Hard Drive Setup


I thought this would be a good place to ask this since all the computer storage deals tend to have a lot of insight!

I current have way too many harddrives between two computers and I want to simplify everything and have one computer, and a few drives. I'm not entirely sure what would be the best method of doing things. I guess I will explain what I do first. I do photography, videography and animation (and webdesign but that doesn't really apply here) and all those things take up quite a lot of storage and run effectively when using an SSD.

I was thinking having a NVME for OS and programs, a SSD for working files and a NAS or RAID option for backing up files. Does this make sense or are there better alternatives out there? I've looked online but we dont have a lot of the options they have here, and I'm not too keen on importing things during these times.

Thanks in advance!


  • +1

    If you have enough drives you'll be able to use Storage Space built into Windows 10 to build a JBOD with or without redundancy without additional costs. Maybe you could piles the drive into the second machine and then use it as a NAS if they don't all fit into one computer?

    • Cool I didn't know that was an option, I should do an actual count of how many I have before I start! I wasn't aware you could make a computer a NAS either, is it less efficient than buying those little box things?

      • +1

        It will probably consume a little more power over time but it will also be more powerful and won't cost you anything up front to build so that might be the Cheapiest option to consider :)

  • +1

    Before asking for advice you need to establish

    How many HDD you currently have and what size are the individual drives

    How much storage do you need

    Do you need to access the backed up data all the time and have available instantly 24/7.

    or do you just need to store the data and there is only a rare chance you to access the files

    With the data storage is it just a write once read many kinda situation where you could use an smr drive with a normal read speed but a slow write speed

    Do you require redundancy? Ie of a harddrive died would you accept losing the data or do you need multiple copies?

    What is your budget?

    By the way you ask the question I think your computer knowledge is probably fairly basic so you might be better not building a DIY Nas.

    • Why would we consider building a machine for network storage to be difficult? I think it is the best (Cheapiest) option for kaz as there is no upfront cost and he is simply rearranging the pre-existing hardware to be more accessible for his needs.

      In 3 basic steps it would be:
      1. Connect the largest hard drives to computer 2 and arrange them in a software array through Storage Spaces built into W10. The user can choose whatever drives and redundancy method they want; the capacity of the individual drives does not matter (other than being NTFS file format).
      2. Create a network share for the newly created Storage Space drive
      3. Connect to the network share via computer 1 (optionally mount the share as network drive for ease of use)

  • +1

    3 SSD, 250gb 500gb (less than 2 years old) and 128 gb
    3 HDD, 2tb , 1tb (less than 2 years old), 1tb
    3 external HDD, 1tb, 1tb, 1tb

    2tb cloud storage.

    I don't often need to access the backed up data, typically I let it sit on my PC for 6 months post completion of the event, then back it up for a few years. I usually only access it when I do another gig for the same client and want to use some footage or photos. So its not completely rare but the harddrives I do put the data on I always have handy.

    With regards to read and write speed as long as the drives on the computer are fast thats all that matters, once it goes into backup land I am not fussed.

    With regards to redundancy, I get the data off my SD card and put it on SSD + HDD and Cloud. after 6 months it gets put away. Would ideally not like to lose anything but I guess no one would.

    My concern is that everything I have is pretty old(4-7 years roughly). Most of that gear is getting on a bit and I always bought the cheapest drive possible. Having one of those drive die on me recently I figured a proper upgrade is on the cards but I feel silly not utilizing my old drives.

    I do like the idea of having all those drives mangled together and making use of them, but would consider a NAS box since I want to reduce the real estate and I'm sick of computer 2.

    Budget would be around 400-600 to get everything nice and stream lined. I am currently looking at how other videographers organise their files and potentially copying their setups.

    P.S I appreciate the effort, thought and help from you both!

    • How much storage do you need in your pc and how much storage do you need for your archive?

  • +1

    If you went DIY server mode with computer 2 you can have 3TB of network storage with theoretically full redundancy, using the 128GB as the OS drive. The newer 1TB HD and the 2 SSDs could be used for computer 1…
    But honestly I wouldn't bother nor risk it since you have a budget; go all new mate. Sell the older stuff on Facebook and just have computer 1 good as possible.

    • Okay sounds like a plan, will buy everything new and start fresh! Sorry for beating around the bush I should have outlined the budget from the beginning.

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