Monday 22 February 2016

How to upgrade memory in Synology DS216+ and DS216+II

UPDATE: This upgrade method applies to DS216+ and DS216+II models

Synology recently intoduced new, reasonably priced, 64-bit Intel processor based NAS model: DS216+. What makes it interesting to me is that this model support BRTFS filesystem and it also allow you to run Docker containers (among many other things) however memory is limited by 1 GB.

Synology also offers similar model with double number of CPU cores and double amount of memory (2 GB) for ~50% premium in price: ~$450 for DS716+ vs ~$300 for DS216+.

However, it is possible to upgrade memory in both models for up to 8 GB. Procedure for DS716+ is much simpler but cost of that unit is significantly higher.

Possibility to upgrade memory in DS216+ makes it a very good value for money: ~$335 for DS216+ with 8 GB RAM vs ~$485 for DS716+ with 8 GB of RAM.

Please note that some memory modules may not work with this unit. I strongly suggest to buy following module as it has been tested with DS216+ and DS716+:

Crucial 8GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V Notebook Memory CT102464BF160B

Disclaimer: Memory upgrade most likely will void warranty. DS216+ unit disassembly is not as easy as in other models and you may potentially cause damage to it if you will attempt to follow guide below. Don't blame me if you'll break it.

But you will be fine. Just take your time and be gentle. It is not that hard to pull unit apart and then put it back together. It took me about 20 minutes but I spent most time figuring out how to remove various components and taking photos along the way. Again, don't rush. Take your time, be gentle and use common sense (don't apply too much force, etc).

What you need to do first is: power off unit, unplug it, remove plastic cover near hard drives and remove hard drives.

At the back of the unit unscrew 4 screws around fan and an extra screw in lower right corner.

Lay down unit on its side and take a look inside from side where hard drive were installed. See metal bar on top secured by 2 plastic clips? You will need to pull this bar slightly to "unlock it" and then push plastic cover slightly back. You should be able to pull it with just using your fingers. This is the only part in this guide where you need to apply little force but please be gentle. Take your time and be careful.

Red arrows pointing UP but you actually need to pull metal bar DOWN.

Then you should be able to remove that part of plastic cover completely. Just slide it out.

On a side of a chassis you will need to remove metal bracket secured by a single screw.

This is how it looks when removed

Just put it away for now. On other side on the unit you will need to remove plastic bracket which is "attached" to a fan. Again, you will need to unscrew just one screw.

Then you will need to remove fan which is connected to motherboard. Remove (pull) plastic connector from PCB and carefuly remove silver coloured tape attached to a cable. This tape is kind of "fragile" so be careful but its only function is to keep cable secure.

Then you need to remove 4 screw that hold chassis and plastic cover together.

Now is most delicate part. You will need to pull out chassis along with attached motherboard from plastic enclosure. Be careful, take your time and be gentle. Take a look from both sides and see how it is attached to enclosure.

On the back you will find 3 components that "stick out" from enclosure: 1) Ethernet and USB ports 2) eSATA port 3) Power connector. In order to remove motherboard you will need to gently push out all 3 of these components to "release" them from enclosure. Again, be gentle, take your time and be careful.

Pull out chassis along with motherboard. This is how it should all looks like when done

Motherboard still attached to a chassis but that is fine. Take a look at motherboard

Now you can remove Synology 1GB module

and install new Crucial 8GB module

Well done! Now you need to put everything back together in reverse order

Install your hard drives of choice.

I've used pair of SanDisk Ultra II 960GB drives. Something that you may also consider as reasonably priced alternative to mechanical hard drives

Power on unit and you should be able to see additional memory available

You may also want to disable memory compression in DSM as it probably no longer required.

Enjoy your new improved DS216+!

Feel free to share this guide and leave comments below.