18 July, 2014: Drive bays’ cover comes off too easily; doesn’t support hard drives in FAT32 or NTFS format; drive bays only hold drives of regular thickness.
The device can house two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives of any capacity in RAID configurations. It can also be used as an FTP, a DHCP, a UPnP AV, or an iTunes server with an excellent, intuitive Web interface. The DNS-323 comes up big where it matters most: throughput performance. Despite its few flaws and rather bulky power supply, we can easily recommend it to people who are looking for a fast, reliable way to extend their network’s storage and functionalities.
If you have hard drives laying around that are formatted in FAT32 or NTFS file system (supported by Microsoft Windows), the DNS-323 will need to reformat them into Ext2 file system (supported by Linux) before they can be used. This means it’s impossible to move an existing Windows/Mac-friendly hard drive into the DNS-323 without having its data completely wiped. This can also be potentially problematic in case the DNS-323 fails and you want to just hook its hard drives to a Windows computer for data access or recovery. For all the NAS devices (of which the hard drives are user-replaceable) we’ve reviewed to date, the DNS-323 is the first that supports only the Ext2 file format. This makes the user-replaceable aspect of the device less flexible. The formatting takes a relatively short time depending on the size of the hard drives. In our case, it took about 5 minutes for a drive of 400GB.
The D-Link-DNS-323 boasts a simple, compact design with all the ports (Gigabit Ethernet, USB, and power) on the back. On the front is the hard-drive bay cover that has the power button and three blue activity status LEDs, one for each hard drive and one for the network port.
The DNS-323 doesn’t come with hard drives–leaving you the option to choose what storage capacity to add. It’s very easy to open the device to access its hard drive bays. We found it a bit too easy, in fact. More than once we accidentally opened the cover just by holding the device from the front to lift it up. It would be a lot better if the DNS-323′s face lid had some sort of lock to prevent this. Fortunately, NAS devices are generally not supposed to be portable, and the act of opening the cover doesn’t interfere with the D-Link’s working status. The device can take two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, preferably of regular thickness: all you have to do is to slide the drives in and they fit in very well. Thinner drives don’t fit as snugly. There’s a release latch for each drive at the back of the device, in case you want to replace the hard drives. You can use just one drive with the DNS-323, but if you want to take advantage of the RAID configuration, the second one is a must.
Use “Full Scan” to recover lost files D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage hard drive as raw file system
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