Advice on reformatting options for 4TB My Cloud

Hi all, I posted on here about a week ago regarding my 4TB My Cloud which had stopped working with the light constantly orange.

To cut a long story short, light went red, removed drive, bought an enclosure and downloaded the Paragon EXTfs trial software and retrieved my data (not easy to start with, but happy to have got the data back - now on my 8TB My Cloud Home).

Anyway, I am now left with the original drive and wondering what to do with it. I have had a search on here and found a couple of useful threads as I would like to teach myself a little bit of DIY on this stuff. Have created a Linux Mint USB boot stick, so starting to familiarise myself with that. My plan is to put the WD logic board back on and stick it in the original enclosure for use as a second NAS.

I have a couple questions and hope some members here could point me in the right direction. Before there’s a pile-on about using the search function on here, I have done that and will continue to do so. I am a complete novice, so bear with me.

If I want to set the drive up again as a NAS, do I have to reinstall the WD OS (mine’s a 1st Gen) or are there opensource operating systems that anyone could recommend? I see there are quite a few, but any practical experiences that could be shared would be welcomed.

The Paragon software has a format option on it. Will this create partitions for me, or do I have to go back in (I assume via Linux) and create them? Here’s a pic of the current state of the drive:

All contributions appreciated. Thank you

If one search’s (magnifying glass icon top right) the OS3 My Cloud section they’ll find several past discussions on attempts to use other operating systems other than OS3 on the single bay My Cloud units. Some with varying degrees of success. See the following big thread:

Clean OS (Debian), OpenMediaVault and other “firmwares”

If one has a second gen single bay My Cloud they can update to OS5. For first gen single bay My Cloud’s one is stuck either with the OS3 v.4 firmware, rolling their own firmware from the WD GPL file(s) for the single bay, or trying alternate firmware mentioned in the above link or in other posts. The main problem with the My Cloud enclosure and its motherboard/backplane is the limited hardware (processor and RAM) that it uses. It will be a limiting factor when attempting to use third party NAS operating systems like OMV or Debain. One may find certain features of alternate OS’s may not work or will require additional coding to get working.

Another option, if the hard drive isn’t dead or going bad is to pull the hard drive from it’s enclosure and use an old desktop (or similar) computer and create your own NAS using free NAS software. Plenty of DIY guides out there on rolling your own NAS using a number of open source or free NAS operating systems.

As always one proceeds at their own risk when modifying the firmware. Modifying the firmware requires much extra skill and knowledge that one will have to search for and learn.

Otherwise just follow one of the unbrick methods for the OS3 single bay My Cloud units to restore the OS3 firmware to it. Generally it is best to perform the unbrick process for a first gen single bay My Cloud hard drive using Linux or a Linux boot disk. One could even use a 2.5 inch HDD if they wanted too in a first gen single bay My Cloud.

I don’t know much about this one you are talking here. But I would like to learn more. Thank you so much!

Thank you for the info on the motherboard/backplate - looks like a reinstallation project. I don’t want it sitting around as another basic HDD if I can avoid it.