From a frying pan (My Cloud) to another frying pan (EX2)

I’ve been keeping an eye on the EX2 since my purchase last year of which I returned the ex2 unopened. Once again I am might be doing this dance of buying/holding/returning since it is on sale again but this might be the last time I will see the ex2 available since they are most likely discontinued.

The one major question that I do wish to have answered, before I rip open the box, is:

if I removed one of the drive filled with data in raid 1 (mirror), can I throw it on a USB Dock and mounted the drive on a Mac and will I see my data?

The other question I have is, how loud is the fan? I’ve been enjoying fan less My Clouds for the last 4 years and the last thing I need is something that doesn’t sleep, goes chunka-chunka-chunka with whirling noises.

I have bought:
1 WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra 16TB NAS with 3 year Geek Squad protection Replacement Plan
1 Thermaltake Black USB 3.0 Duet HDD Docking Station
1 WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra Diskless NAS

I hate putting all my eggs in one basket so I figure I need that extra EX2 Diskless NAS just in case my EX2 fails at some point in time.

If I do decide to keep it, my testing will entail

  1. taking one drive out, plugging it into the Thermaltake and seeing if I can read the data.
  2. taking both drives from one EX2 and plugging it into the other EX2 to see if the drives boot up without problems.
  3. taking one drive out and plugging it into the other EX2 and use it to read the data
  4. pull one drive out and continue to write more data to the EX2 and then plug the drive back in to see how long it takes to sync, does it sync all the data or just the changes?

other questions may be if I were to throw in a smaller mirror drive but large enough to contain all the data of the first drive, can I mirror it?

Does anyone else have any questions that they wish to have answered please post up below…

I’m still not sure if I will be keeping the ex2 but I really don’t want to upgrade to the My Cloud Home units in the future so this may be my last chance unless I decide to go QNAP which also might be a possibility. No idea.

I will decide once I have all the goodies in front of me…

Don’t keep it. Get a more respected NAS brand like QNAP as you are suggesting. Support from WD on their NAS units is extremely poor.

You are absolutely correct. Just from just reading the Qnap spec sheet it is basically my old server from my old days. I haven’t heard a peep from the moderators from this forum for a long time, perhaps they moved to DLink?

In their heydays of this forum, WD will swap you a refurbished drive for your brand new drive if you post up your problems on the forum. Just the mention that your drive doesn’t sleep WD will phone you to arrange to swap you drives for another NAS unit that doesn’t sleep :stuck_out_tongue:

However I don’t really want to spend $500 to $1000 just for the QNAP NAS enclosure itself and then another $800 to $1000 for a pair of 8TB Red hard drives. If I were to do that, I would just keep the My Clouds that I do have and just forget about all this upgrading this stuff forever. I cannot simply buy a QNAP enclosure and stuff my existing pair of 8TB drives into it because I still need a backup copy of the data for transferring.

Thus the temptations of the WD EX2 sale is that for $970 Canadian, I get two 8TB red drives plus a NAS enclosure; the drives themselves sells for about $460 each which comes to $920 anyways which means that I get the NAS enclosure for $50.

This was the same reasoning for my two 8TB My Clouds that I bought two years ago. The individual 8TB hard drives were more expensive than a 8TB My cloud of which I paid only $400 a piece Canadian.

I’ve been tinkering with WD My Clouds for over 5 years now and I am quite versant with linux as well as their new Busy Box. I’m not sure what is under the hood of the EX2 but I’m fairly certain that it would be so much better than their new My Cloud Home devices that don’t even allow you to connect locally. I kinda knows what makes the NAS units tick.

The problem isn’t so much the lack of tech support from WD anyways, but rather my own laziness of having to test out all the parameters of the EX2. Making sure that I have a backup/backout plan when the time comes to having a corrupt drive.

Since the drives are mirrored, there are 3 scenarios that must be tested:

  1. enclosure on the frits - solution to check is to move the hard drives to another enclosure to see if it boots up with all data available.
  2. enclosure on the frits 2 - solution pull one of the drives out and plug it into a USB dock to see if my Mac can mount and read the data.
  3. one drive fails - solution pull out the drive and simulate a drive failure and plug it back in to simulate rebuilding.

The other problem is that once I migrate over to the EX2, do I really give up my “My Clouds” and sell them? Optionally I could take out the 8TB drives and put them into my diskless EX2 that I bought for backup and thus I will have two 16TB EX2 of which I might be able to sell one. The best part of this whole plan is that the total expenditure is only $1200. The worst part of this whole plan is the amount of work that is generated which includes testing, transferring of the data, validating the data by comparing every byte, reformatting the old My Cloud drives for re-sale or taking them apart to use the drives in the new diskless EX2. Sell the My Cloud shells or perhaps buy some 2TB drives to rebuild a smaller My Cloud. It is just unbelievable of how much work this is.

The silver lining in all this is the 3 year over the counter warranty from Best Buy. So if the drive fails within 3 years, I can just take it to Best Buy and they will refund all the money that I spent; that is the theory anyways :stuck_out_tongue: I never had a Best Buy warranty.

Anyways I got my EX2 today and it is currently sitting on the table staring at me. I’ll see… I have up to a month to return it if it is unopened. Too bad, Costco doesn’t sell the EX2 16tb because they give you 90 days to test to your heart content.

A change in plans.

Found out that I have 30 days to test with Staples and although they don’t have a 16TB Ex2 Ultra, they do have a EX2 Ultra Diskless along with 2 x 10tb Gold WD hard drives and 2 x 8TB red hard drives. The sum of the drives plus the EX2 diskless unit is less than what I paid for at Best Buy. The only downfall is that I won’t be able to get the 3 year warranty.

The possible exciting part to this is the testing of the EX2 with the 10TB drives. I have searched the internet for the max size drives for the EX2 and an advertisement seems to indicate that 10TB drives are supported. Plus there is an ad showing a 20TB EX2 for sale. I’ll find out I guess.

I’ve also ordered the 8tb red drives to cover the 16TB base.

So all this is now scheduled for mid February time frame which means everything that just arrived from Best Buy is now being returned.

No idea how this adventure will turn out.

I think when mid february comes around this OCD passion will fizzle out and I can return everything and forget about changing over to an EX2 forever!

edit: the specs for the ex2 says: 0-20tb

All right, this fiasco of buying and returning EX2 is coming to an end and I found out what it takes for me to go forward with buying the EX2 ultra. After extensive internal debate and my apologies for using this forum for my thoughts, but originally I had had questions of which I found, like always in a WD forum, nobody has answers.

It will need to work with the 10TB gold drives and hopefully quietly since the gold drives are at 7200 rpm which means the fans might start up more often as well as louder hard drive noises. So everything from Best Buy is going back, the 8TB drives from Staples will be returned and I’ll wait till February 21st when the 10TB gold drives arrives to test out the feasibility of a 20TB EX2.

If it works, I’ll then test the unit extensively including swapping the drives to another EX2 enclosure and finally if all that works out, I’ll be keeping the 20TB EX2.

If it doesn’t work as a 20TB EX2 configuration, I’ll return everything… and never will I look to buy any WD Clouds again.

Thanks for reading…

p.s. now that I can buy the hard drives separately for a reasonable price, I started to look at the QNAP product line … yup… I think @JediNite is right… it is time to move on… hmmm so what I can do is buy a 4 bay NAS and migrate the data from the my cloud over to a pair of 8TB reds and then once that is done, pop out the other 2 x 8TB from the my cloud and add it to the QNAP to create a raid 5 of 4 x 8TB = 24TB usable … whoa… ok… goodbye WD, it was nice knowing you guys…

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I would do the same thing if I could afford to get another NAS and new drives as well. My experience with WD has not been ideal and think in future will shell out a bit more and get an Intel based NAS and probably either a QNAP or Synology.

This thread is amusing.

SURE. . . .I got my EX2 Ultra partly based on price.

  1. . . I do find the unit is “quiet”.

  2. . . I don’t think swapping drives to another unit (even a EX2) will work. In other words, if the EX2 BOX fails. . . I strongly suspect you are hosed.

  3. . . The EX2 is on most of the time. I make sure all key data exists somewhere else . and backup routinely . . .in case the EX2 box craps out. Or the house burns down.

I’m glad to entertain…

  1. thank you… good to know that it is quiet… been reading up on some users and you know how users are…
  2. I did find out that you can swap the drives to another unit. Yes you can even swap the drives to a mirror cloud, all you need to do on the menu is to select integrate which will bring your drives into the unit itself. This isn’t tested, but I did find the info on WD itself as a knowledge base article.
  3. I figure that it might be “ON” all the time which means that certain scans would need to be stopped, just guessing as I come from the world of single 8TB my cloud drives and we need to stop the scans in order for the drive to sleep.

I have canceled all orders now. Apparently Staples doesn’t really have a very good shipping time. My order for the WD 10TB Gold drives will take until February 21st, 2018 to arrive and bits and pieces of my order will arrive before that so not everything is all together for any kind of testing as they have a 14 day return policy.

So basically I’m giving up on migration to any new NAS altogether.

Adding a reply to this thread as I think it best captures my situation. Seeking advice/answer…

I have a single disk WD My Cloud NAS (4 TB WD Red) that isn’t “booting”. Light is solid amber. Not recognized on the network. The disk is spinning and the Ethernet port is blinking, so thinking/hoping it is a NAS card problem and the disk is ok.

Does your experience and research suggest you can buy another diskless My Cloud NAS (EX2, etc.), insert the old My Cloud NAS disk, and the new NAS will read/use the old disk? I would like to recover that data AND give myself some additional storage/redundancy that a 2 disk solution offers. Thanks for the advice/guidance.

This is a really an old thread and the answer that you are looking for isn’t in this frying pan as this is the My Cloud EX2 forum.

Do post over at the My Cloud Personal Cloud storage to have someone point you to answers that will help you.

To answer you, It is rare but could be a possibility of the network card or even the Cloud Motherboard having troubles and yes swapping the drive over to another identical enclosure might solve your problems, however there are two versions of the My Cloud so you have to know exactly what version you have and what version of My Cloud that you will be buying which of course even the My Cloud 2nd version is no longer sold as it has been replaced by My Cloud Home.

The most common problem of the My Cloud not booting might be as simple as not completing fsck’ing. There is a thread somewhere in the My Cloud Personal forum that tells of a guy that managed to SSH into the device and issuing the fsck command.

Network problem is another possibility. Try adding a switch between the My Cloud and your router. Try changing the network cable. Try directly connecting your My Cloud to your computer via ethernet as WD has always said that you could do this directly.

Anyways, there are a lot of troubleshooting tips over at the My Cloud Personal Forum; just ask.

I second the suggestion to wander over to the “mycloud” sub-forum; https://community.wd.com/c/personal-cloud-storage/wd-my-cloud

There seems to have been a rash of units being bricked by a recent bad firmware update.

The good news is two fold;

  1. If it’s bad firmware, there are procedures to reboot the drive using a flash drive and then reinstalling older (but working) firmware.

  2. You can pull out the hard drive and connect it to a PC using some sort of docking station or a SATA connector. The hard part is that the data is in a Linux partion, and you need to run some Linux stuff to actually read the drive and recover all the data.

There are instructions for both in the other subforum.

Now. . . going forward. . . .

  1. Avoid the MyCloud HOME line at all costs. The software has been dumbed down to the point of making the overall device useless.

  2. The regular MyCloud drives (like the one you had) are discontinued. The WD NAS units (like the EX2) run more-or-less the same firmware as the old MyCloud Personal drives. I have been happy with My EX2 unit, and the MyCloud single drive I own.

  3. HOWEVER. . .if I was going back to square one. . . .I would definitely avoid the WD line. QNAP and Synology appear to offer much better products with better support. They Synology units have a graphical UI interface that seems to put the WD stuff to shame. You pay a bit more. . .but you ain’t buying multi-bay NAS units because you are cheap.

  4. As you get into the “big boy” NAS units; consider how you are using it. If you are using PLEX, or have need to transcode media to stream to a theater system; you are going to want to get something with a beefier processor. The EX2 Ultra that I have seems to do well with plex “direct play” option; but definitely can’t transcode anything. I would look into that aspect as you make a NAS decision.

  5. If I was buying today, I would invest in a powerful two-bay unit with fairly large drives. While a 4-bay unit sounds sexy; it will get really pricy (even for a guy that isn’t cheap) if you put large drives into it. My current strategy is to have “current” stuff on the 2-bay EX2 NAS. This includes personal files and video that has been converted to a non-transcode-needed plex format (MP4). Older stuff, and huge clunky MKV files live on a pair (i.e. 2 copies of all files) of cost effective (cheap) external USB drives that I hook up when I need something. (one of those drives is also my doomsday backup; and lives in a desk some miles from my home)