Should I upgrade firmware?


I have the EX4 16TB and use it mirrored for really important archival stuff.

I am disappointed it works on a netwrok cable instead of just direct into my PC like all the other external WD’s I have (Studio and MY Book etc) but I’m getting used to its slower but hopefully safer  performance.

The unit  keeps asking me to upgrade the firmware but I see the warning of no NFS.

Does no NFS mean I won’t see my drive contents in Windows Explorer?

Sorry if it’s a dumb question but I don’t know what effect this loss of NFS means but it looks serious.

How do I see and manage my archive if it isn’t viewable and manageable in Windows Exporer?

I see from these boards that people are really upset with WD about this loss of NFS but who’s right?

Will I never be able to upgrade the firmware?


Well first, I’m not sure why you are disappointed since this is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and not an USB external drive like those you mentioned.

But to answer your question NFS is a network protocol and no it will not affect you being able to connect to the EX4 from a Windows PC.  Windows uses SMB protocol and does not use NFS natively at all, so basically, if you don’t know what NFS is then you are not going to miss it.

I am very grateful for your information thank you.

So I will go ahead and upgrade the firmware.

It is true I was  ignorant of the machine being a network based system but seeing the USB connectors on the back in the sales blurb misled me into thinking it would plug directly into my PC like all the WD drives I have.

I still don’t know why it doesn’t work like that  but then I don’t need to know  -  I am not a techie but a graphics and  video worker. 

Thank you for your help

I believe you can actually directly connect the EX4 to your computer using an ethernet cable. I have not done it myself but couple folks here have confirmed it is doable. I just don’t know if you need to make any settings adjustments on the EX4 in order to do that. Maybe it just works without any changes. But yes, those USB ports are basically a way to extend the capacity of your NAS by adding additional USB drives to it, and then you can access the USB shares just like any shares on the NAS and set read-write privs for those drives to NAS-registered users. But if you are feeling frustrated by the NAS’ slow performance, then speedwise you will be better off attaching any external USB drives directly to your computer than to the USB port of the EX4. The other thing that I wonder about your slow speed complaint is, I wonder if you are using wifi from your computer to connect to your network to access the wifi. Now THAT would obviously give you a very slow data transfer rate…whereas a wired gigabit ethernet connection to your computer would give you much faster speed.

And yes, NFS is a UNIX/Linux file sharing protocol, which you don’t need to worry about if you have a Windows PC or Mac, as someone already said.