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How can I setup an internal 3.5" SATA hard disk, with existing data on an ext4 partition, so that I am able to access the data on WLAN? What product should I be looking for to turn the bare drive into some sort of NAS?

Background: my desktop machine has recently given up the ghost, I think the motherboard has finally died after many years of faithful service. I am not in a position to buy new RAM / CPU / motherboard and the old one is probably too old to replace (I was running a Core 2 Duo on Gigabyte EP-35).

I am thinking I can get by with just my laptop for a few months, but I do need access to the data on the hard drives which were in the desktop machine. It is a pair of WD green 3.5" sata drives, one 2TB and one 3TB. I want to avoid having to reformat the drives if at all possible.

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I am currently looking at Synology DS212J .. has anyone had success with this product and Ubuntu 12.04 ? – wim Jul 3 '12 at 13:18
I was able to setup NAS and mount shares using the guide here. It doesn't seem to be possible without reformatting the drive, though, because the NAS OS is installed onto the drive. – wim Jul 11 '12 at 5:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Qnap is renowned for its good quality NAS. Synology is considered a good alternative. Usually all these NAS have linux inside. At the very least they support samba sharing (but they usually support a vast plethora of protocols) so you shouldn't have any problem accessing them from Ubuntu.

You just have to check the specs about ext4 file system. Older or very entry level NAS might not support that.

Looking at Qnap entry level 2-bays product I can say they support ext4. The same goes for the Synology counterpart.

Which one to pick mostly depends on your budget. Don't worry too much about Ubuntu compatibility (99% of them support Linux), just make sure -looking at the specs- that ext4 is supported.

Also, if you take a 2-bay NAS to access both drives at the same time, remember NOT to set any RAID between them. You want to access them individually. Once you have backed everything up you might consider setting up a RAID (not advisable with drives of different size though).

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of course for wifi sharing you have to connect it to a wifi router/accesspoint – Cubiq Jul 3 '12 at 14:13

Why are you going with a nas? Get a cheapie sata -> usb dock (for easy swapping between the drives) and attach it to your laptop.

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I want wireless access to my data, I had this previously by sharing them on the LAN – wim Jul 3 '12 at 13:00

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