The Right Way to Backup External Drives on WD NAS.
If you want to back up all your data or stream video throughout your home, having a dedicated NAS (also known as network storage) really comes in handy. I recently purchased a 24TB WD EX4100 to archive my YouTube videos. And the first problem I ran into was creating backups from external hard drives. For starters, Wi-Fi file transfer speeds are terrible. Switching to the Ethernet port does improve transfer speeds, but still requires the computer to be on at all times. It turns out there is a better (and faster) way to transfer files from an external hard drive to the NAS using the NAS’s USB 3.0 port and WD’s web portal. Here’s how to do it.
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Create background backup tasks on a WD NAS
I’ll just say that 10 Gigabit Ethernet will provide better copying speeds than USB 3.0. In the case of internal drives, you should stick with the local network, but if you have external drives, I would recommend connecting them to the NAS drive and using the portal backup jobs. The WD Web Control Panel has a Backup tab that allows you to schedule a backup job to back up data from the NAS to USB at all times. Let me tell you the whole process.
First of all, connect your external hard drive or SSD to the WD NAS’s front USB port. Make sure you plug in an external USB drive with a front USB port, as the USB drives on the back are USB 2.0.
1. Sign in to your WD web portal. If you have not configured an administrator account, the default username and password are admin. After logging in, click on the “Backup” tab.
2. On the backup tab, you have the option to create backup tasks. Jobs are logged here and below you can see any previously run backup jobs. To create a new task, click the “Create task” button.
3. In the “Create Job” menu you will be able to specify a job name that cannot be changed later. This field is irrelevant, you can specify the name accordingly. The next field is the type of backup, which can be “USB to NAS” or “NAS to USB”. In this case, we transfer data from the external drive to the NAS, we will choose the direction as “USB to NAS”.
4. Before Destination, you must select the folder “Source” and “Destination”. Another important parameter is the type of backup. Now, since this is the first time we are copying files from disk, we will select this as Copy.
The other two options are “Synchronize” and “Incremental”. If you selected Synchronize, the files in the target folder will be synchronized with the source folder. This will update the existing files in the target folder with the original version and delete the target files if they are not in the source folder.
While incremental will copy the file changes from source to destination folder. Target files are not deleted if they are not present in the source.
5. In addition, check the “Auto-start on connection” option, which ensures that the job resumes when the external drive is connected. Click the Create button and work should start right away.
Since this is a batch job, you do not need to track the backup job. You can see the progress of the backup job on the same tab of the backup job.
On successful completion, the following message “Backup completed” appears next to the job name. You can also check the end time of the backup by clicking the Job Details button in the far-right corner of the job name. If the backup fails due to connection or storage issues, you will see the same information on the job details tab.
You can also modify these tasks and reuse them. In our case, we have a fixed number of jobs depending on external drives. We just rerun the job and connect the drive to back up all the data to the NAS.
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the WD EX4100, let me know in the comments below.
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