Synology DiskStation NAS question?

Anyone run one of these?

I have a DS416Play running 4x 6TB NAS drives (WD Red and Seagate IronWolf) and one crapped out suddenly on me. Not a physical mechanical click click death but a filesystem bad sector that occurred during a copy. Because I stupidly am running them as four JBOD without any redundancy taking advantage of its btrfs file system, there does not seem to be any way to “work around” the corrupted data on the bad sectors.

I remember back in the day with Windows and DOS, you could flag/mark bad sectors and cross your fingers that the drive did not develop more but the disk remained useful/usable (for you to evacuate the rest of the files or if you blindly wanted to keep using it) once that condition was “cleared.”

DSM (Synology’s NAS OS) doesn’t seem to allow that and it seems like the drive is a write-off now for a bad sector. Yes, foolish me for not using the SHR1/SHR2 redundancy afforded by the NAS to setup at least 1 parity drive (giving me 18GB usable space and a 6TB parity drive) but can someone more experienced than I with these consumer NASes chime in?

Do you have that bunch of disks as separate volumes per disk or combined into one virtual volume?

Do you have a backup of the volumes you created?

JBOD has zero logical redundancy, so any volumes that are on that disk (even partially) are toast.


Each one is its own volume. I pulled the disk and was able to read it in Windows using EFS Explorer. Am copying over the files to a new drive tonight. It’s strange that the whole drive is written off like that on a bad sector.

W2That’s lucky. Does that mean you don’t have backups?!

If not, then sing along with me and everyone else: RAID IS NOT BACKUP! ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS!

Best advice is to backup the volumes and rebuild the whole set of disks in a redundant configuration. With 4 disks, you’ll need to use SHR-1 or RAID 5 and you’ll end up with 18gb useable as you noted.

The logical volumes you choose to put on top of that RAID afterwards depend on your needs. Personally I wouldn’t bother making a bunch of separate volumes for no reason.

No matter what, you’ll want to buy a separate fast and large external USB drive, connect it to the DiskStation, and use that as a target for regular backups of your volumes.

Even WITH redundancy, you’ll find reasons why separate backups are necessary. A few xamples:

  1. You change or delete a file and want the old version back later. RAID ensures that the latest change or deletion gets safety replicated everywhere. That means a drive breaking never leaves you with an invalid volume, but it doesn’t do anything to save old versions of files or files you’ve since deleted.

  2. You want to rejigger the RAID type or add or change the underlying drives or layered volumes. SHR-1 and RAID 5 let you rebuild the existing configuration one drive at a time in case of drive failure, but that’s all and those rebuilds are very slow.


The problem with my synology at least is that the bulk is taken up by BluRay rips and other media. It’s nigh-impossible to back this stuff up due to the size of it. I do however, make sure that I have redundancy and can lose a drive though.

That’s a good point. We had a somewhat similar issue in that our storage needs were both large but also critical for my wife’s business.

We muddled along for a few years with redundant backups of different volumes to different places (both local attached to NAS and at the client machines). Splitting the backup tasks worked but was fussy to maintain.

The expensive but excellent solution was that we eventually bought a newer larger Synology frame so that we could add SSDs as cache to speed up the array response time (my wife was complaining about the speed slowing as the array filled). That did wonders for speed AND allowed us to re-use the old Synology as a network target to backup the new one and for client side time machine backups. Problem solved with the power of money!

I might not backup if I had ONLY media files that never change and that could be recreated from physical if really necessary. But that’d be risky regardless.


I’ve only had a Synology NAS for a week so I’m not able to say for sure, but this seems wrong for me. There’s a specific setting to warn you when bad sectors on a disk exceed a certain threshold (default: 50). This would surely be pointless if only one bad sector rendered a disk unusable. That said, I have no idea how you would go about accessing the data within DSM if it’s not ordinarily letting you.

Normally (if there was redundancy) you’d repair the volume and then do a full disk scrubbing pass in storage manager. You SHOULD also schedule regular disk scrubbing jobs to make sure the disks are healthy.

DSM can show the raw SMART data for the drive as well as run smart tests. If the drive is showing increasing bad sectors over time or has hit the threshold to be marked bad then you for sure want to get rid of it! One of two bad sectors that don’t increase are no big deal though.

Hope that is helpful,

I put the drive into a USB3 toaster connected to Windows and am copying the data off using (the “access” edition) so it does appear to only be one bad sector that caused Synology’s DSM to reject the entire drive.

I am copying the files to a spare 8TB NTFS drive and waiting for another 8TB archive drive (SMR shingle magnetic recording i think, slow to write, decent to read) to arrive for me to put into the NAS. I need to do 2 more shuffling rounds before I can use one of my 4 for parity since the SMR drive is too slow for parity.

  1. when 6TB SMR drive arrrves, put it back into synology to replace the failed 6TB as still its own JBOD volume, copy the 6TB of “lost” data back onto it
  2. clear the spare, put the 8TB back in as a parity drive, pulling out a 6TB drive with unique data on it
  3. Move unique data to another NAS or server and use FlexRAID/unRAID/SnapRAID/DriveBender/StableBit with file duplication with ANOTHER 6TB drive.

Thanks to @Nesrie giving the heads up on the Synology DS220 on the Amazon Prime sale, I picked one up. I have to admit, this was very, very easy to set up. Plop the 2 WD drives in, boot it up and presto, I’m in.

My biggest question is this thing comes with a ton of potential apps you can install and there are many done by Synology and some 3rd party apps.

So far, I’ve installed the Plex Media Server because I’ve heard a lot about it.

I was hoping people might chime in and suggest the ones they’ve found helpful.

I’ve got a much older diskstation but its CPU was never really powerful enough to run plex media server due to the amount of transcoding of videos plex wants to do. I had more success running the media server on a different device and using the NAS as network attached storage for all the media files. Of course flashy new CPUs may have enough grunt to cope with the transcoding these days. I’ve mostly used it as a place to back up photos from mine and the wife’s phone, as well as accessing stuff when I’m out and about so I’m not relying so much on Google/Microsoft/Amazon. For my part the synology apps have been good enough for what I’ve needed.

My friend attached security cameras to his so he could log in remotely. Although more often than not he was spying on what his then-girlfriends elderly incontinent cat was up to.

Plex has enabled hardware transcoding on some Synology models, which helps. Not sure if the DS220 is one of those though.

It is, it actually has a fairly nice CPU for a NAS and has a very recent version of Intel Quicksync. The restriction will actually be that you need to have a premium Plex account in order to turn hardware transcoding on.

@Tman I like Plex enough that I paid for lifetime a few years back, but you should experiment with a month, or go month to month until Plex runs one of their frequent lifetime sales.

You’re welcome!

Diddums right. If you like Plex or want to try it, start with the month to month. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before they run one of their lifetime things. They’re targeted deals, but I assume they give them to a lot of users.

If it’s the DS220+ model it’ll run plex server fine. You do need plex pass to do hardware transcoding.

As for what else to run on it, well, whatever you want. It’ll run pretty much anything in a docker container. Just keep in mind it’s a pretty slow CPU and doesn’t have much RAM.

Oh thank god you said cat.

Pretty sure those were the DS220j models.

The J models are only good for serving files. I have one myself.

Yeah it’s basic, but the Prime Day deal had it at 135 too so it made it a much easier entry than in the past.

It’s fantastic for serving files, don’t get me wrong, just don’t expect it to do anything more than that. Way too slow.