Is It OK to Use a Standard Hard Drive in Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device?

Standard hard drives that are used in computers are different from the special hard drives used in the Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Thus, many users ask if it is right to use a standard hard drive in NAS device. This article will discuss about this in depth.

Hard drive, as one of the most widely-used data storage media, most users must be familiar with it. Nevertheless, hard drives are not completely same, not only in brand, but also in design, manufacture and usage. For instance, the standard hard drives in computers are different from those in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

Is It OK to Use a Standard Hard Drive in Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device?

Since NAS hard drive is more expensive than standard hard drive, due to limited budgets, some users would like to use the standard drives in NAS. Is it possible? Of course, you can do that, but it will lead to some problems. In the followings, we will further discuss this question.

Main Differences

First of all, it’s essential for you to know primary differences between standard hard drives and those in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, as follows:

1. Workload

Generally, for a majority of users, they use their computers for several hours at a time. However, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are commonly required to work for weeks or even longer. This means that drives in computer works for a far shorter time than the drives in Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. Thus, the NAS drive is specially designed for high workload, while standard drive not.

2. Durability

In addition, the internal construction of Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is totally different from computer. Inside NAS box, hard drives are close to each other. In this way, there will be more vibration and more heat when the NAS hard drives work. To deal with this pressure, unlike standard hard drives, NAS drives are usually manufactured with better vibration tolerance, slower spindle speeds and reduced noise, thereby producing less heat.

2. Firmware

Moreover, it is well-known that one of the most attractive advantages of Network Attached Storage (NAS) is its support for RAID configurations. Therefore, usually, the NAS hard drives come installed with the specialized firmware for RAID setup. Only with this firmware, NAS can treat all the drives inside as a logical unit. When encountering a bad sector, a standard drive will be forced to try to access the data on this sector by its firmware, and finally suffering timeouts. But, in a special NAS drive, with the special firmware, when it comes across any errors when reading or writing data, the drive will only report the errors. Then, the RAID controller in NAS will find out the data from another drive inside the RAID.

Use Standard HDD in NAS

Although the two kinds of hard drives are different in many aspects, you still can use the standard one in NAS. However, you should accept a fact that the drive will be more vulnerable. That is to say, the standard drives in NAS can be error-prone and get damaged more easily. Hence, they will not be able to live for as long as its advertised lifespan. And NAS data will be susceptible to corruption, like damaged PST files. In conclusion, you had better use the specialized hard drive in Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including fix SQL Server and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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