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  1. #1
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    NAS and Win10 backup solution

    I am in the process of upgrading my daughters computers that she uses from a home business. In the process, I would like to set up a backup solution that doesn't require her to do much of anything.
    Here is the scenario.

    She will have a Win10 desktop that will be her primary machine, and contain everything.
    She will also have a Win10 laptop, that will be used when she is traveling or doing shows.
    (also a couple of Win10 tablets and android phones that can access the network).

    We are running a Netgear 7500 router that has 2 USB 3 ports and an eSata port.

    What I would like to do is attach a NAS unit to the router. Currently looking at a Netgear ReadyNAS 202-2 with 2 2tb WD red drives (raid)

    The idea is to automatically keep the desktop sync'd up to the NAS as it runs. When the laptop is within range of the network, some folders would sync with the NAS. This could be a two way sync when returning from a show (which would also cause some data to sync back to the desktop).
    If for some strange reason both machines are in use in the office at once, we would need the data to keep in sync between both machines and the NAS. NOTE, this is just files. There is no multi-user software involved.

    Any updates to the NAS by the phones for tablets would be more or less manual.

    I am also thinking syncing the NAS to the cloud for offsite backup.

    The current backup situation requires the desktop to be up when the laptop is started (and/or stopped) to successfully sync data between the laptop and the desktop (using Allway Sync on startup and shutdown), then a manual sync backup to an external drive which is supposed to be rotated offsite. Needless to say, this leaves a lot to be desired..

    I have no experience with NAS units.

    So I am looking for suggestions as to hardware and software to make this work. I want it make everything as automatic and real time as possible.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Rather than a NAS I'd stick to the current arrangement and add cloud backup if you feel the need - Google / MS provide plenty of free space.
    You should schedule Allway to sync every 5 / 10 minutes and let it sort out the rest.
    I'd also set up a backup schedule for the desktop and leave the external drive attached, then swap it when you remember.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. Always encrypt cloud backups, just in case.
    Last edited by Paul T; 2015-12-16 at 02:48.

  3. #3
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    The current arrangement is not working well.
    The external backup drive is attached to the desktop, which means that it has to be running to sync up the laptop; or to access any data with the tablets or phones.
    The desktop isn't always running.
    With the addition of the tablets and phones, we now have data that may only exist on the backup drive.
    We had one external backup get flaky, so running two drives with raid gets my interest.
    Swapping out the external drives is really a sore point, as it doesn't seem to get done when I'm not in town.

    We currently 'rotate' 3 1tb external drives, which are maxed out; so I need to replace them.

    I have been happy with Allway Sync on my computers, and reasonably happy with running it on hers...but..
    reading the documentation on using it 'real time', I'm not sure how well it would work. It says that when changes are detected it will start the sync job after the specified minutes if no activity.
    1. the sync job (for several 1000 files) takes a fair amount of time; which translates to quite a byte of overhead.
    2. if she has lots of orders, she can be creating and updating files frequently. Since the program appears to wait for no activity (i.e. 10 minutes) before starting the sync job; it appears to be possible to go hours without doing a sync.

    I was hoping somebody would recommend software that would simply take all files that have changed (and are not in use) since the last sync and update them

    I will do a little actual testing and see if that's how it really works.

    Would still like to get the drive off the desktop and attached to the router. I've seen a couple of WD units that sound like they can run on a router, but they may actually be a type of NAS; can't really tell from descriptions.

    The other advantage (I think) to the NAS, it appears the sync to the cloud would be between the NAS and the cloud; so no other computers would have to be up.

    As I said, I'm trying to make this as 'fool' proof and automatic as possible.

    I'm a full time RVer and end up doing a lot of support by phone and TeamViewer; so I'm hoping to make my life easier too.

  4. #4
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    The advantage of USB drives is you can take them places and plug them in to use them. A NAS takes some set up and when you've had a disaster you don't want to have to muck around.
    Attaching the USB drive to the router will get you around the "PC not turned on" issue. If you have 2 USB ports you can hook up two drives and duplicate the data. You will need a method of monitoring the health of the drives if they are on the router.

    Can you set up a schedule that syncs at specific intervals instead of real time?

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    I understand what you are saying about being able to take USB drives places and plug them in. I use a laptop with an external pocket sized drive for all my data. It frequently gets used on relatives machines.

    In my daughters situation, the portability is not an issue. The desktop will be used for the business with multiple printers and cutters attached. That machine will be sync'd to whatever USB/NAS I end up using. A subset of that data will be sync'd to the laptop, which may not be used for days at a time. I think the tablets and phones will simply be one way data to the ??.

    I still need to do some testing to see how Allway Sync behaves with an external drive attached to the router.

    I did some research on the WD My Cloud Mirror (gen 2), which is a NAS with raid. The software sounds like it does the kind of sync/backup that I am looking for. Sounds like it is more or less real time, and specifically states that it can keep multiple computers in sync. It is attached to an Ethernet port and has a usb port so a drive can be attached to create offsite backups.

    You mention 'monitoring' the health of the USB drives attached to the router. I'm not sure how to do that.
    One of the problems we have with the current setup is that drive and Allway Sync job problems are not always obvious and I find out by accident that things aren't really working.

    I was hoping that somebody would chime in with other software suggestions, or that had experience with some of the different NAS products. (WD, Synology, Netgear, Qnap, Buffalo)

    I successfully removed the old OS HD from the desktop (which had been upgraded from Vista - Win 7 - Win 10),
    and put in a SSD and have installed (and activated) Win 10. Tomorrow I start installing all the software and rearranging the data layout. Then I start working on the backup/sync process. I will also be upgrading her laptop from 8.1 to Win 10, then either cloning or doing a clean install to a much bigger HD. Tablets have already been upgraded to Win 10. It will be nice to have all of our machines running on the same OS.

  6. #6
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    I am offering alternatives to buying a NAS, but if you have the money and knowledge a NAS is good investment. Make sure you have one that monitors the disks (SMART) and notifies you of problems (email) - which the WD unit has.
    WS review of the WD unit.

    cheers, Paul

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  8. #7
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    We currently have 3 externals that we are rotating for backup/offsite. We have them maxed out, so I'm looking at buying 3 more 3tb drives. Looking at the WD unit, price difference would be small. Still looking at cloud for the offsite.
    Currently leaning toward the WD over using USB units primarily because the syncing software looks like it meets my needs and looks to be simpler and easier to work with than Allway Sync.

    Thanks for the input.

  9. #8
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    3TB over the web is not a place I would want to go. Get a new external disk, or two.

    cheers, Paul

  10. #9
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    Just to clarify, the current externals are 1tb and 90% full. We are actually using smaller drives to store system image copies and restore/recovery files.

    The plan is to put all files and possibly some media files on the NAS.

    The only stuff that has to go offsite (externals or cloud) is pictures, business financial stuff, home inventory records and a few other things that could be critical in case of disaster (she is in southern AL). Currently it looks like cloud would be between 400 and 500 gb. If we put everything on an external for offsite, we are at 1.3tb.

    Did bite the bullet and order the WD Cloud Mirror (gen 2) with 2 3tb drives.

    May end up doing both on the offsite. Cloud for critical, and do a monthly copy to an external of the entire WD unit for the bank.

    Just have to see how things work out.

    Thanks for you help.

  11. #10
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    southern AL?

    cheers, Paul

  12. #11
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    I suspect southern Alabama Paul

  13. #12
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    Yep.
    Southern Alabama USA.
    Right now, it's tornados and heavy rain in this part of the country.
    90 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
    My son-in-law was just transferred down from southern Kentucky, so I'm revamping my daughters computers and backup systems.

  14. #13
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    Just an update for anybody that might be interested.

    I purchased a Western Digital MyCloudMirror Gen 2 (2 3gb red drives in raid 1), got it about a month ago.

    Looked great. Plugged into router and with a minor hiccup (on-line startup help sent me to a webpage that didn't exist), got it up and running.

    Set up a sync pair and sync'd my music/iTunes files over to the unit. Was able to access from everywhere.
    Set up another sync pair for some test. Create a file on the laptop, would automatically sync to the unit and on to the desktop. YES, looking good.

    Set up another sync pair for a 40,000 file sync.
    Almost half way through, told me it couldn't sync a file at this time, would try again later.
    Shut down and restart, no go.
    Eventually, it would say WDMyCloudMirror up to date. NOT..

    At that point, sync would no longer do anything. Change data in folder that had already sync'd, set up a new sync pair,
    reboot unit. Shut everything down, uninstall and reinstall. Dead in the water.

    Support passed me to level 2. Back and forth, clean system off and start over. Always same results.
    Sent log files, level 3 says 'low memory problem' ?? where?? Systems have all been shut down and restarted, sync is just stuck thinking it's done.

    Level 2 guy has been responsive to e-mails, logged in remote, really tried.
    Level 3, one feed back since 1/10 looks like lack of interest.

    Finally told level 2 to send me another unit (overnight). Sent me the next version up the EX2.

    Same problems.

    Logged my first case on 1/3. It's now 1/28.

    If we're not operational by 1/30 (lol) it's going back.

    Been using WD drives (internal, external, portables) since 1985. One problem drive, handled immediately.

    This time, not a happy camper.

    The unit and software (if it worked) would do just exactly what we need. IF IT WORKED.

    Looking at other brands....

  15. #14
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    What runs the sync? Is it the NAS or the computer?
    Have you tried other sync software? Aomei Backupper free has sync built-in, as well as being a backup and clone program.

    cheers, Paul

  16. #15
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    Paul: There is a real time module that runs on the PC. You set up a sync pair 'folders' (as many as you need) and any changes go to the NAS. Changes on the NAS also go down to the PC.
    One of my early test...
    Set up a sync pair containing 10 files on the desktop. They sync'd to the NAS. Deleted a file on the NAS and it deleted on the desktop. Rename a file on the desktop, renamed file now on NAS. Set up same sync pair on laptop. Sync'd all files to laptop. Added file on laptop, went to NAS and on to desktop. Great, just what I was looking for.

    It was when I went to sync all the data from the desktop to the NAS that things went down hill.

    UPDATE.
    Morning of 1/29 got a call from level 2 guy. Said they had posted a firmware update overnight; update the unit.

    Did the update and kicked of the sync. No go. Uninstalled wdsync software and reinstalled. Started sync and it kept going and going and.... Ran overnight.
    Looked like it worked.

    Then I used file manager properties to compare files/folders counts between the desktop and NAS.
    Folder counts all matched, but file counts were short on the NAS.

    Started doing some research, ran across a PDF created when I ran Belarc on the system.
    Didn't sync to the NAS. Same file properties and security as other files that did work.
    Copied some data (including PDF) to another folder and set up a sync pair. Should have created 4 folders and 6 files. Got 4 folders and 5 files.

    No rhyme or reason to the skipped data. Music folder, missing some mp3, some jpg album graphics, etc. Missing 300+ out of 6000 files.

    Syncing across machines is flaky today. One change works, one doesn't.

    My assessment of Western Digital MYCloud/NAS units.
    Functions 10, reliability 0.

    I've put in for a RMA to return unit.

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