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I’ve run a home NAS system for a number of years now – to be honest, I’ve used it for not much more than a backup drive. However, having it connected to my wireless network means that I can backup my Netbook to it.

The other week there was a strange power failure in my area. After that my NAS (a Maxtor Shared Storage II 500GB device) started making clicking and general drive noises that weren’t, well, healthy. They’ve now stopped but it’s not a good sign.

One thing I didn’t check when I purchased it though is how to replace the drive when it’s out of warranty. The answer is… not very easily. In fact the NAS runs Linux and requires the NAS’ operating system installing onto any new drive. Oh, and it’s not very easy to even get at the drive.

So, I’ve decided to look for a replacement – and this time I’m going to get one where I can easily swap the drive, if I need to.

The best option appeared to be the Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL. This comes with a drive built in and, after asking on their forums, it would appear that replacing the drive on that is not easy either.

I’m now looking at the ZyXEL NSA210 which, although not the quickest, is the one recommended by PC Pro. And, more importantly, comes diskless and is therefore easy to swap drives (I’ve read the online documentation to confirm too!). I’d probably stick in it a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Green.

I’m just awaiting Maxtor (sorry, Seagate) to get back to my customer query, before I give up on my existing NAS.