TerraMaster T6-423 disk trays removed

How to install TrueNAS SCALE on TerraMaster T6-423 NAS

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TerraMaster uses its own proprietary TOS operating system with its branded enclosures like the TerraMaster T6-423. Not everyone wants to use a bundled NAS software solution and thankfully, TerraMaster allows the booting of other drives and operating systems. I’m going to show you how to install TrueNAS SCALE on the TerraMaster T6-423.

How to prepare the TerraMaster T6-423 for another OS

  1. Back up all data on the NAS.
  2. Connect a keyboard and monitor to the NAS.
  3. Follow these instructions to update the firmware on the NAS.
  4. With the BIOS updated, turn off the T6-423.
  5. Remove the two screws holding the chassis together.
Removing the TerraMaster T6-423 side panel
Removing the TerraMaster T6-423 side panel. (Source: NM)
  1. Slide the side panel backward to remove it and open up the T6-423.
  2. Remove the four screws holding the mainboard to the SATA expansion card.
Installing RAM inside the TerraMaster T6-423
Installing RAM inside the TerraMaster T6-423. (Source: NM)
  1. Carefully remove the mainboard, turning it slightly to allow the rear ports to slide through the chassis cutout.
  2. Remove the USB drive. This can be replaced with a free drive for an OS, but I’d recommend an SSD for TrueNAS SCALE.
  3. Install RAM using the two DIMM slots, the preinstalled 4GB may not be enough. TrueNAS SCALE requires 8GB of RAM.
  4. Reinstall the mainboard carefully.
  5. Secure the PCB using the four screws.
  6. I’d recommend installing an M.2 SSD on one of the available slots for TrueNAS SCALE.
  7. Reinstall the side panel, securing it with the two screws.

Once these steps have been followed, you can move on to the next section for installing TrueNAS SCALE.

You cannot simply use any system memory with the TerraMaster T6-423. The NAS enclosure comes with a single 4GB DDR4-3200 module installed and the Intel CPU is capable of supporting up to 32GB. I’d go for at least 16GB for running TrueNAS SCALE, if possible. OWC’s 32GB DDR4-3200 SODIMM kit is a great pick.

OWC 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200

Best unofficial

OWC 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200
OWC 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200. (Source: OWC)

An unofficial upgrade kit for a variety of TerraMaster NAS from OWC. This 32GB kit will see you sailing with the enclosure.

Why choose TrueNAS SCALE?

TrueNAS SCALE 22 Dashboard
TrueNAS SCALE 22 dashboard. (Source: NAS Master)

There are a few DIY NAS operating systems that can be used, some are available for free and others require a commercial license. But you could get away with running just about any available OS that will run on the T6-423 hardware. NAS operating systems such as TrueNAS SCALE are more optimized for running such a server and this OS is free.

A drawback to TrueNAS SCALE, at least compared to TerraMaster’s TOS operating system, is complexity. It requires some time to grow accustomed to how the systems work and it certainly differs from what’s included with the TerraMaster T6-423. Once you’re up and running and have the T6-423 configured, it becomes incredibly powerful.

How to install TrueNAS SCALE on the T6-423

  1. Insert the TrueNAS SCALE USB drive into one of the free USB ports.
  2. Turn on the NAS.
  3. Press the DEL key on the BIOS splash screen.
  4. Navigate to the boot tab.
  5. Select the USB drive under boot override.
  6. Save and exit the BIOS.
  7. Follow and complete the TrueNAS install wizard.
  8. Reboot the system into BIOS.
  9. Navigate to the boot tab and set the SSD as the primary boot drive.
  10. Let the system boot as normal into TrueNAS SCALE.

You should now be able to see the IP address onscreen. Load that up on another device and you’ll be greeted by the TrueNAS SCALE web UI. Congratulations! Your TerraMaster T6-423 is now running TrueNAS.

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