Convert External HDD to NAS ?

vnphanindra

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Jul 21, 2021
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Hyderabad
Hi Everyone,

i know the direct NAS wouldn't cost much.

my requirement is I have 2 external HDD(no external power supply, just plug and use with laptops and desktops), by any chance is there any such attachment where I can attach these two and make them as NAS?

please forgive me if I sound meaningless or if my question sounds stupid.
 

gourav

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Nov 9, 2019
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184
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Mumbai
I'll just elaborate on the points already give above:
  1. Router based NAS - many routers come with USB port(s). This allows you to share your hard drive over the network using Samba protocol or over FTP. Typically this type of routers start from Rs. 2000. However, cheaper ones will have USB 2.0 port. So read/write speed will be limited to around 30 MBps in practice, even though the theoretical speed is much higher. Routers with USB 3.0 port will be expensive, I guess will start from somewhere around 5k. Routers with multiple USB ports will be even more expensive, and I wouldn't recommend getting one of those. However, you can check if the routers with USB 3.0 ports support a powered hub.
  2. Raspberry Pi based NAS - This is the cheapest solution for a dedicated NAS if you already have an external hard drive. Raspberry Pi 4 comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports. So you can connect both your hard drives. You should also be able to connect a powered hub, in case you want to connect more drives.
I have used both the setup for a while in the past, until I got a Synology NAS device. If you are unfamiliar with Linux, initial setup of Raspberry Pi may be a bit confusing (hit me up with a DM if you need help, not an expert, but might be able to help you). But once the setup is done, you can run it 24x7. Raspberry Pi's OS is rock stable and will run for weeks on end without any issues. This will cost you around 6.5k for the Raspberry PI, it's case, memory card, and power supply. You can get the 2 GB version if you don't see yourself using it for anything else. You can also repurpose a memory card if you have a spare lying around.

I also notice that you're talking about hard drives with no external power supply. In this case, I have the following recommendations:
  • Most likely it's a 2.5" drive. These are not meant for 24x7 operations. So make sure you have some way of powering down the NAS and letting the drives cool off every once in a while.
  • The Raspberry Pi might not be able to deliver enough power to 2 hard drives. So I'd recommend using a powered USB 3.0 hub for connecting multiple hard drives.
 

vnphanindra

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
31
Points
18
Location
Hyderabad
I'll just elaborate on the points already give above:
  1. Router based NAS - many routers come with USB port(s). This allows you to share your hard drive over the network using Samba protocol or over FTP. Typically this type of routers start from Rs. 2000. However, cheaper ones will have USB 2.0 port. So read/write speed will be limited to around 30 MBps in practice, even though the theoretical speed is much higher. Routers with USB 3.0 port will be expensive, I guess will start from somewhere around 5k. Routers with multiple USB ports will be even more expensive, and I wouldn't recommend getting one of those. However, you can check if the routers with USB 3.0 ports support a powered hub.
  2. Raspberry Pi based NAS - This is the cheapest solution for a dedicated NAS if you already have an external hard drive. Raspberry Pi 4 comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports. So you can connect both your hard drives. You should also be able to connect a powered hub, in case you want to connect more drives.
I have used both the setup for a while in the past, until I got a Synology NAS device. If you are unfamiliar with Linux, initial setup of Raspberry Pi may be a bit confusing (hit me up with a DM if you need help, not an expert, but might be able to help you). But once the setup is done, you can run it 24x7. Raspberry Pi's OS is rock stable and will run for weeks on end without any issues. This will cost you around 6.5k for the Raspberry PI, it's case, memory card, and power supply. You can get the 2 GB version if you don't see yourself using it for anything else. You can also repurpose a memory card if you have a spare lying around.

I also notice that you're talking about hard drives with no external power supply. In this case, I have the following recommendations:
  • Most likely it's a 2.5" drive. These are not meant for 24x7 operations. So make sure you have some way of powering down the NAS and letting the drives cool off every once in a while.
  • The Raspberry Pi might not be able to deliver enough power to 2 hard drives. So I'd recommend using a powered USB 3.0 hub for connecting multiple hard drives.
Spot on man, this is the info I required, currently, I'm using a JioFibre 5G router, I can connect the HDD there, but I feel the limitation of not accessible from laptops and the speed is also not satisfying. I have gone through youtube videos on how to set up a pi based NAS.
like I said I have an HDD that doesn't have an external power supply I was skeptical whether the PI can supply the required power for both the HDDs.

I will go with the pi solution with a USB 3.0 hub for connecting multiple hard drives. so that my setup will be complete..

thanks a ton once again...
 

vnphanindra

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
31
Points
18
Location
Hyderabad
If your router supports attaching a storage device, you can attach one and share it to the network from the IP. The contents can then be access through mobile.

may be this can help:--

THank you for the quick link. i have a jiofibre 5G router, i tried connecting the HDD to it.. but I'm not that satisfied with he speed and accessibility from laptops.
 

Black_Hawk

Active Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
250
Points
43
Location
Kolkata, WB
I would suggest getting a RPI4 and installing OpenMediaVault (OMV) on it for a NAS setup where you can connect 2 external HDDs. If you want I can post links to video guides on Youtube showing installation of OpenMediaVault on RPI.

I have 3 NAS setups and one of them is based on a RPI + OMV:

IMG-20210727-200218.jpg


As you can see from my above setup that I have a powered Tp-Link USB 3.0 hub to which I connect my external drives and then connect that powered Tp-Link hub to the RPI. However, I have connected 2 non-powered external HDD's to the USB 3.0 ports of the RPI 4 and the RPI4 was able to handle them fine, without issues. I'm using the official RPI4 power supply adapter and cable to power the RPI4.
 
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