[GUIDE] Upgrade HDD of WD My Cloud 1st gen

In 2014 I bought my WD My Cloud 3 TB. Six years later time has come to upgrade my HDD. I bought a fastest one NAS HDD - Seagate IronWolf PRO 6 TB

Here is a bench of this HDD through CrystalDisk Mark:
Seagate Iron Wolf Pro 6tb

And here is a bench of original WD RED 3TB HDD that was inside of my WD My Cloud:
wd red 3tb

For upgrading I followed guide from this post [GUIDE] Debrick a completely dead MyCloud

So here are the steps:

  1. Download 3TB image
  2. Created GParted Live USB using Tuxboot https://gparted.org/liveusb.php
  3. Followed this guide how to open WD My Cloud and to remove a HDD https://youtu.be/2_eW25LGXcI
  4. Followed steps 5-10 from this post [GUIDE] Debrick a completely dead MyCloud to write img file to my new HDD.
    Finally command should look like this:
    dd if=mycloud.img of=/dev/sda bs=256M status=progress
    Adding bs=256M increases write image speed. So it takes only several seconds to complete.
  5. I used same GParted Live USB to extend EXT4 data partition. This was quite easy through graphical interface. I opened GParted tool, right clicked on a EXT4 partition and chose resize/move then I put maximum allowed space (up to 5.9TB) and applied my changes. It called resize2fs tool to make this happen and proceed just several minutes.
  6. Now install HDD back to WD My Cloud and enjoy.

P.S. Firmware autoupdate did not work for me, so I did a manual update from file with this firmware https://downloads.wdc.com/nas/sq-040500-342-20190805.deb

High-speed HDD in this NAS is useless, because speed will be limited by lan connection (~125MB/s) or by CPU (Real speed around 60-90MB/s for Samba on Gen1 device).
Better to chose low-energy (green) HDD or something cold, beucase there is no active cooling.


Will second what Fox_exe said. Buying an expensive and fast hard drive to use inside a first or second gen single bay My Cloud enclosure is extreme overkill due to the limitations of the hardware used by the single bay My Cloud. On a multi bay unit one might see an advantage but even then it still eventually comes down to hardware used by the NAS device and any limitations with the firmware (like old modules/code).

But it should also be noted that WD recently admitted to certain WD Red drives (2-6GB versions apparently) were SMR, which may potentially have a very negative affect write performance in NAS devices, or have other possible issues with an NAS enclosure or it’s firmware. Numerous online discussions on the issues, here is one posting:

So swapping out the WD Red drive that is SMR which came with the My Cloud with a non-SMR hard drive, one may see a possible write speed increase. But in the end the low end capabilities of the single bay My Cloud hardware (processor and RAM), along with old/outdated code in the firmware, are still going to be the ultimate bottle neck. As many have discovered.

But in any case @jb_wanted thanks for posting your method and drive used. Hopefully will help others.

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I did a test and write speed varies between 40 and 95 MB/s, when read speed is stable 98-101 MB/s.

Yes, maybe it was pointless to buy such an expensive HDD, but anyway I believe it would work better than with previous one

Since I’ve installed a new HDD, I faced with overheating issue…

So my solution was to install an active cooling like this, so lets see if it would fix my problem

Do you think one of these drives would work well to upgrade the HDD in an older MyCloud? I’ve got a 4Tb single drive unit. It’s worked great for many years, and still continues to work fine; it’s just that I’ve run out of room on it! 50Gb space left out of 4Tb!

Seagate BarraCuda ST8000DM004 8TB 5400 RPM 256MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

NewEgg’s got 'em for like $135.

Thanks for any info! :sunglasses:

Can it work? Likely yes. But there may be/are better options. Note that if a drive isn’t designed for NAS use (like the WD Red line of NAS drives or Seagate Ironwolf line of NAS drives) one may end up having the hard disk drive fail faster in a NAS/My Cloud than it would under normal desktop usage.

And another issue is the SMR vs CMR. Generally SMR drives are not recommended for use in a NAS for a number of reasons. Seagate indicates (https://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/cmr-smr-list/) their Barracuda drives 2GB-8GB are SMR drives. CMR is best when it comes to NAS drives.

Hard disk drives up to 12TB or more should work in a single bay/single drive My Cloud enclosure. Some past experimentation from a few years ago with WD hard disk drives:


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Thanks for the good info Bennor! Do you know what the original drives in the 1st Gen MyClouds were? The 4Tb I’ve got in there now has been running for around 7-8 years w/o issue so I would like to get the same type but more storage capacity. That Seagate Ironwolf drive was giving you heating issues? Maybe a 5400 “Green” drive is better? Fox_exe recommended that type for cooling reasons. Do you think the original drives in the 1st Gen MyClouds were CMR or SMR type drives? Thanks.

22Tb nice! The max capacity of a 3.5" ff drive is currently only 20Tb I believe so that’s a sweet hack!

Unless you’re “some customers” - and on the list. I’m not that cool so not on the list… :disappointed_relieved:

Most (if one searches past discussions here) single bay My Cloud’s came with WD Red drives. WD has the following blog post (https://blog.westerndigital.com/wd-red-nas-drives/) indicating which WD Red’s are SMR and which are CMR. I’ve never used a Seagate Ironwolf drive so don’t know if it experiences heating issues. I’ve experimented, in a first gen single bay My Cloud enclosure, with various hard drives (and brands/models) ranging from 250GB’s in size up to 12TB. From 3.5 inch drives down to laptop 2.5 inch drives. Only drive’s I couldn’t get working in a first gen enclosure were SSD drives.

While SMR drives will work in a single bay My Cloud enclosure, one may experience slower write speeds (or possibly read speeds) than with CMR drives. I briefly used a 500GB WD Green drive and it worked fine (if a bit slow). If one is worried about heat, enlarge the cooling vent holes on the enclosure and or aim a fan at it. (or leave the enclosure cover off).

If you are worried about the SMR/CMR issue, use your favorite internet search engine to read the many available posts about the issues one may experience using SMR in a NAS enclosure.

One can find WD Red Plus (CMR) drives on sale from places like NewEgg and Amazon (if in the United States). 4TB versions usually run around $90 USD on sale. What more than a few have done is buy WD Easystore external USB hard drives that go on sale from time to time at stores like BestBuy and “shuck” the 3.5 inch drive inside for use in NAS enclosures.


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Finally I upgraded my WD MyCloud to Synology DS118 and I very liked it! Before that I tried WD My Cloud Home and this is totally trash!

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