MyCloud EX2 - What format are the drives using in RAID 1? Can the drives be accessed from Windows/ Mac if removed from the EX2?


#1

Looking to buy a NAS for quite some time and the EX2 looks the best fit for me.

I want to have 2 x 4TB drives running in RAID 1 (for back up)

Let’s say for example, I shut down the NAS, remove 1 of the drives and place it in a caddy.I want to access the data on the drive from my Windows PC or Mac… is this possible? Is it possible to remove a drive and access it from Windows or Mac? Let’s say the EX2 dies in 10 years and I can’t purchase a replacement.

Can anyone tell me what format the drives are using? Is it possible to run them in exFAT so macOS and Windows can read them?


#2

The drives inside all WD NASes are formatted into multiple partitions of various types, but the “Data” partition is almost always EXT4 (and is definitely EXT4 in the My Cloud EX series).

It’s not natively readable by either Windows or OSX, so you’d have to do some finagling to be able to read it.

While it’s theoretically possible to pull one of the drives out and stash it away, it’s not recommended. The Cloud will harp and complain that the RAID is in degraded mode. And when you put the drive back in, it can take quite a long time to re-synchronize.


#3

I had a feeling that was the case. It’s kind of a deal breaker for me.

So, in a sense, If I had 2 x 4TB drive, running RAID 1, with all my files on there… even though I technically have a back up, if the WD EX2 hardware dies, I am unable to easily access the data which is stored on the drives. It would be nice to be able to rip out a drive, throw it in a caddy and access it on my PC.

I understand why it uses ext4 because the WD software is basically a mini version of Linux.

Is there any possibility of using a drive in exFat with the EX2? Even if it meant giving up the RAID capabilities?

I know I’m probably being awkward or nitpicking but these are genuine concerns and I don’t like the idea of my data being bound and locked in by some random Linux format :wink: I like flexibility :smile:


#4

Nope. The NAS expects the partitions to be exactly what it expects and will require reformatting them if they’re not (or it will do it itself. Never tried it to know.)