Synology Disk Station Manager – initial configuration guide


The Synology Disk Station Manager (DSM) is the Operating System (OS) that runs on your Synology unit.  This guide will cover the basic steps to setup your Synology device and complete the initial configuration settings of your DSM.

If you prefer video over written format the corresponding video for this write-up can be viewed below:

1. Synology NAS configuration

  • Install all drives into the bay slots of your unit
  • Position NAS in desired location
  • Connect NAS to power
  • Connect to NAS to network (most likely via LAN cable from NAS unit to switch or router)

2. Power on Synology NAS

  • Power on unit and you should hear an initial beep after a few minutes

3. Download required files

  • From the Synology Download Center
    • Select your model and download:
      • The latest Synology Disk Station Manager (DSM) for your model
      • Synology Assistant
      • Synology Download Center - DSM and Synology Assistant

4. Install Synology Assistant

This is just a simple wizard-based installation – follow the prompts to complete the install

5. Use Synology Assistant to ‘find’ your NAS Station

With your Synology unit powered on and connected to your network it will likely pick up an IP from your router or other device that is performing DHCP functionality.

The Synology Assistant is capable of scanning your network and locating all Synology devices allowing you to interact with the NAS to perform some initial configurations.

Synology Assistant

6. Install the Synology Disk Station Manager

Using the Synology Assistant locate your NAS, right click, and click Install.


Synology Assistant - Install Synology Disk Station Manager

Point to the DSM location that you previously downloaded

Synology Assistant DPM LocationEnter your admin credentials – don’t forget these as you will have to reset your Synology NAS if you do

Synology Assistant Setup Wizard - Server Information

Specify your network settings

While the Wizard seems to indicate that DHCP is preferred you should strongly consider setting a static IP.  A lot of the functionality that a Synology device offeres works best with a static IP set.  Additionally, if you ever plan to access your Synology device externally (ex. while you are away from home) then you will have to set a static IP here.

Synology Assistant Setup Wizard - Setup Network

Specify your Update preferences. Note that if you elect Install Automatically that new versions of DSM will be automatically applied and your NAS will reboot.  For most home users this option is fine.Synology Disk Station Manager - Update & Maintenance

QuickConnect is Synology’s proprietary solution for accessing your NAS device externally of your network without having to deal with port forwarding or DDNS.  You definitely don’t need QuickConnect, but it does make accessing your NAS a little easier away from home so feel free to create one now.Synology QuickConnect Setup - Create Account

Take a note of the address and write-it down or copy it somewhereSynology QuickConnect Setup

7. Verify System Information

Now is a good time to review the system configuration to ensure everything is reporting health and as expected

Control Panel – Info Center – General

Ensure system info is reporting normally and RAM/specs line up with what you purchased

Control Panel – Info Center – Storage

Verify that DSM sees all drives that you have installed and that they are reporting healthy

8. Create your system volume

Using the Storage Manager configure your drives into a system volume.  This is where you will configure the drives into your desired RAID configuration.  If you haven’t done so already I suggest taking a look at the Synology RAID Calculator.  It provides a quick and easy interface that makes RAID decisions pretty simple.

Note on SHR:  SHR is Synology’s propietary RAID-like solution.  It most closely resembles RAID 5 in usage but has a few differences.  My research into this solution (which is configured via the quick option) is that it is best leveraged in situations where your Synology device does not contain matching drives.  So, if you’ve just installed a few extra drives you had lying around, SHR might be a better solution for you.  If you have matching hardware though, you will likely be better served by RAID.

Synology Disk Station Manager - Storage Manager - Volume Creation WizardNote on volume creation: Depending on the size of your drives and the type of RAID you configure it can take upwards of 24 hours for the RAID to complete.  Your Synology device is use-able during this time-frame but will run much slower:

Parity Consistency Check is currently running on Volume 1 and may affect overall system performance.

9. Create a Shared Folder

A shared folder will exists on the volume you just created and serves as the content space that you or your users will interact with.  For example, you could create a Videos Shared Folder and give yourself read/write access and the rest of the users in your household read only access.  You could go on to create an additional Shared Folder, Private and give only yourself read/write access to that location.

Control Panel – Shared Folder – Create New Shared Folder

Provide a Name, Description, and configure settings.  The wizard will walk you through this process or you can view me go through it in the linked video above.

10. Test access to your new Shared Folder

From a MAC device you should now be able use Finder to navigate to your Synology device and see the shared folder.  If the user on the MAC has the correct permissions they will be able to now read/write to this location.

From a Windows device you can open a run command and type: \\IP_of_NAS_DEVICE\Name_of_shared_folder

Alternatively you can map a drive in Windows from an explorer window to add a more permanent drive letter to your new shared folder location:

Mapping a windows drive to Synology Shared Folder

11. The skies the limit

This is just a brief intro into the most basic configuration essentials of your Synology Disk Station Manager.

You’ve made an excellent purchase with your new Synology device and it is capable of offering up a ton of functionality!

Where to begin?

  • Start by familiarizing yourself with the control panel and all the different options
  • Start creating different user accounts and setting permissions
  • Visit the Package Center and determine what additional functionality you’d like to install on your NAS
  • Try configuring your NAS to access from a device away from your network like your laptop or your phone!

Enjoy your new Synology NAS and feel free to post questions in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. Malcolm says:

    Hey, Found your site while looking for something else synology related.

    Heads up – on page yout github profile is throwing an error: “MY GITHUB PROFILE Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Cannot use object of type WP_Error as array in /home/techtho4/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-” etc…

    But while I’m here :) My DS213 is giving me warnings that “Volume 1 on Diskatation is running out of space” – the warning seems to be triggered at 75% cpacity. Is there a way to xhange the trigger to say 90%? . Thanks

  2. Yvonne Mahlangu says:

    Hi, trust you are well, I use Synology to backup in the cloud, it is now saying volume 1 100%, my back up failed due to volume on 100% full, may you kindly assist why it is not deleting the old files.

  3. Tony says:

    It’s “The sky’s the limit”, not “The skies the limit” :-)

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