Using A Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ Instead of MyCloud EX2 Ultra

Hello Fellow WD Users and Staff.

Please bear with me on this topic, as I am not sure if it has been posted before or if there is even a work around for it.

My thoughts are surrounding using a raspberry Pi 3b/3b+ (Or any other raspberry Pi for that matter) to install OS5 and to back up hard drives in any raid configuration, or to use as a replacement MyCloud/other WD NAS device running OS5, Until replacement hardware can be obtained.

Now, I have a Pi 3b at home, which is from my understanding virtually similar SBC technology to what is in the MyCloud EX2 Ultra, only difference being where the firmware is installed.

As we know the firmware on the WD Cloud devices uses an SoC based system, rather than the SD card.

For those of you clued up enough in coding, firmware and SBC/SoC Systems you could be able to say weather or not it is worth trying to use a Pi as a base for the WD MyCloud or if I am just talking a load of Balloon Juice.

I personally would relish the chance to attempt such a project, but would need the blessings of WD, coders, etc.

While I am at it, I was wondering if anyone knows how to backup the data on the drives using a USB to Sata cable or similar “drive clone/backup” device?

Thanks for reading and I hope I can get some answers or feedback.

Generally the OS5 firmware is custom coded to work specifically with the hardware found within the My Cloud device. Frankly don’t waist your time with trying to get OS5 to run on a Raspberry Pi. You’d likely end up spending a lot of time having to use the OS5 My Cloud GPL files to modify it, if its even possible, to run on non WD hardware then build some sort of firmware file to install on that non WD hardware.

There are a few other options for NAS or file server operating systems that will run on the Pi ecosystem. Like Open Media Vault for example. It is also pretty straight forward to setup Samba on a headless Raspberry Pi to share hard drive contents on the local network. Plenty of DIY guides out there. Ran a headless Pi 3B+ with Samba Shares and Plex Media Server for several years before moving on to a dedicated full featured NAS (Synology).

As to your backup drive question. Are you asking if you can backup a OS5 My Cloud to a USB hard drive attached to a My Cloud? Yes, see the backup “apps” that can be installed via the My Cloud Dashboard Apps tab (USB Backup, Internal Backup, Remote Backup). There are also ways to use SSH to trigger an rsync to copy the My Cloud contents to an attached USB hard drive. Use this forums search feature (magnifying glass icon top right) to find various past discussions on using rsync with the My Cloud.

Much appreciated for such a swift response,

I appreciate the information regarding the firmware.

As for the backups, I cannot use the original hardware from the device, as the physical connection between the hard drive and the motherboard on the device has become loose, virtually hanging on by 2 or 3 pins and some flimsy looking solder.

So I am looking for a way to connect both drives up and either access via usb, or using maybe an old pc motherboard with sata/molex cables, along with maybe a small 500gb drive to use linux of some form to access the drives in raid 5 configuration to make a backup from that point.

For the single bay/single drive My Cloud models one can extract the internal hard drive and use either a SATA to USB adapter, or a USB SATA docking station, or a spare SATA port on a desktop computer. From there one would use Linux or a Windows Linux driver to access the EXT4 formatted user data partition that is on the drive. At that point one can copy or backup the user data files/folders to another location using a variety of methods including rsync if using a Linux OS.

Mine is the 2-Bay model.

However I have found out it maybe worth my time resoldering the damaged connector, as I have taken a god look and all contacts/pins seem in tact, so its just a case of resolder and test, then backup from there.

Only because I also found out from the software a few weeks ago that it kept giving drive failure errors, so it is worth me sorting it out now with a temporary solder job, then backup the data to a USB HDD using the backup software, and then check the drives for any reason behind the “imminent failure” errors it spits up.

All I know is we have had a heatwave here in the UK, so it may just be the excess heat/humidity causing the issues, as I notices after careful disassembly as to why I was getting some errors, which is as mentioned before, bay 1 HDD connector becoming physically disconnected from the motherboard.

So it is a simple job for me to do over the weekend, I hope.

So only ONE HDD is compromised?

Theoretically, you should be able to still access all the data from the other drive.

This presumes your volume is configured as Raid 1(mirrored); not Raid 0 (stripped) or JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

If you can’t get data from the mycloud; I would do as Bennor suggested;

  • Attach the HDD to a PC using a SATA connector (either in the form of a HDD dock or a Sata-to-USB connector).
  • The HDD is formated EXT4 (Linux); so you would use one of several free Linux drivers to “read” the disk.
  • Drag and Drop copy.