But don't be wary of WOL. I have used it for years with no problem. Even through all of Win10 upgrades. Make sure your hardware supports WOL-most newer NICs do. Make sure its not turned off in Bios and turned on for the network adapter in device manager. You will need a small App to initiate a magic packet to wake the desktop-the Windows store has many. I use "MagicPacket" very simple and easy.
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