> This post is meant to help you as a user from another user and it needs feedback and discussion on whether it works for you. I’ll be modifying this post from time to time to make any corrections. So let me hear from you.
I’ve post up many times on how extremely happy that I am with my Cloud Purchase (thanks to @Bill_S for sponsoring this endorsement with a replacement 6TB My Cloud and My Book for my 4TB versions ) and there are a lot of users that echoes those sentiments.
A well hacked up Cloud delivers everything the WD advertises and more. You can actually get between 80MB/s to 100MB/s read and writes through a local gigabit network. Backing up a 100GB using time machine takes less than an hour. Restoring a 100GB to a Mac takes 40 minutes. The Cloud app delivers your music, movies, ebooks, photos and other files to and from your mobile phone.
Lastly, when not in use, it sleeps… waiting for your next access…
If this doesn’t sound like “your cloud” I’ve taken a few hours out of my busy schedule to write this, no hack post, to help you out.
So after hours of writing, here are some quick fixes without SSH, to avoid voiding your warranty. If you are having remote access problems, this is not the guide for you.
You should always ensure that your local connection is accessible before troubleshooting your remote connections. It is possible that the WD servers are down or some other factors may be involved before you start blame everything on the Cloud. However if you have just upgraded from Windows 12 to 13 and found that you cannot access the cloud anymore and why WD isn’t testing on the Windows 13 beta, then please proceed to post your rant as misery loves company.
Slow System, Very Slow Dashboard, Blank Dashboard
The Cloud is insidious about its media scans. In fact with OS3, it will turn on your scans even when you have stopped their services in SSH. It will re-start the scans when you turn on Media Streaming for a share, It will turn on the scan when you add the cloud device to your App on your mobile phone and I swear I hear the service start up when it notices it has been turned off in SSH.
This has not been tested, but a few users have mentioned it as well as the media scans do “turn on” in OS3 when the switch is flipped on so I assume that the opposite is true (turned off) when the switch is turned off. Turn the following switches off
- “Set Up Shares” turn Media Serving OFF
- turn off Cloud access under “Settings” “General” “Cloud Access” OFF
- turn off DLNA and iTunes under “Settings” “Media” to OFF and iTunes - OFF
Turning everything off will give you a bit of peace as you load up your device with files or just accessing your files locally.
Later when you are ready, you can then turn the scans or the remote access switch ON and let them run for a couple of days, weeks or years; I believe my WD live ran continuously for the two years that I owned it
WD has always said, once the scans are done, the device will be be just like you just bought it
WD also said repeatedly that you can turn off and on Media Serving and it will continue scanning where it left off when you last turned it off (at least I thought I read that somewhere)
and WD did say that after every Firmware update, the scans are rebuilt from scratch. So yes, I really don’t know why they continue to punish us in this manner, after every firmware update your Cloud will feel old, well used and lethargic.
I’m not sure if a “Blank Dashboard” falls into the “busy scans” section, but it might be one of the reasons, but since you have a “blank dashboard” you cannot turn off the scans by turning off switches anyways, so jump over to the System Only Restore section which might be your answer.
Connecting to the Cloud Locally without a fixed IP
The name of your Cloud is located under “Settings” “General” “Device Name”. The default is WDMyCloud. In theory when you first turn on your Cloud when it is connected to the router (give it a few minutes for your network to refresh), you should see your Cloud when you click on browse on both Mac and PC.
With El Capitan there was a problem with finder, so check your OS forums on NAS connectivity before blaming the Cloud.
Now remember if you don’t have your shares set up yet, then the only Shares you will find is Public. Eventually you will want to connect to your own private shares so read your manual.
- go to computers
- map network drive
- click on browse
- On the Finder’s menu, select “GO” and “Connect to Server”
- Click on Browse
Remember that the Cloud is really an endpoint device, meaning that if you don’t see the Cloud, it isn’t the Cloud’s fault if you haven’t plugged it in or the there are no Network roads leading up to the Cloud.
However theoretically for the most part you can just plug in your cloud using DHCP and access your device using the device name without a static IP. If you do somehow cannot find the cloud using the device name, then you have to check your router to see what IP it has assigned to your Cloud; this is much like an address on your house. If you don’t know the house address, then the cabbie won’t know how to get there.
Another reason that in previous Firmware Versions that many users could not see the device name in browse was that the cloud was busy performing its media scans. Remember to put a stop to the scans by using the methods outlined in the beginning of the post; everything just seems to be dependant on stopping those scans.
Accessing the Dashboard
- start up your web browser
- pc - http://wdmycloud/ <== or the device name that you changed it to
On my cloud connected to my Mac and PC locally, I’m getting read speeds of up to 90MB/s and write speeds of up to 80MB/s on files that are 800MB. Do not compare this with copying thousands of .JPG’s, MP3’s or .epub’s because of the small file size, most of the bottleneck will be with directory allocation and creation, hard drive sector allocations and so on which can and will bring down the speed to around 5 to 10 MB/s.
Wifi is absolutely terrible for large copying of files and if you don’t have an gigabit ethernet port such as a Mac Air, or MacBook Pro, get a thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet or even a USB 3.0 to gigabit ethernet. For quick syncs with small files, Wifi is perfectly fine.
It does work. Although it really depends on your Mac version as there can be problems on the Mac side.
I have used Time machine on so many occasions and it has saved me on my latest Mac re-install with my new Samsung SSD 450 Evo. I had backed up my existing 120GB ssd and it took an hour for a complete backup. I was expecting to do a fresh install of el capitan, but it turned out that my USB drive was not configured properly for a fresh install, so I ended up selecting my cloud time machine backup over the local network and restoring a copy of my old hard drive onto the new SSD. With gigabit speeds of up to 100MB/s reads, it was faster than restoring from a USB 2.0 hard drive.
First of all, make sure your local connections to the Cloud are in tip top shape and you are getting the gigabit speeds that is advertised. If not, start troubleshooting your network. There is nothing to troubleshoot on your Cloud if your network cannot reach your cloud.
Also make sure your media scans are off as per the top item in this post. Testing your gigabit speeds with your scans running, is like sorting your CD collection while trying to race your Ferrari.
To get time machine running…
- turn on your Mac Backups under Settings, General and Mac Backups/Time Machine ON
- now open Time Machine Preferences on your Mac
- Select Disk and you should see your Cloud under Available Disks.
- select disk and click on Use Disk
- connect as USER and password.
My Mac is connected via Gigabit Ethernet but I get WiFi speeds
I discovered this problem when I first wrote up my first post here. I had both Wifi and ethernet services active and even if my ethernet had priority over the wifi, my speeds were still WiFI speeds. Turn off Wifi.
My Device doesn’t sleep
guess what it is… the scans!! go to step 1 and turn them all off or wait for the scans to complete.
The System Only Restore
I have always doubted the effects of a a System Restore, no not the System Factory Restore which wipes out your Cloud and your own memories; just the System restore.
The one that restore a My Cloud Storage device to factory default settings.
A System Only Factory Restore will change all settings back to the factory default ones, makes all private shares public, and removes any administrator password that the device might have. However, data on the network drive is not impacted and remains intact.
I’m not sure if the knowledge base is the proper method of the system restore, but I have found that you have to unplug the device, hold down the reset pin button, then plug in the power to the device while holding down the reset button, now count to 40 seconds with the device plugged in and you holding the reset pin down (you need your third hand).
I had doubts about this process but after downgrading my firmware to 3.04, I found myself in a conundrum. I could not SSH into the device to stop the scans. The scans was probably causing the blank Dashboard or the blank dashboard is just one of the problems of the installation, thereby I could not shut down the Cloud properly.
So I did a System Only Restore
and that fixed the firmware installation just like the first time that I upgraded to 3.04 last year of which I had to do a System Only Restore because of the same problems. Only last year, I was freaking out since I only had one cloud and I thought that this was it… I would have had to send it back to WD for a used Cloud.
So yes, apparently a System Only Restore will and might fix what ails your Cloud especially after a firmware upgrade.
This fixes a locked out SSH, a Blank Dashboard and perhaps even public folder permissions.
You have nothing to lose… well actually you do, you lose all your setup shares, your users but it will leave all your data intact but public now.
Also a system only restore may take 30 minutes with an empty drive or 3 to 6 hours when you have 4TB of data. The time it takes may also be related to the number of times you pressed the reset pin button, unplugged your device repeatedly and replugged the power.
I do know that it resets the ownership and share on every single file on your drive because I watched it the first time it happened, but then again I may be wrong.
The Blinking White Light
I did not know this the first time that I had a blinking white/yellow light. I thought… ok… maybe it needs to restart… and I pulled out the plug… repeatedly…
waited 5 minutes… something is wrong… unplugged and replugged… and waited
waited 10 minutes… ok this isn’t going anywhere… repeat the unplugging
waited 30 minutes…
The answer to the Blinking White LED is to wait.
According to the forum, it can take anywhere up to a few hours to a few days. We have no idea on how long it would take…
It is fsck’ing which is like Chkdsk on your PC which checks for orphaned files, directory entries etc and can take quite awhile…
So the more you have corrupted the drive by unplugging and re-plugging the drive, the more errors you may have scattered across your hard drive.
So let it work itself out until it gets the Blue LED Light. If after 2 years and the blinking white light has not disappear, call tech support and they will RMA a new one for you.
The Red Light.
This is the point of which RMA would be your best option as a Red Light usually means that your Cloud is toast. However, if you get the Red light after a Firmware Update, then I think that it is totally possible that fsck got stuck somewhere.
Thus I didn’t think it was possible, but Theagustin has managed to recover from a Red light and you can follow his how here “My Cloud Solid Red Light”
Updating your Firmware
Do remember to turn Auto Update OFF. The last thing you need is after storing your “wedding vows” as mentioned from one user post or “your presentation” on the Cloud in order to access it from work, to find that your Cloud has attempted to upgrade itself at 3:00AM and is now locked in a massive media rescan or even perhaps even locked in a “blinking white LED” scenario, never to turn blue again.
From the four upgrades that I have performed, three of them were actually quite painless, now that I know what to expect. However just remember to do an upgrade when you have time on your hands, very much like a Windows upgrade that takes between a day and a week. I have found the worse case scenario is to downgrade your firmware to either a previous version or downgrade it completely down to 3.04.
When upgrading or downgrading (which is really the same), eject any attached USB drive as we know from FW 3.04 the cloud will lock when it boots up with an attached USB… It may not lock in later FW versions but after the harrowing experience with 3.04, I don’t wish to endanger both copies of my data with one upgrade.
Once the upgrade is done, always wait for the blinking white light to complete. Don’t do as I did and pull the plug on the drive after not being able to SSH into it.
The key to a successful upgrade is to simply let it run the course of the update. Then do a proper shutdown if you are able, followed by a system only restore (the 40 second hold reset pin) version.
Maintaining a Backup
Always remember to have a “back up” copy of your data because if you don’t, there is absolutely nothing worse than a user who whines about it on the forums I
I wouldn’t recommend using the WD safe point to back up your cloud simply for the reason that it flattens out your directory structure and does not provide you with a simple swap and use for easy access and restoration. I use a program called “Beyond Compare” to simply compare two directories for changes and copy the changed files over to my USB drive. You can also use “Alternative to Safepoint” which is rsync to synchronize your files between the Cloud and your USB drive.
The whole key to a backup is when something goes wrong, you can immediately mount your usb drive to your computer and have immediate access to your data. You don’t want to go through a whole restore process before you are able to use the files.
Slow USB 3.0 speeds
I have been hearing about how slow it is with the USB 3.0 Cloud ports of which the only time that I have found the USB 3.0 ports to be slow is when I used a 3rd party USB drive.
All my USB drives have been WD drives and for all three of my drives their speed has been around 40-45MB/s write and 75-85MB/s reads; compared to 70MB/s writes and 80-100MB/s reads. Remember that this speed test is on one single large file of 800MB in size.
When I did connect a 3rd party USB drive (Vantec), the speed dropped to 17-23MB/s writes and 23-35MB/s reads (I forgot the exact speeds now and I probably quoted many different speeds amongst my many posts). This same drive is a USB 3 Raid which was configured for Raid 0 with a read/write speed of 140MB/s when connected directly to a USB 3.0 port.
Granted even at 45MB/s writes and 80MB/s reads with a WD USB drive, it is only a fraction of what you can expect from a USB 3.0 drive. Connecting it directly to a USB 3.0 port will give you generally in the neighborhood of a 100MB/s read/write and more.
However, remember that your attached My Book on your Cloud is probably used for backup (if not, don’t connect it to your Cloud then).
Just Blame WD
One of the problem with Windows was that there were too many vendors and only one pointing finger. This is the same with the Cloud as it has been blamed for slow internet speeds (yes I’ve seen a couple of post where after connecting a Cloud the internet slowed down). No idea of why and if the Cloud is the latest addition to your household toys and clashes with your other electronic toys, it is, of course, the culprit.
On another post that I’ve read is data corruption when writing to the Cloud. It may be possible that you may have a bad Cloud but it is a good idea to test out your cloud by itself.
There is one nice feature of the Cloud which I have never tested and that is the direct ethernet connection straight from the Cloud to your PC. Use this direct connection to isolate the cloud from everything else. Make sure you use a different cable (preferably new cable).
I’ve had so many circumstances that looks like a Cloud problem and so far they were not, but you have to isolate the cloud from “could be” from the “could nots”. If you want to read about my personal anguish on troubleshooting, read here “Troubleshooting, just blame WD”.
The Cloud is dropping from the Network
This one is the most popular and it is usually due to one of the four possible “cloud blaming” reason. There are many other reasons like broken router, broken computer, but you can only blame the Cloud for the following four.
- the cloud is media scanning and cannot display the device name for browsing. This is probably the main one as the DNS (Domain Name Server) that resolves the device name is running on the Cloud so you won’t be able to resolve the device name if the cloud is too busy to display the name for browsing.
- different IPs. Check your router for the assigned IP to your Cloud and use the IP for connecting instead. This resolves the device name problem but the media scans are still running and you will notice a massive slowdown of your Cloud.
- This one if for those who proudly uses a static IP but yet their cloud still drops from the network. It is due to a conflict of a static ip (user attempts to set static IP) conflicting with DHCP reserve. Do one or the other; don’t do both. If your router has a reserve IP, use it but set your Cloud to DHCP so it can ask for the reserved IP. If you set your own Static IP, make sure it is outside the DHCP range of its that it assigns and do not reserve any IPs. A static ip is independent of the router IPs. For more information about this, read “Call me maybe”
- conflicting IP’s. Make sure the assigned IP for your cloud is unique. If you are using DHCP to get your IP, it should be unique. Every device in your household must have its own IP.
Once you have configured your Cloud properly, the cloud remains stable for years. My Cloud has enjoyed “up times” of 8 months and more.
With the latest Firmware upgrade I was unable to mount my USB drive plugged into the USB port at the back of the Cloud. I spent a couple of days troubleshooting the problem, many hours whinning on the forums and finally I decided to downgrade my firmware.
It is not as bad as it seems. Once you have done it once, it is just another upgrade. Follow the instructions here “Easy method to downgrade to previous version of the firmware”
Remember to do a System Only Restore after a downgrade or even an upgrade. It seems to refresh the system somehow.
For every problem, there is a post somewhere on this forum to resolve every single problem that you will ever encounter with your Cloud.
If you cannot stop the media scans through the methods stated at the beginning, do look into SSH’ing into your device and shut down those scans manually.
- SSH into the device
Upgrading and Downgrading with Impunity
- changing the version number stored in
/etc/version to a version number lower than your current upgrade version
- reboot (so that the device shows the version number that you added)
- unzip and copy the .deb file over to your shares on the same cloud
- run upgrade from file.
The current Cloud app on my iPhone and iPad stills works with the cloud that I downgraded to 3.04., although this is the only tested app that I am using but with a little chutzpah you can upgrade/downgrade with impunity until you settle on a version that seems more friendly; mine was 3.04 before they made all the necessary changes.
Lastly but not Leastly
I have managed to avoid RMA’ing my cloud twice since I bought my first Cloud in January 2014. They offered to RMA my second cloud when I encountered the “No USB Mount” bug but I told them no. Both times were firmware errors and you really have to read the forums to find work-arounds. If you cannot find workarounds, post up your problems and hopefully someone will come to your rescue (sorry it won’t be me since I’m completely burnt out by other angry users).
However, if you have thrown your cloud out the window and have super glued the pieces together, be sure to take advantage of the great WD RMA services.
Most of the bugs on the Cloud will be fixed eventually with a firmware update but an RMA will not correct the problems as listed in this post.
If nothing in this post has helped you through your problems, do call WD tech support and from all the years that I’ve been on this forum, they are great people.