I own a WD My Cloud 1-bay that I bought second hand from a colleague. I feel it nowadays lacking behind, slow and noisy, and I only use it as a NAS for backups. It's ok-ish: has a Debian inside and a simple Web UI to manage it. I have it next to my desk, so I started to be very annoyed by the constant hard disk accesses. Very annoyed.

In this article I'll explain how did I solve it once for all.

What do I want to achieve?

Silence. I do spend hours on my desk for work and for fun, and it's mandatory to have some quality atmosphere. A hard disk that is constantly reading and writing is not contributing to it. It's really horrible, and I found myself crazily wondering what the f*** is he doing all the time.

Where all this noise comes from?

All these hard disk accesses come from the Media server, and the photo scanning and thumbnails creation for the WD Photos and WD My Cloud apps. The Media server provides DLNA support (what is DLNA?) and therefor there is a second web UI in the NAS called twonky to manage it. The WD Photos and WD My Cloud apps support do not have a direct way to control them.

How do I do it?

That's simple: Deactivate the functionality that produces these hard disks accesses but that I don't need:

  • Stop DLNA support
  • Stop WD Photos and WD My Cloud apps support

We'll loose functionality

And that's ok. I do not use this NAS to feed a smart TV. I also won't access it through internet nor phone. It's actually called backups, so it is only intended to serve as a mere network drive where I push data from my home devices.

Stop DLNA support

Before I stopped the DLNA support fully I tried to reduce the frequency of scanning for media files. In this post in the WD community I learned that one can access to the twonky server web UI and change the Rescan Interval:

  1. Open the twonky web UI by visiting http://[my-nas-IP]:9000
  2. Go to Settings > Advanced > Rescan Interval
  3. Introduce a value here in seconds. With the default -1 it will re-scan on every filesystem change. They recommend 1440 which is a day.

It did not really improve. The hard disk was still accessed almost constantly. I then continued by stopping totally the service:

  1. Open the WD My Cloud web UI by visiting http://[my-nas-IP]
  2. Go to Settings > Media
  3. Deactivate both Media Streaming and the iTunes Server

Well, it improved a bit. I was surprised to discover how quiet the desk room can be, but it was a mirage, the noise came after some (few) time

Stop WD Photos and WD My Cloud apps photo scanning and thumbnails creation

First of all, I closed the Cloud access from the web UI:

  1. Open the WD My Cloud web UI by visiting http://[my-nas-IP]
  2. Go to Settings > General
  3. Deactivate the Remote Access from the section Cloud Access

It didn't do anything meaningful. So I kept on searching and found this pearl in the WD Community pointing out that there are 2 services scanning for photos and generating thumbnails that can be stopped, so I did:

  1. SSH into the NAS (Yes, you may have to activate it first)

    $ ssh root@[my-nas-IP]
  2. Stop the current processes (change to start to bring them back):

    $ /etc/init.d/wdmcserverd stop
    $ /etc/init.d/wdphotodbmergerd stop
  3. Prevent them from starting with the boot of the NAS (change to enable to bring it back):

    $ update-rc.d wdmcserverd disable
    $ update-rc.d wdphotodbmergerd disable

And that did it. Silence.

I then noticed that the web UI dashboard changed, as it does not recognize anymore the different types of files. Before it could say the size for videos, photos and music and now it's all "other". Fine. Screenshot%202023-02-09%20at%2014.35.14

Unexpected win

With the end of the processes continuously accessing the hard disk, I find that now I can even play a decent HD video over the network directly from the NAS without downloading it first. It actually makes sense, and also tells a lot of the (bad) quality of this NAS.

Wrapping up

I would not recommend this NAS to anyone, but as I already have it and I only need a place where to puke my backups, it works. And now that it's quiet it's even better 😊

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