Shucking for beginners

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Shucking for beginners

Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
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I'd love to hear thoughts from people here on shucking. I've been researching drives for my first NAS, and this term kept popping up.

Is there something you wish you knew beforehand when starting?
Would you say it's a simple process, or easy to screw up and not for beginners? (It seems alright, based on videos like this and this.)
Advice on investigating what drives are contained within products?
Any situations where its better to just buy the retail ones, other than they're at a discount?
Thoughts on using retail NAS drives for main use, and shucked drives for parity?

Will write what I've gathered so far below, and update:
  • There's potential to save a good amount of money, even at half price
  • WD drives seems popular for shucking, like WD EasyStore / Elements.
  • Always run a diagnostic check before shucking the drive. - example
    • "Opening the drive in CrystalDisk or HDDScan will give you a model number and quick (better yet, Extended) S.M.A.R.T. data that will tell you if the drive is new and free of errors." - source
    • "You should plug in the usb to a computer and run a surface test using something like hard disk sentinel. Run at least a read test over the entire surface to detect bad sector's etc. If it passes, you can be assured it will likely survive a fair amount of time and not die right away." - source
  • Buy external drives for shucking from reputable sources. Some people shuck them beforehand, replace with older drives, and return for reselling
  • Shucking can void warranty. But if you keep the casing, you might still be able to place the drive back, and send for repair with the warranty.
    • The warranty of external drives usually differ from their NAS drive equivalents
  • Research is needed to check which drives might be inside. It's a gamble.
    • Check that the drive isn't SMR, if you want CMR
  • The higher capacity drives (8TB+) apparently tend to have more decent models than the lower ones for NAS uses - source
  • Some WD external drives can have a 3.3 Volt issue - source / BUT apparently this isn't needed for Synology NAS use
    • Tutorial fix - link / safest and easiest fix seems to be just using Kapton / electrical tape to cover the third pin
  • Guide for reading WD Model Numbers - link (unsure where to find latest one)

Shucking reports online:
  • Western Digital 14TB
  • Western Digital 12TB
  • Western Digital 10TB
  • Western Digital 8TB
  • Western Digital 6TB


NAS Support
DS1520+, DS218+, DS215j
  1. RT2600ac
  2. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Given that Synology has a compatibility list that is subtly different for each NAS model then I'd say that using shucked drives is a lottery. If you were to need Synology support then they may stop when they realise the NAS has off-list drives: you'd have to argue that the drives are n't causing the problem. And DSM 7 is more complain-y than DSM 6 was when detecting off-list drives.

I've shifted around WD Elements (EasyStore in US) internal drives and they are just bog standard SATA interfaced drives. In the past (a few years ago) when I had up to 6 TB WD Elements then the internals were Green (when they did Green) or Blue (newer Blue covers the old Green and Blue series). The last time was a 12 TB 'white' label drive and a google was inconclusive for the exact hardware. While it worked as a Basic storage pool in DSM 6 I now use it externally as USB backup for the NAS.

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