Recommended Direct Attached Storage (DAS) to use with MyCloud EX2 Ultra for music/Plex?

I currently use my MyCloud EX2 Ultra for streaming my music (MP3s / FLACs) collection using the Plex. I only have the stock 2 TB drives in the NAS now but I have all the music files on a 6 TB external MyPassport HDD that is hooked up to the back of the EX2 Ultra with the USB3 cable. Works fine but I want to have redundancy of those music files that took SO MANY hours to rip (with thousands more CDs still to be ripped)

Does anyone use a DAS (Direct Attached Storage) 2 or 4 bay sled/housing with sata Drives installed in a RAID1 config?
I have my MyCloud EX2 Ultra on for 16 hours a day for music streaming availabilty and then have it hibernate when Im not going to use it so I need to be able to have a solution that can have the DAS drives be allowed to hibernate without any data loss or issues (I read some sata drives dont like to hibernate?). I dont need 24/7 operation like most NAS use cases.

I know the MyPassport drive wasnt designed to be on for so many hours. its more for quick copy/backup functions and then to be unplugged so…I dont want to take a risk is overstressing it and shortening its life span.

I dont need video transcoding as I dont do the video thing so the CPU in the MyCloud EX2 Ultra is fast enough to do my streaming of music over my home network now. I just want to have redundancy.

Id rather not have to put the music files on the internal NAS drives and instead use a DAS approach as that would be faster wouldnt it. EIther way Id still need to get larger drives as 2 TB is not enough to hold 3000+ CDs worth of music files (eventually once I rip all my CDs, or re-rip to higher FLAC quality instead of the MP3 quality I did back in the days before I needed/wanted higher quality)

Thanks for any help in suggestions on not just the method I should look to use but also the product (hardware like particular sled/bay or Drobo? or what)


well. . . there are lots of issues here.

First. . .backup. Obviously; have all your “stuff” on a single HDD is an issue.

A primary use case for an EX2 is to simply have two large drives in a Raid1 configuration. . . and call it a day. With that setup; you are protected against a single drive failure; and you can throw in a fresh drive and be whole in a few hours while you sleep.

Of course; this method isn’t foolproof. If the EX2 motherboard goes. . .data recovery will be a minor trick. If you have a fire in your house. . .all your data is (wait for it . . . .) toast

My solution would be simple: larger drives for the EX2; and put all your music on it. Raid 1, Raid 0, or JBOD are probably all fine for this application. . . .now as for your current 6TB external drive. . . .put that in an office away from home, a fireproof safe, or a safedeposit box. This is your “really bad day” backup. Periodically bring it home to freshen up the files.

If you have some cash to burn. . . .buy a second HDD and put a copy of all your music on it. Keep this one home and freshen the backup once week or once a month. That will make it easier to keep it current than one offsite.

Second . . . Just a note: If you buy new drives for the EX2: Make sure they are CMR drives and not the cheaper SMR drives. That WILL make a performance difference.

BTW: Me personally? Primary data is on an external HDD that floats between various PC’s. Primary backup (and occasionally accessed by other PC’s) is an EX2 in Raid 1 configuration. Yes, I have a HDD in an offsite location that is refreshed every year or two. . . . . oh- - and every year my external HDD is replaced by a fresh drive. That way. . .if some random virus corrupts my backups. . .or I do something stupid; and I propagate a problem to my backups. . . I have data a year old somewhere not far away)

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Hey Thanks for all the info and feedback.
Yeah makes sense. Amazon was having a Deal of the Day for 10 TB Western Digital Red drives for $202 each. Great price as the 6TB drives I was looking at wer4 $150 each. These are the WD101EFAX which according to the WD site are CMR not SMR tech.
I will have more than enough storage for my MP3s/FLAC music files and my photography pix.
I can use the 6TB external drive as a back up for the music.
They are back ordered so it will be a few weeks until I get them
So what is the best way to migrate. I really dont have anything much on the exisiting 2TB drives so I can just copy that off and save it elsewhere. Then install BOTH brand new 10 TB drives and let the system do its thing? And then copy the music files to the Plex shared drive? and let her rip? I really havent been taking advantage of my EX2 Ultra until I started wanting to do the music streaming. My backups of important docs and pix are on extenral HDDs and I also ahve Backblaze cloud backup (which also backs up my external HDDs). so Im covered. But yeah the music is key as I am spending a LOT of time to rip all my thousands of CDs and I wouldnt want to lose all that and start over from nothing.

So for the pulled 2 TB drives should I sent them up on Windows storage spaces or just format them and put them in a toaster sled to use as additional storage?

Thanks again

This is what I would do to migrate - - - -because I am not all that trusting of software.

  1. Copy off the 2TB of data on the EX2 and stash it else where.
  2. Slap in the new 10TB drives, and let the EX2 do it’s thing.
  3. I use plex for video files, and WMP for audio. Both pieces of software are perfectly happy to be pointed to whatever folder on the EX2 you placed the files. I have plex server running on a PC as well as on the EX2. . . .and they both point to the same media directories without complaining.

You can then use the old 2TB drives anyway you want. . . .

ok cool sounds good. Will report back once my new 10 TB drives come in.
Ive been working hard on ripping my CDs and fixing covers and tags and uploading to my plex drive.
WOW this is a LOT of work!! but so so well worth it to be able to rediscover all my beloved music again thats been neglected for too long (since my AVR died and I havent been listening to my CDs like I used to)

WD101EFAX are SMR. Any drive with “AX” are SMR…
To prove my theory on this, I have a SMR 10TB in my EX2 with a 6tb non SMR driive, The SMR drive stalls every 2-3 minutes because it cannot keep up with the CMR drive. Screenshots are on my site. Should be in my profile…


Look here:

I was under the impression that SMR was limited to <= 6TB drives

I was under the impression that WD didnt put SMR in NAS Drives because there not compatiable, but they did. If you look at the drives they say are SMR, They all end in EFAX, This includes the 10,12,14TB…


Take a closer look at the link in my post above. It is about a month old. From WD. All Red drives above 6TB are CMR. The EFAX 6TB and less are SMR.

They even created a Red Plus line. . . . with all CMR drives. Therefore, one now should shun WD Red Drives

Good way to kill a brand. This is very sticky mess that WD has created.
It shouldn’t be this hard to get good drives. (SMR are NOT good drives)

At this point, I would shun any NAS with 6TB drives or smaller. Lord only knows what drives you would actually receive…

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WHAT???! So I need to cancel my order if this is false advertising? The WD site says that model #WD101EFAX is CMR on the data sheet!?
See attached screen shot!
SMR vs CMR|690x83

How can you know for sure if they are SMR or CMR on the drive itself? My order hasnt shipped out yet and isnt expected toarrive until
around 8/1 so still time to cancel. I see the price jumped up from $202 to $262

so which drive model #s ARE CMR not SMR???!
I want at least 8TB so I room to grow as my music collection is pretty big and Im still ripping the FLACs so…
get back to me ASAP!
this is not acceptable if they are false advertising their prodcuts

Take a closer look at the link in my post above. It is about a month old. From WD. All Red drives above 6TB are CMR. The EFAX 6TB and less are SMR.”

This is great news that I dont have to cancel my order as it seems the WD101EFAX are CMR not SMR as per the links provided.
Phew :slight_smile:
Is there a SMR/CMR designation on the drive sticker or an application you can run to confirm the tech inside once you get them?

" Copy off the 2TB of data on the EX2 and stash it else where.
**** Slap in the new 10TB drives, and let the EX2 do it’s thing."***

What would be the fastest but safest way to transfer the FLAC/MP3 files from my external WD MyPassport 6TB drive onto the new 10TB drive NASVolume drive?
I believe if I use the Web File Viewer in the admin GUI then its going over the ethernet and so that will be slower even though I have a100GB speed router, correct?
Ive never done FTP or SSH so Id need help. Any utility?
Should I do the file transfer in batches like Artist by Artist to be sure no errors instead of doing the whole she-bang all at once?

So far (with a LOT of ripping to still do) its at:
83 GB of data / 8853 files / 822 folders
I rip several batches of CDs each day/night

Thanks for your help


This is HUGELY controversial. . … from what I gather, this was a stealth “upgrade” from the manufacturers. . .and someone on the internet had the AUDACITY to actually verify performance of the brand-new-SMR technology.

WD has been walking back this debacle for a few months now… . .

As to how to copy files. . .
. . . .don’t get fancy.
Don’t use FTP or SSH if you don’t understand it.

Frankly, the easiest way would be to open a pair of File explorer window (one pointed at the NAS, one at the HDD) and do a simple drag/drop from one to the other. That is what I do for this type of work.

This is ONLY 89GB. . . .that’s actually peanuts in terms of file transfer. I would still do it in maybe two or three batches, however. At the end. . . use a favorite file comparison program to make sure it all made it over.

Note: If the PC, router, and NAS are all wired on the same network; then nearly all the methods will yield the same speed. Weak link is the network backbone. OH: Make sure the PC is WIRED into router; not on WiFi. Otherwise, you will be limited by the speed/reliability of the wifi connection.

PS: 100GB is not considered a fast network. Might be worth investing in a 1GB router.
If you are using a laptop; consider getting a docking station that has an ethernet port in it. I use docking stations regularly - - - single USB-C (in my case USB 3.1) connection for dual monitors, external speakers, network cable, a few USB connections. Very slick.

Hey, I really wish that link wd gave out was true. Up until this point, The only drives that WD has said what they are, are SMR. They all have a “A” in them. This is not a marketing mistake, nor a product of tailand factory code or whatever else you wanna throw in there. The lawsuit will show the true light. Only reason i say this so hardcore. Wont mention names but a good friend of Bill W, Network Engineer, for a company that shares office space with a person names we will leave out for good measure. Leaked this info on accident in a bitter blog war with a 15 year old from china who rm’d his box. Because he could…

Well. . . . . .that is a pretty hefty claim.

I hear you on the model numbers. . .

For the 2-6tb versions, there are Red and Red-Pro. The Red “A” are all SMR. The Red Pro’s are all CMR. Here’s the rub: There are NO RED 8+TB drives. There is only a single model number for all the 8+TB Red drives. (also now labeled Red Pro). If they are truly SMR. . .then you actually have NO CMR alternative. . (at least with WD)

. . . . so I hope you are wrong and all the documentation is correct.

Ok so I did what you said.
I copied off the data from the 2TB stock drives to my new 5 TB External MyPassport drive,
then I went thru the “Expand storage” process and pulled Drive #1 out and installed the new 10 TB drive now its working on the rebuild process.
Shows 8% done and 192 mins left! didnt think it would take that long as there really inst much on there but we will see
Once Drive #1 is done then I will swap out drive #2.
It wasnt clear if I was supposed to shut down (Hibernate) and pull the plug on the MyCloud when doing this as it doesnt prompt you to really do the process in the correct order or what to actually do and even the literature on the WD site isnt that clear:
So i searched youtube and that wasnt a lot of help but found some vids and went ahead and did it
we shall see how it all works out.

"PS: 100GB is not considered a fast network. Might be worth investing in a 1GB router.
If you are using a laptop; consider getting a docking station that has an ethernet port in it. I use docking stations regularly - - - single USB-C (in my case USB 3.1) connection for dual monitors, external speakers, network cable, a few USB connections. Very slick."

Sorry for any confusion. I do have a GIGAbit connection on my Netgear Switch and using a gigabit ethernet to USB adapter to connect a cable from my switch to my laptop.

My router is a FIOS supplier router that is capable of 1000Mbps (1 GB/s).

Sorry for any confusion or type-o’s in my original post

Here’s the info on my 10 TB drives that I got:

Outside Cardboard Box info:
UPC Code: 718037866758
Model # : WD101EFAXSP
Mfg #: WD101EFAX

Label on the outside ESD protective bag:
10 TB
SATA 6Gb/s NX HA500
SN: (I’ll leave this out)
P/N: 2W10420

Maid In Thailand 01 April 2020
NASware 3.0

On the actual drive label, other numbers not previously shown on other labels (above):
WWN: 5000CCA0B0C79EA2

Well the 2nd drive mirrored over and so they are both now showing up as 10 TB drives and healthy status.
BUT, I freaked out because all my music files on my external USB appered to be GONE!!!
they werent in the folder location I had them and for some reason during the upgrade the NAS decided to move it elsewhere (to a folder I had made and named myself (a long name) for other stuff, and not a name the NAS would have chosen by itself. Well to say I freaked out that a weeks worth of RIPing my CDs to FLAC and transferring was all gone!! haha I found them but dont kmow why. The shared name was also no longer there.
So maybe I should have not left the external USB drive attached when upgrading the drives?
Once again nothing in the docs to tell you what to do and NOT do!

One aread of concern now though…
The fan on the NAS is ALWAYS spinning and the drive temp is about 60 deg C!!
Nothing is working in the background as I dont have the Plex re-settup yet with the new share location (once I transfer the music files to the actual Volume 1 of the NAS from the external HDD) so dont know why the fan would need to be running fulltime and running hot if no processes are running that I know of??
Any ideas how I can find out why just changing the drives from 2 TB to 10 TB now causes the loud fans to stay on all the time? It wasnt like this before with the stock 2TB drives!!!

Here are the 2 screen shots showing the drive status and fan speed!! YIKES 11000 RPM. Not good for longevity.
Time for a support ticket with WD?