[Guide] How to use a 2.5 inch hard drive in a single bay My Cloud

How to use a 2.5 inch hard drive in a single bay My Cloud

Boilerplate Warning: Proceed at your own risk!!! Backup any user data, if possible, when erasing or replacing an existing hard drive!!!

Note: This was done on a first gen v.4x single bay My Cloud. I assume the same can be done on a second gen single bay My Cloud running the v.2x firmware.

Note on SSD Drives: I tried using two different spare SSD drives (a 64GB and 120GB drive) and was not able to get either one to properly boot. Both got stuck with a Red front LED and no Dashboard access. Multiple attempts at cloning and manually running the unbrick process failed. Not sure if its an issue with the drive small size or with an incompatibility between the firmware/hardware of the My Cloud and using an SSD drive as the main drive. YMMV Others may have better luck with their SSD drives (or not).

Items used:

  • First gen single bay My Cloud
  • 750GB 2.5 inch Toshiba hard drive from an old Toshiba Satellite Laptop
  • ORICO 2.5 SSD SATA to 3.5 Hard Drive Adapter Internal Drive Bay Converter Mounting Bracket Caddy Tray (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZWX6PD)

Steps used:
One can use any of the unbrick methods or clone drive methods described in numerous past discussions. When using software cloning one may have to use the manual option, if available, to clone from a larger drive to a smaller drive if the 2.5 inch drive is smaller than the existing My Cloud drive.

I generally use the unbrick directions put together by user Fox_exe. Over the years, have successfully used these directions on a number of different hard drives. From the current 2.5 inch 750GB drive to 3.5 inch; 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 8TB and 12TB (yes 12TB) hard drives.

I typically use the Linux Distro from Ubuntu (https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop). While I have an Oracle VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org/) configured with Ubuntu that I use, I also have a bootable USB Flash drive running Ubuntu as a backup. If using Ubuntu, they have directions on how to create a DVD or USB Flash drive boot media for Windows or Macintosh on their Desktop Download page (https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop). The use of a VM or VirtualBox Linux setup requires additional knowledge and setup. One may have to use the VM settings to assign the USB to SATA adapter to the Linux VM.

There are many USB to SATA adapters, docking stations, SATA ports one can use. Currently I use a USB to SATA adapter (example: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011M8YACM) for the 2.5 inch hard drives. If using a 3.5 inch hard drive one generally needs to use a dedicated powered USB to SATA adapter (example: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GLL41MA).

I will not do a step by step explanation of the full unbrick procedure here. The directions provided by user Fox_exe are general enough that most people with a little bit of computer/Linux knowledge should be able to figure things out. If not use your favorite internet search engine to learn how to use Linux or issue Linux commands.

User Fox_exe repositories:
Main Repository: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/
First Gen: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen1/
Second Gen: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/

First gen directions:
English: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen1/Replace%20HDD%20-%20English.txt
Russian: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen1/Replace%20HDD.txt
File(s) used in first gen:
original_v03.04.01-230.tar.gz: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen1/Backups/original_v03.04.01-230.tar.gz
original_v04.01.02-417.tar.gz: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen1/Backups/original_v04.01.02-417.tar.gz
Latest first gen firmware: http://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?g=904

Second gen directions:
English: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/_Unbricking_en.txt
Russian: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/_Unbricking_ru.txt
usbrecovery.tar.gz: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/usbrecovery.tar.gz
Alternate method files:
uImage-wdrecovery: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/Developing/uImage-wdrecovery
uRamdisk-wdrecovery: https://fox-exe.ru/WDMyCloud/WDMyCloud-Gen2/Developing/uRamdisk-wdrecovery
Latest second gen firmware: http://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?g=904

I do not have a second gen single bay My Cloud so cannot comment on how that unbrick procedure works.

Notes on running unbrick directions: After successful unbrick one can update the My Cloud to the latest firmware. When running the first gen unbrick directions from User Fox_exe I typically get one or two errors, which I tend to bypass.The unbrick process typically completes despite these errors. Places where I typically get warnings or errors:

  • Step 8. The command ‘mdadm -A /dev/md0 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdb2’ sometimes throws an error. I typically just ignore the error and continue to the next entry command in step 8.
  • Step 12. When using the original_v04.01.02-417.tar.gz file, I get a out of space error when running the command ‘dd if=kernel.img of=/dev/sdb5’. I typically ignore this error and proceed to the next entry command in step 12. When using the original_v03.04.01-230.tar.gz extracted files I do not get the out of space error message on sdb5.
  • When booting the My Cloud for the first time after unbricking the hard drive I eventually get a red front LED after the bootup completes. I then attempt to access the My Cloud Dashboard. If I am able to access the Dashboard I run a Settings > Utilities > System Factory Restore > System Only restore. This typically fixes the 0K capacity and the failed mount issue that typically happens with this unbrick procedure.

Using a 2.5 inch drive works but it is a bit slow both in loading/running the My Cloud Dashboard and in transferring files to/from the My Cloud. Otherwise all other features (local/remote access, etc.) appear to work without issue. Transfer speed to the My Cloud running on a 2.5 drive is very slow compared to a 3.5 drive. This is due to several issues including the 2.5 inch drive being 5,400 RPM among other things. Crystal Disk Mark results shown below.

Final words:
Why bother some may ask. Well why not. :slight_smile: Tinkering is fun for some. The ability to reconfigure these older single bay units when the drive goes bad is a major plus. Using a 2.5 inch drive isn’t the best method to replace the internal hard drive in a single bay My Cloud but it is doable as this post shows. One can use a 2.5 inch drive in a pinch while waiting for deals on larger 3.5 inch drives. Not sure why the unused SSD drives I have didn’t work despite repeated attempts. For those who like to tinker and keep this old basic NAS running, enjoy.

Screen captures:
Orico 2.5 to 3.5 drive tray.

2.5 inch drive in Orinoco drive tray.

2.5 inch drive in Orico drive tray with My Cloud backplane attached

2.5 inch drive in Orico drive tray in My Cloud Enclosure.

My Cloud Dashboard running on 2.5 inch drive.

Crystal Disk mark from old laptop running USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter to My Cloud running 2.5 inch drive.

You could really use the rs232 output to see what is going wrong.

I run original firmware and Debian on Sata DOM (Disk-on-module) with only 1 GB size (!).
Hell, why not!? :smiley:

Will probably take another run at some point at using an SSD drive in the My Cloud. Could mess with an RS232 to see what’s going on during boot, but probably won’t bother. So far the mechanical 750GB 2.5 inch drive is working fine with the unit being up for over two weeks now in light use. The Orinco drive tray is great since one can screw down the My Cloud motherboard on it for mounting in the My Cloud enclosure.

I admire the ingenuity and gung ho attitude in this thread.

At what point do you just get a Raspberry Pi and completely roll your own :slight_smile:

I have a MyCloud Gen 1 and an EX2 Ultra. . . I see a notable performance difference. . . pretty sure its not because of the HDD’s inside of the units. . . . .

Have done that too a few years ago. :grinning: Downside was the limited bus speed (USB2.0) of the Pi 3 B+ that was the latest Pi at the time. Ended up using the Pi as a Plex server with the My Cloud as the media library storage lrepository for close to two years before moving to a more capable Synology NAS. Currently just use the 3 B+ as a second Pi-hole in addition to hosting a Samba share to a old USB 2.0 hard drive. And use the My Cloud mostly for experimenting these days and limited storage.

Note for anyone interested. There is an Amazon Prime Day 2020 deal on the ORICO caddy for $6.39.

ORICO 2.5 SSD SATA to 3.5 Hard Drive Adapter Internal Drive Bay Converter Mounting Bracket Caddy Tray for 7 / 9.5 / 12.5mm 2.5 inch HDD / SSD with SATA III Interface

Hi. I am quite interested in this topic. I have set up a 1Tb hard disk at 2.5 "with the Fox-exe instructions and it is true that it is slower to open the My cloud menu as well as the transfer of data from my smartphone to the cloud. compared to another my cloud 1 bay gen1. of 4Tb with wd disk 4Tb network of origin, slower speed is appreciated. With Samba I upload a file at an average of 1.70 Mb by wifi to the 4Tb and to the 1Tb cloud disk 2.5 It is an average of 1.20 Mb of speed also by wifi from my smartphone in the local network. Open ports 80 and 443 for both IP. I would like to ask you something. If I have 2 my cloud connected to the same router, I have to change the ports in one of them? which ports do I put? thank you.

This being a separate issue there are other discussions elsewhere in this subforum on this particular question. If one has two My Cloud’s on their local network and is having trouble with remote access one can try setting one or both My Cloud units Remote Access configuration setting to Manual and then use alternate external port numbers (different from each other). Then one would configure port forwarding (for each of the values to each of the My Cloud’s) in their local network router’s administration screen.

An example of how to configure alternate remote access ports on a first gen v4.x single bay My Cloud:

Thanks Bennor, you are always there to help. I have read about the configuration of the ports but I see the example very convoluted because it speaks of 2 ports for http and another 2 ports for https and the my cloud only has 2 ports. I do not see it clear which to put each team aside from opening them in my router that if I how to do it. thanks for your help as always

You could try something like this.
My Cloud 1 manual external port values: 8080 and 4443
On the router port forward from external port 8080 to internal port 80 and external port 4443 to internal port 443 to the 1st My Cloud.

My Cloud 2 manual external port values: 8081 and 4444
On the router port forward from external port 8080 to internal port 80 and external port 4443 to internal 443 to the 2nd My Cloud.

I’m going to try, thanks Bennor

hi bennor. in the configuration of the second mycloud you may have been confused? you indicated: My Cloud 2 manual external port values: 8081 and 4444
On the router port forward from external port 8080 to internal port 80 and external port 4443 to internal 443 to the 2nd My Cloud.
but the ports to open of the router are not any of those that I must put in the cloud unit. Maybe it should be:
external port 8081 to internal port 81 and external port 4444 to internal 444.
Is it so?

By using the Manual setting for remote access one can change the external ports that are used by the WD remote access system to access the My Cloud. As I understand WD’s remote access process you are not changing the internal ports used by the My Cloud (80 and 443). this is why you are forwarding different external port values to the default internal ports. By using different external port values for each My Cloud there won’t be a external port conflict between the two My Cloud units.

When the router see’s traffic on the external port values for My Cloud #1 it will route that traffic to My Cloud #1. Same goes for the second My Cloud. Otherwise the router is confused on where to send the traffic if one uses the same external port values for both My Clouds.

My Cloud #1 IP address
External ports: 8080/4443
Internal ports: 80/443

My Cloud #2 IP address
External ports: 8081/4444
Internal ports: 80/443

When the traffic on ports 8080/4443 comes to the router, the router port forwarding rules see’s it and routes it to My Cloud #1’s IP address.

When the traffic on ports 8081/4444 comes to the router, the router port forwarding rules see’s it and routes it to My Cloud #2’s IP address.

Rather than try to overthink what is happening (or should be happening), just give it a try. Use different external port values for each My Cloud but route them to the default 80/443 ports for their respective My Cloud units.

Another way to look at this is how one access’s the My Cloud Dashboard for each My Cloud. Both My Cloud units use the same internal port(s) for My Cloud Dashboard requests. So how does the router know which one to send the Dashboard requests too? It uses the My Cloud name (and resolves the My Cloud name to it’s IP address) to route the request to the correct My Cloud. This is why each My Cloud must have a unique name otherwise there is confusion if both use the same name. Something (somewhat similar) is happening when you use the Manual remote access option. One uses different external port rules values to avoid the router not knowing where to route the traffic.

Hi. I have put the example ports for the two devices and in the router I have followed the same steps you indicated. The result is that in my local network I can access the 2 devices with the mobile app without problems, but outside my local network, with the data of the telephone operator, outside my home, I only access my mycloud 2. the access to the first device is impossible, it does not open and gives a connection error. I have put everything as in your example in devices and in router. I think it must be a problem with the external ports.

Check the My Cloud Dashboard > Settings for unit you cannot access and see what the remote access/cloud access section indicates for connection status.

Sometimes one may have to disable remote access in the My Cloud, wait five to ten minutes, then re-enable it so that it resets is connection.

I don’t have two My Cloud’s so I’m just making suggestions here. This is one of those times one may have to directly contact WD Support to see what they say.

I’m going to try, thanks Bennor