Synology Photos VS Photo Station and Moments – ALL the Differences

Synology Photos Upgrade from Moments & Photo Station – Should You Upgrade?

When Synology first announced the development of DSM 7 (almost 3 years ago now), one of the biggest changes that was noticed was the move by Synology to consolidate their existing Synology Photo Station and Moments applications into a single, all-purpose tool – Synology Photos. Throughout the previews and reveals of development on DSM 7.0, Synology photos would be continued to be highlighted, with each update showing improvements in GUI, shared space management and filtering through your decades of photos being made much easier. Now DSM 7 is officially here, many users who have made the switch from DSM 6.2 (and therefore migrating from Photo Station and Moments and into Synology Photos automatically) have raised queries about how some processes are handled by the newer photo software, what it improves upon in the older apps and some areas where it appears to have taken a few steps back – at least in this DSM 7 release build. So today I want to talk about the difference between these three applications, what parts of your existing DSM 6.2 Photo Station & Moments data will be migrated and what features of Synology Photos have yet to arrive. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether to make the jump from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, as right now the upgrade is not mandatory and you do not need to switch over if you do not want to.

What Are the Differences Between Synology Photos, Moments and Photo Station?

So, first and foremost, it is worth remembering that Synology Photos is not a completely new application in terms of what Synology has been providing in Photo Station and Moments previously. Indeed, Synology Photos is designed to centralize all the photo and image management of the NAS Drive in a single portal. The design of Synology Photos is certainly more heavily influenced by Moments in its GUI and layout, but with an important difference. The management of shared photos and albums is now switchable in the interface and allows you to manage your private/home collections parallel to your professional photography albums, shares and catalogues of images. THIS kind of design in the UX is much more equivalent to what Synology Photo provides. Below is a chart detailing the features of Synology Photos, along with from which predecessor application each design/element were incorporated:

Synology Photos

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

Target users Professional photographers,
Home users
Professional photographers Home users
DSM 7.0 Supported Not supported Not supported
Display style Folder view,
Timeline view
Folder view Folder view (view only),
Timeline view
Search features Keyword search,
Quick filters
General search,
Advanced search
Keyword search,
Advanced search
Virtual albums Supported Available in Shared Albums and Smart Albums Supported
Conditional albums Supported Supported (equivalent to Smart Albums) Not supported
Collaboration method Shared Space,
Shared albums
Album permissions Shared Photo Library
Detailed metadata information display Supported Supported Not supported
Auto-created albums Supported Not supported Supported
TV cast AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app) DS photo for Android/Apple TV,
AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app)
Not supported

So, on the face of it, Synology Photos seemingly does a very good job of consolidating the existing features of Moments and Photo Station 6. But let’s talk about what happens to your data when you migrate over, what parts of your existing NAS photography collections are migrated over.

Which Parts of Photo Station & Moments Can Be Migrated Over to Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Like any big firmware update on your photo, computer or console, upgrading the firmware on your Synology NAS from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0 can be slightly unnerving, as it can often lead to some applications no longer functioning the same or (very much in the case of switching from Photo Station and Moments to Synology Photos) the collections of albums, tags, shares and more being lost in the migration. Synology maintains that the majority of Moments and Photo Station metadata, shares and structured folders/albums in each application will be successfully maintained in the switch to Synology Photos in DSM 7. In cases where it is not possible, this can be down to file extension support changes in DSM 7, changes in supported AI services in the Synology Photos launch version or imply that a feature has been discontinued. Below is a breakdown of the data that will be migrated between Synology Photo Station and Moments into Synology Photos:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Folder structures in Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Manually created albums (will be transformed into folders)
  • Shared albums and smart albums (will be transformed into conditional albums)
  • Album permissions (will be transformed into folder permissions)
  • General tags
  • Location tags (will be transformed into general tags)
  • Settings to exclude certain file formats from indexing and conversion
  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Manually created and shared albums in My Photo Library and Shared Photo Library
  • General tags
  • Edited facial recognition results and groupings

Additionally, Synology highlight that the contents of the migrated shared albums and smart albums might be changed slightly due to changes in package design. Additionally, there may be an interruption of some shared albums/collections from your NAS drive as the share links of albums will be regenerated during the migration. The original URLs will no longer be available. As smooth as the bulk of all this sounds, it is worth mentioning that the launch version of Synology Photos does have some features missing from Photo Station 6 and Moments that, although might appear in a further update to the applications soon, are DEFINITELY worth knowing about before migrating from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 – as a couple of these might be dealbreakers for you when upgrading.

Which Features of Photo Station & Moments are NOT Currently Supported on Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Despite the beta phase of DSM 7.0 and Synology Photos back in December, the Release Candidate last month and the now full release of the firmware update and app, it has to be said that there are still a few features of Photo Station 6 and Moments that are NOT available in Synology Photos at launch. It has to be highlighted that it seems that Photo Station features are the ones that seemingly have had their wings clipped more. This appears to be largely as some features have been amalgamated into the wider DSM 7 system, but there are certainly a bunch of missing features in Synology Photos that many users are scratching their heads over. There are tiny features like the Photo Auto recolour in Moments and Slideshow control, that are arguable quick old skool and forgivable in the update. However, some remarkably cool/useful features of Moments and Photo Station that are missing in Synology Photos, such as the world map view of your collection and AI-powered subject recognition (though facial recognition is still available and enabled in a settings menu) being absent are actually rather annoying! Below is a full breakdown of the features that WERE in Moments and Photo Station, but NOT in Synology Photos right now in Summer 2021:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Account system of Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Personal Photo Station (its photos and videos will be migrated)
  • Descriptions hit counts, and watermarks of albums
  • Comments, color labels, and area highlight tools in Shared Albums
  • Map view!!!!!
  • Results of facial recognition (people tags) and ratings of photos
  • Portfolio
  • Theme
  • Log
  • Blog
  • iFrame embedment
  • Settings to restrict users from public sharing
  • Photo sharing via social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
  • Speed, music, and transition effects of slideshows
  • Subject recognition!!!!!
  • Integration with Synology Drive Server and the direct viewing of files under “/home/Drive”
  • Moments Select and Similar Photos
  • Auto Color and Rotate

That said, Synology has been keen to highlight that some of the removed features from Synology Moments and Photo Station 6 may be redesigned and relaunched along with future updates of Synology Photos, so we hope that the bulk of the features above make it eventually.

If You want to learn more about what Synology DSM 7.0 bring to your NAS (not just how it will impact for good/bad on your existing Photo Station and Moments setup into Synology Moments), why not read my FULL video review of the Diskstation Manager 7.0 below:

Synology DSM 7.0 Review on NASCompares

Alternatively, you can Read the full DSM 7 review below:

Synology DSM 7 Review – The Quick Conclusion

Let’s not mince words, the Synology DSM 7 software is easily the best experience you are ever going to have when accessing your decades of data! From huge upgrades in the graphical user interface, the layout of options and even managing to improve the already exceptionally user-friendly design, DSM 7 is unquestionably the king of network software right now. Aside from a few areas of design conflict between DSM 6.2 services and DSM 7 UI, questionable changes on USB compatibility and contention over migration between in photo station and Synology photos, DSM 7.0 still very much rules the roost when it comes to the best you can get in network-attached storage software in 2021/2022.

PROs of DSM 7.0 CONs of DSM 7.0
Genuinely Impressive Latency

Very Appealing GUI

Unbeatable First Party App Support

Near Perfect Single EcoSystem

Makes DSM 6.2 Look Dated

Fast RAID Repair and RAID6 Improvements

Surveillance, VMs, Backups and Media Handling all still 10/10

Feels JUST as Secure & Safe as Ever

Hyper Backup & Cloud Sync Still Support MANY Clouds

Active Insight, Active Backup, C2 & HybridShare = Business Win

Reduced USB Support Currently

Some 3rd Party Applications have not migrated well

Synology Photos Still Lacks some Photo Station Services

Hybrid Share ONLY Supports Synology C2 (Paid Sub)

Occasional Conflict of DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 Designs at times

Synology Drive File Pining & Active Backup Still not Available for Mac

 

 

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    111 thoughts on “Synology Photos VS Photo Station and Moments – ALL the Differences

    1. Synology Photos is just a shit show. I’m so used Photo Station, have so many photos well sorted with custom access rights management, I’m just too afraid that this is gonna break and I’m loosing functionality. It’s the major application I use my NAS for. I don’t mind the other changes, but just for this I’m not gonna update untill they force me.
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    2. Hey there. Just love all your content. So much insight! And I quite like the seagulls in the background.

      Was reading the latest product overview and feature comparison (links below) and it appears that Photos may have caught up with Moments since this article/video was posted last July. Specifically on the product page it says “Automatic albums: Browse automatically generated albums grouped using facial recognition, geolocation, tags, file types, and upload date.”

      Does that mean the automated People/Subjects/Places albums are back? Or am I misinterpreting the actual functionality delivered? I’ve been delaying my upgrade to DSM 7 because I rather like those features in Moments.

      https://www.synology.com/en-global/DSM70/SynologyPhotos
      https://kb.synology.com/en-ph/DSM/tutorial/What_are_the_differences_between_Photos_Photo_Station_Moments (dated Nov 2021)

    3. I cannot believe Synology destroyed the photo station. The user interface of the new synology photos is terrible. All accounts of the former users are lost. Don’t understand how to make collections available to users anymore.
      While Photostation was intuitive to use, this new “synology photos” leaves me behind. How can I just show the simple file name so that users can select those images they like? Seriously, I don’t want to waste my lifetime just trying to figure out how to work with this software. Never seen such a crap. It is not even possible to go back to Photo Station. Unbelievable. Am I the only one to hate this software?

    4. I cannot beleive that there is NO WAY to sync any folder and file type from android device to synology nas… that drives me nuts… it’s either super complicated third party app to configure or the only syncing possible is with ds file that does ONLY pictures or synology photo crap app… I just want to sync ANY folder and their files in it (like download, ringtones and so on)… why the hell can’t synology do such thing ??? ds cloud does NOT permit to sync android folder to nas, it only sync the cloud that is on the nas to the android device, I want the other way around, there is no way to sync android ANY type of android files to nas.. urgh…
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    5. What is the difference between Synology Video Station and Synology Media Server? Reading the Synology descriptions they pretty well do much the same it appears, except Synology Video Station can sort your videos.

    6. Login Speed – seemed easier with entering user name and password on the same dialogue to only hit enter once, especially when credentials are stored in the browser. Perhaps they changed it for increased security, prefer the old way.
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    7. 8:40 – I wish we could find the person responsible for using a Funnel for the filter icon and make them walk the plank. Funnels are not filters.
      But its too late now. The damage is done. People associate the funnel image with the filter action in software just like they associate the piece of paper with a folded corner for “new file”.
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    8. Now you know you are Da Man! Hands down your info is Jake.
      That said. SAID…. If I hear “BEATER” one more time I’m gonna find a bridge and Jump.
      Beta. Bay-Ta. Beta. It’s a pretty simple word. Nowhere near as complicated as Al-lou-min-yum.
      I’ll give y’all a hall pass on that one. Beater. No way! Say it with me cuz it’s gonna be hard for you to break.
      Bay-Ta
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    9. I tried to install audio station and all it did is block my web site on my web station and blocked all port based hosts..web portal issues. Plex is terrible, does not support all formats, often audio tracks are not supported, if you want multiple users you have to pay. It best to just have file shares, and VLC playlist and stream via website as at least it works properly, no fees or licensing issues but you have to design the web portal yourself, not easy.
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    10. They made the text smaller moved things around to make you have to relearn where things are and removed support for some usb devices and disabled a number of other services by default, plex, video station are useless as they do not support some .mkv dolby audio on movies as it a licensing issue, the traffic bandwidth limiter does not work at all. Synology support confirmed there are terrible bugs! even removes ext3 support…My experiences is, but to bugs is if you upgrade its possible that all you’re data and raid volumes will just disappear, and you will need to re upload all you media again on new volumes, so its best to do a full back up first.
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    11. Guys, can someone confirm if it’s gonna work without issues if I switch to that 7.0?
      I have a working previous version but I keep getting spam from Synology pushing me to upgrade. I really don’t use it for anything but for nightly backups from my PCs, so I don’t want to click upgrade and then spend half a day fixing issues in my NAS.
      Also can someone tell me why do I need to upgrade? Aside from stopping the spam emails.
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    12. The missing “For you” from moments sorely missed – it was a great AI system for finding potential duplicate (or near duplicate) photos that just doesn’t work as well as the storage manager reports that only really find exact duplicate pictures.
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    13. I think I’ll just keep an eye out for security vulnerabilities in 6.2 because that’s probably the only thing that will push me me to upgrade to DSM 7. It’s working fine as it is with 3.2 and I don’t need another headache. If the device was relatively new with none or barely any data then sure, I would upgrade. The loss of some USB dongles/devices compatibility and lack of ext3 support isn’t very encouraging either.
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    14. I upgraded to DSM 7 today, and my LAN upload speed from my PC to my DS916+ via a direct cat 7 Ethernet cable has dropped by between 50% and 90%: and I can’t roll back to DSM 6.

      And migrating Plex hasn’t been smooth sailing – but I admit a lot of that may be down to me.
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    15. 1.Log center cant be modified or set to exclude users or certain things you dont want logged.

      2.It is not compatible with DScloud anymore so you cant sync to mobile like you can do on DSM6 with the DSCloud app from Synology but you can use the Synology Package Center to download Resilio Sync or Good Sync but you have to pay a monthly/yearly fee for every user.

      Unlike Qnap when you buy your hardware, you arent forced to pay for syncing from and to your own hardware.

      With that said there is still a solution using Webdav to-way Nas-pc with Raidrive but you have to pay for software for Pro features.

      Mobile sync: Use Foldersync to-way Mobile-Nas, but you have to pay for software for Pro features.

      So far as i am aware of limitations using Synology DSM7 when it comes to syncing —> If you want Pro features or you want to use your Nas without reaching out to third-part software without paying extra fees it is recommended to switch to other Nas brands for me i feel Qnap has been working using 30 users for Laptop/Pc/Mac/Android/Iphone all Apps/Software working perfect Pro features without paying extra fee´s or forced to use third-part tools total control for Log center, File-Folder, Photo, Video, Virtualization, Web-sites and so much more.

      Other annoying difference i had with Synology i had was this—> i had to make a ticket to find out i cant use Synology Mobile App DS Cloud or that one cant choose what Synology Package-Log Center loggs, it wont let you choose to include, exclude or to delete certain logg if you press Clear button on the loggs that are in “Files downloaded” it deletes all, if you clear “user logins” it deletes all that and you cant revert the deletion.
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    16. Totally agree with your view on Photo Station. I’m glad you covered this as your feedback might get recognised. I don’t want to upgrade until Photos is comparable to what Photo Station had/has to offer.
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    17. almost perfection?
      Audio Station is totally broken, playback is being cut off,
      Media indexing fails to scan more than 50% files,
      translations in DSM are not complete, some even have nonsense,
      I have no idea what Synology have been doing all the time releasing such buggy software
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    18. Useful but a bit of a ramble with Robby. My time notes:

      https://youtu.be/xZrjPF4nmRc?t=674

      11:14 User Interface
      12:00 Help Center
      12:35 Control Panel
      14:03 Security
      15:27 Collaboration Suite
      15:45 Synology Drive
      17:18 Multimedia Apps
      18:47 Plex and 3rd party app issues
      19:47 DSM 7 background package integration improvements
      20:25 HyperBackup, USB copy
      21:24 Cloud Synchronization
      22:27 Business Applications
      23:30 Storage Manager
      25:15 Fast Raid Repair
      26:35 RAID 6 speedup
      27:19 Bench testing, storage performance, UI improvements
      29:00 Surveillance Station
      30:04 Virtual Machine Manager
      32:40 USB changes on DSM7
      34:08 Security and UI
      34:40 Resource Monitor and UI
      35:00 Storage Analyzer
      36:55 Recommendations
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    19. I’ve installed it as a VM on my DS1821+ and I’m completely disappointed with the new photos app. Maybe I’m old fashioned idk but the way timeline view is implemented it doesn’t allow you to look at a timeline on an album level anymore like you could do in photostation. You have to choose between album view or timeline view. I like to look at my photos different ways and this makes the app kind of unusable for me. Additionally I would like them to shows tags on the timeline view when you’re inside an album that has multiple albums underneath it but no photos in it directly. I’ve reached out to them but very little hope of it getting done in my opinion. I’m not upgrading until photos is useable as photostation is no longer supported on dsm7. Additionally I had a lot of indexing / conversion issues on my VM with my photos directory. Not sure if that’s just a VM issue or not
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    20. interesting. i always thought NAS devices would have it standalone application to connect via encryption and login password with login device identification. And pre-registration of devices to access the NAS device. Too bad then such are just as vulnerable as all servers and routers that need web browsers to connect and install. Even if the NAS itself does not have security holes, they can always access the data via the web “history” of the browser, which they always keep at the seat of the browser we use! As matadata. I would like to see us return to the point where we can trust systems to be made for the safety of the individual and not for the safety and existence of the company.
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    21. I upgraded both my DS 218J and my brand new DS920+ to DSM 7.0 and liking it a lot! No real problems. Moments with my Photos lost its tags during the transition to Synology Photos. I have to redo them but that’s ok. Everything else is great. I agree with this review.
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    22. so is there any reason for me to wait for the DSM update to come through automatically on my DS1520+ or should I just manually update now? Is it likely that more changes will be made to it before the automatic update comes through?
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    23. I did the switch on my DS420+ a minute ago. Have 6GB RAM, it was 6% use before, went to 8% after the upgrade so no big deal. The system seems a lot more responsive in everything you do and of course the UI is more modern. Everything is more neat and easier to use.
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    24. I have a DS1821+ with a simple setup, o365 backup and VMM. I had my 4 1gbe ports in LACP and also had a 10gbe card installed. After upgrade my unit would not boot. I had to reset the admin password and network settings before I was able to get back into the unit. If anyone else has the same issue.
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    25. I like 7.0. I like all of the changes. I have zero regrets. I use my NAS mostly for backups and music/video playback over my network. I use Emby. I’m sure the photo problem some have will be resolved. I use advanced programs on my PC and the Cloud for photos. Photos on my NAS are for there for safety backup only. Overall, for me, 7 is easily better than 6.2. Your mileage may vary.
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    26. In my many years, there is normally very very little reason to upgrade early.

      If there is a specific feature, fair enough. In my case wsl2 for docker on Windows.

      How ever, being first is a mugs game.

      Let’s see what comes down the path with 7.1.
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    27. I just use my 720+ for Plex and Photo storage. Migrating hundreds of movies to a new OS that doesn’t do a good job.
      I only use my own folders such as Majorca 2013 so use of tags, face recognition and the software deciding what folders it puts them is of zero interest to me

      So I see no value in the grief of updating to 7.0
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    28. Upgraded yesterday a bit of fun and games with Plex but managed to sort it. Had to use Docker ( not for Plex that’s using the new app), instead of native third party apps which was biit of issue as I didn’t understand docker but other than that all ok. Onwards and upward now DSM 6.x was getting very long in the tooth
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    29. I am a serious amateur photographer and have been using Synology for years
      Just migrated from 220+ to 1621+
      and therefore… were forced to an upgrade from DSM 6.2 to 7
      Imo, the previous PhotoStation was much better and I dont like the idea of mixing the mobile photos of Moments with the camera photos of PhotoStation at all …
      and there is no choice for us to switch back ……
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    30. Thanks for the update – one obvious question is there a good WINDOWS application that manages photos ?
      My NAS are just used for data storage and backups . . . they are great . . . recently rebuilt whole system with 6.2
      The disadvantage with upgrading to DSM 7 — where people use many applications — is the *big bang* change
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    31. You are able to change the menu style in almost same place as in 6.2
      You change it in Personal menu (to find the menu go to the “desktop” klik on the 3rd icon from the rigth in the top rigth)
      in 6.2 it is under the tap ‘Desktop’ > ‘Main menu style’.
      in 7.0 it is under the tap ‘Display Preferences’ > ‘Desktop’ > ‘Main menu style’.
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    32. Does DSM 7 introduce any issues with access via the NFS protocol? I use my DS420j strictly as a file server in a Linux environment and do not really care about photo station, music station, etc. Quick, reliable access via NFS is my main concern. Thank you for your fine videos.
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    33. Photos all seemed to work once I requested a re-indexing. However, photo sharing is completely broken. Even if you request that anyone can view with a URL, Synology NAS still requests a username and password. Sigh…………………
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    34. Thanks for your valuable videos. I missed the loss of DS Cloud, so syncing became a problem. I started using Syncthing after upgrading to DSM7. I also have a problem with Synology Drive from my laptop on a company network, while using Express VPN. It keeps trying to connect to the server. When I switch off the VPN it works fine. Maybe I will switch to Syncthing on this Windows machine as well. For me this is a key function for a NAS so I didn’t expect it to work less good. But all and all it’s a big improvement.
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    35. Hello, I am sure that it will surely be for reasons of not extending the video too much, but your way of showing and explaining the news and characteristics of this new DSN are not very clear, at least for me you are going too fast and a bit messy. I’m not saying it in a bad way but I think you could do it in a more calm and neat way. Thank you very much anyway.
      REPLY ON YOUTUBE

    36. 20:53 I ran into the exact issue you have 2 days ago on DSM6.2.4. I opened a support ticket that is still open, however I suspect it’s a browser based issue. Try opening in a different browser and see if you can view all of the back up options in that. It’s a Munster to me how this happened as I even cleared my browser cache and it persisted in Firefox. When I opened in safari it was “fixed}
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    37. Your shows are good, however, can you please make them shorter/succinct. Perhaps add text boxes on the screen so we can see that as you move on. Again, you do a fantastic job ???? thanks for your hard work.
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    38. One thing I’d love is for larger NAS to support mounting volume from older smaller NAS.
      For instance, I had an old DS411j that failed on me, one of the drive failed but the NAS was full, so now I can’t even start it up. I just wish I could buy some of the 12 slots new NAS and then mount my 4 old drive into the new system and then just transfer data and format the old drives to add them to the new volume. I asked Synology if we can do that, their answer: nope, unless you build a Linux computer and mount drives on Linux and transfer your data. If I need to build a Linux computer, I’d better off just to use FreeNAS and never have to deal with Synology DSM…
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    39. Microsoft Edge is base on Chromium, so any issues you have with Chrome will most likely happen in Edge as well. You need to test on browses like Firefox that are not base on Chromium.

      I use Firefox and only have one M.2 slot filled and the 4 HDDs bays are full. Testing what I could zooming out made the empty M.2 disappear. It did not make the icon show under the other one as shown by you..
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    40. For the past week, Universal Search has been HOARDING CPU and RAM!
      Indexing just goes on and on and on, non stop!

      I can’t find a workaround!
      Disabling Universal Search in DSM 7, disables Synology Drive and Synology Office
      Instructions for this problem, found on forums, are all for DSM 6 and DON’T work on DSM 7
      This is pathetic!
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    41. For me it doesn’t matter as much if the new apps arent quite as good as the old ones yet as long as they have been written on a newer platform that easier to add missing and new features later rather than an app that was based on ds 4. Apple’s old website went down before a launch not to increase excitement but because it was old and rubbish and had to be .
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    42. Still I have hibernation issue and I opened a ticket with Synology support. After analyzing the debug logs, they came back with SMB and VMM are the cause of periodic waking up of HDD’s. But still I couldn’t find an answer from support that why this periodic waking up which exactly happens each hour related to VMM and SMB, assuming no laptops connected to NAS in the test period and no VM was running. Will update in case support answers me.
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