Still in box - first steps?

I will be getting a My cloud mirror as a replacement for a my cloud. I want to avoid problems so what should I do and in what order?

I’ll be running Plex on a dedicated PC so I won’t need dlna. I plan on turning that off before I add any files. This should cut down on device overhead and help performance, correct?

I have no iDevices so plan on turning off itunes b4 I add any files. Right move?

The my cloud I had wouldn’t work with the latest firmware. Should I let the mirror update on install, download the firmware and do it manually, or don’t let it update?

Does this have a way to backup to an external drive (safepoint) or do I handle that via software on PC?
Assuming I select raid0 to use both drives

Sorry for all the questions but I don’t want to turn this into a brick right after I plug it in.

Personally I’d say you’re approach is sound - disable any services that you don’t need to keep things lean and simple. In addition to your DLNA and iTunes, also you may want to include cloud support for the WD apps as well. If you turn that off then you cut down on the cataloguing and indexing that the MCM needs to do, and you’ll also cut out all the “hidden” .wdmc folders that get created where the MCM stores the information from that indexing (otherwise you’ll get one per folder that has indexed files in it).

The key point is to make your decision on which features you want enabled/disabled, and how you want the drives themselves set up (RAID0, RAID1, JBOD or spanning) before you start moving any data onto the MCM.

As for the firmwares, it depends a little what firmware your MCM arrives with. I’d review the release notes for any subsequent firmware and then make an informed decision as to whether those features/fixes are worth the update or not. On my MCM the current firmware (1.05.30) works fine, and the updating is easy via the dashboard.

If I were you though, I’d use JBOD (“Just a Bunch of Disks”, basically using each drive independently) rather than RAID0. Whilst it has the disadvantage that you can fill one drive before the other (and you can’t see from the dashboard how full each drive individually actually is, you only get a total free space available count although mapping drives and looking at the used/free space reported there can overcome that), it does have the distinct advantage that if you lose one drive then the other is totally unaffected, whereas in RAID0 (and in spanning) mode if you lose one then you may well lose much more of your data as it will be randomly distributed across both drives. You will of course lose the “mirror copy” protection of RAID1, but you’ll double your available capacity.

There are ways to do external drive back-up via the dashboard, but I must admit I’ve never actually tried it so I can’t tell you if they work, or how well they do. Have a look in the MCM user manual though, as that is quite detailed in what options are available from the dashboard for backing up and file transfer.

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The JBOD option is not very clear in the manual.

What I would like to do is refer to the two drives independently either using windows map network drive or UNC like \MirrorD0 and \MirrorD1.  Is this an option with the MCM?

If I could configure it to use each drive seperately I could use two 4TB USB drives I already have as backups for each of the drives in the MCM.

The MCM doesn’t expose the drives directly, but exposes the shares that are set up on them (think of them like shared folders). So if you (for example) set up a single share on each drive, then essentially you can then access each drive directly by either mapping the drive or using a UNC (\MyCloudMirror\ShareOnDrive1 or \MyCloudMirror\ShareOnDrive2 etc). You can set up as many shares on each drive as you wish, and then set the access permissions for each independently for each user you create on the MCM (read/write, read only or no access). There are no size limits on individual shares, aside from the total size of each disk of course (although you can set up user quotas if you wish, across all the shares they have access to - but that’s something I’ve never personally tried).

JBOD basically just treats each drive independently, with no interaction at all between them. When you set up the shares on the MCM dashboard you chose which of the volumes (drives) you want to put them on. Like I said the only real disadvantages are that you get no back-up within the unit itself like you would get in RAID1, and that it’s quite possible to fill up one of the drives whilst the other one has free space (and as the MCM dashboard only reports the total free space, it can come as a nasty surprise). 

JBOD is how I have my MCM set up, with drive 1 as the back-up drive (for smartware, windows backup plus a few manually stored files and folders) whilst drive 2 holds my media which is shared by NFS to my Raspberry Pi (and my PCs and tablets if I so wish).

You can also connect 1 or 2 other drives up to the MCM, which will then appear as shares too that you can set up with similar access. The only thing you can’t do is use them as part of a RAID array controlled by the MCM, and at the moment the dashboard copying from NAS to USB is a bit glitchy in the firmware (there are a few threads in this forum on the subject).

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That sounds exactly like what I want to do.  My files are going to be mostly static so I don’t need the overhead of the RAID1 running.  I’ll probably start out just using drive1 and having the dashboard backup to drive2 nightly.  So I guess when I first get this I should:

0 update to latest firmware (this scares me)

1 go right to Storage/RAID and pick JBOD then MCM will reconfigure

2 turn off media serving, iTunes, TimeMachine

3 rename the device to something friendly like ‘NASdrive’

4 set up a share on each drive

5 throw a few files on drive1 and test it out

6 test out the internal backup to drive2

If/when I get to the point I need more than 4TB I’ll just start using drive2 and start backing up to an external drive for drive.

Yes that should work. 

There is the capability for internal back-ups either daily, weekly or monthly, although again I must admit it’s not something I’ve ever tried (my MCM drive 1 is the backup target drive in my case, so it’s the second copy of the data itself).

I’ve done a few firmware updates on mine (I helped to beta-test one of the most recent updates, which involved a few manual updates), and *touch wood* thus far it’s been painless, although I understand your fears there too.

Aside from that your plan sounds good to me.