What would you do if you lost all your precious data? Family photos and videos, a best-selling novel you wrote or a blockbuster script. In this video, I am going to teach you how to monitor the health of your hard drives with a Synology NAS So the safety of your precious data can be greatly enhanced. It’s TechWiz time. Hey guys, it’s Jonathan here with TechWizTime, where I teach you technology through tutorials. Today, I am going to be teaching you how to keep your precious data safe. When using Hard Drives to store data, it is more of a “When it is going to fail” rather than an “If it is going to fail”. Knowing how to ensure your hard drives are healthy can mean the difference between potentially losing all your data and keeping it safely stored and secure. Personally, I have all my family photos and videos and my latest blockbuster script stored on portable hard drives and I don’t really have a solid backup solution. If one of those hard drives were to fail, I have no real guaranteed way of getting those memories back. They are potentially gone forever. Synology produces world class Network Attached Storage systems or NAS for short. They have kindly sent me their 8 Bay DS1815+ unit to produce a tutorial series based around some intermediate NAS topics. This video is about steps you can take with a Synology NAS to ensure your hard drives are healthy, so you don’t have a hard drive failure without warning. I’m going to teach you how to set up email notifications, S.M.A.R.T scheduling and RAID Redundancy. Without further ado, lets pop over to the computer and log into the Synology DiskStation web interface. The first part of this tutorial is going to be setting up Email Notifications. Once we have the web interface open, click on the DiskStation menu in the top left hand corner and choose Control Panel. Inside Control Panel, under the System sub-section, click on Notification. On this window, we can put a check beside “Enable Email Notifications”. Now there are a few options here. You have the option of using GMAIL, Yahoo!, Outlook, QQ, or your own Custom SMTP Server. In my circumstance, I will be using GMAIL In the Recipient’s Email box, type in your full email address. Once you’ve done that, in the Subject Prefix box, type in something that will catch your attention. In my case, I’m typing in Synapse NAS Warning. Now to make this all work correctly, we need to click on the “Log into Gmail” button. This will launch the GMAIL login page where we can log in. Once logged in, we need to allow access between GMAIL and Synology Mail Notification. To do that, we need to click the ALLOW button. Next, we also need to AGREE with the Synology SMTP Notification. Now that we have authorized GMAIL, we can check that everything we have done so far is working. To do that we just need to click on the “Send A Test Email” button. We should then get a popup saying that the Test Email has been sent. But to make sure it worked correctly, login to your GMAIL account to see if the email has come through. In my case, it’s sitting right there. Inside it gives us a congratulations message. Awesome! The procedure for Yahoo, Outlook and QQ are like what I’ve just shown. But Custom SMTP Server is where it gets a little different. All the details need to be entered manually. You will need to know your SMTP Server, usually something like smtp.yourdomainname.com, as well as your SMTP Port. This all depends on the email server for the email address you want to setup. If authentication is required, you will need to check that box and supply your username & password. If you want to use a secure connection, you will need to check the “Secure Connection” box. And lastly, you need to provide a Senders Name and a Senders email address. Optionally you can send a Welcome message by checking the last box. To save everything we’ve just done, click on the blue “Apply” Button. Now we’ve completed setting up the email account settings, we need to ensure that we have enabled Bad Sector Warnings. Bad sectors are sectors on an hard drive that are no longer accessible or writable because of permanent damage. A lot of bad sectors often means that a drive failure is imminent. Therefore, “Bad Sector” Warnings are crucial to keeping an eye on the health of your Hard Drives. So, let’s jump back over to the DiskStation web interface and get that set up. Back on the DiskStation interface now, we need to click on the “DiskStation” menu in the top left hand corner and choose “Storage Manager”. Looking down the left side, we need to click on the “HDD/SSD” menu. And across the top we need to choose the “General” tab. Here we can see in the middle of the window, the “Bad Sector Warning” section. By default, this should be checked. If not, then make sure you do that now. You can also modify the number of Bad Sectors before it changes the status of the Hard Drive. 50 bad sectors is the default value, which is perfect for most users. Just above the Bad Sector Warning section is the “Disk Health Report” section. This should also be ticked by default. And give us a date and time of when the next email will be sent out. To show you what that will look like, I’m going to click on the “Send Report Now” button. Over in GMAIL, I can see that email has just come through successfully. And the email itself has information about each drive. I can see here that my Disk 8 has 63 Bad Sector Counts. So I’ll need to replace this hard drive ASAP so I don’t lose any of my important data. So that’s the Email Notifications all setup and ready to run. You will get notified of any Hard Drives with health problems when they happen. And get a monthly report on the status of the Hard Drives in your Synology NAS. S.M.A.R.T Scheduling is another method to monitor the health of your Hard Drives. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. It’s a way to monitor and report different bits of information about a Hard Drive, which in turn can help to predict a hard drive failure. And it’s included with every Hard Drive and SSD. Let’s jump back to the DiskStation web interface and setup our Synology NAS to schedule some S.M.A.R.T. tests. Back on the DiskStation interface, we need to click on the “DiskStation” Menu in the top left hand corner and choose “Storage Manager”. Looking down the left side, we need to click on HDD/SDD. And across the top we need to choose the “Test Scheduler” tab. To create a new S.M.A.R.T. Test Schedule, we need click on the “Create” button. Here, we need to give this task a name. I’m giving it the name “SMART Quick Monthly” for reasons that will become apparent shortly. Now the S.M.A.R.T. test types are split into “Quick” and “Extended”. For this task, I’m choosing “Quick” as this will perform the test in the quickest time possible. The “Extended” Test can take around a day, if not more in some circumstances. Under S.M.A.R.T. Test Range, I’m going test all supported disks. You can choose only certain disks if you want by clicking on each one in the list. Now before we click OK, we need to click on the Schedule tab up the top. Here’s where we can control when the tests will run. We have the option here to run it on certain days or on certain dates. A quick test only needs to be run weekly or monthly. Depending on your preference, you can run it every Saturday or Sunday when everyone is out of the office or not at home. I’m going to choose a specific date here. And I’m going to choose to repeat the test monthly. Under Time, you can specify the hour and minute of when the tests will start. I’m choosing midnight as I’m sure I will be in bed by then. To save everything we’ve just done, click the blue “OK” button. That’s a quick test schedule. I’m going to also setup an “Extended” test which won’t need to be run as often as a Quick Test. I’ll click on the “Create” button again and I’ll give it a Task Name, choose that it’s an extended Test. and leave it to test all supported disks. Over in the Schedule tab, I’m going to have this run yearly. But at a time when I shouldn’t personally be using the NAS. Which for me is around Christmas. Once I’m done, I’ll click on the blue “OK” button, and once again and I can see there now I have two different tests scheduled to run. A Quick Test and an Extended Test. Awesome! Another way of ensuring your data is safe, is by using a RAID technology with redundancy. Over on the Synology website, they have a great tool where you can visually see how much space is used for protection and how much is available to use. This will depend on your hard drive configuration and the RAID type you choose. SHR or Synology Hybrid RAID is a good default RAID type which uses the largest hard capacity hard drive in your setup as protection or redundancy. Basically, this means that if you have one hard drive completely fail in your RAID, then it can be swapped out without losing any data. In my personal configuration though, I have 8 x 3TB hard drives and I’ve opted to use SHR-2. This RAID type uses 2 of my drives as redundancy. So what this means is that I can have up to two Hard Drives fail without losing any data. Pro Tip: When purchasing hard drives for your Synology NAS, make sure you choose NAS specific Hard Drives such as Western Digital RED or Seagate Ironwolf Hard Drives. Certain models of Synology NAS, including the DS1815+, support Seagate IronWolf Health Mangement. This feature provides higher accuracy in predicting a drive failure for most Seagate IronWolf Drives. Greater accuracy means safer data. Also, make sure you don’t buy all your drives at one time from the same supplier to ensure you have a good mix of drives. This means the chance of them all failing at once are greatly reduced. I’m upgrading my drives soon to 6TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drives and I will have them shipped from multiple suppliers to ensure the chance of failure is decreased. Let’s Recap:
By setting up Email Notifications, we can ensure we are notified if a Hard Drive health issue arises. S.M.A.R.T. scheduling also means our hard drives are monitored regularly for any early signs of a potential Hard Drive failure. And aving our Synology NAS setup as a RAID like SHR or, even better, SHR-2, we can ensure that even with a single hard drive failure we have some form of protection. How awesome is that! I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Make sure you share this video with all your friends that have a Synology NAS or friends that need one. You know who they are! I have more Synology NAS tutorials on the way, so if you are not a subscriber already, then hit that red subscribe button. If you are already a subscriber and want to get notified of my new videos, then click on the bell icon. Like this video if you enjoyed it and as always: Imagine, Learn, Create.