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  • Upgrading my DIY NAS

    Posted on bbearren Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Upgrading my DIY NAS

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      • #2269827 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        Six or eight weeks ago (I didn’t mark the date) one of the drives in the RAID 10 Array in my DIY NAS failed. I had a spare at the ready, used it to replace the bad drive, and Intel Rapid Storage Technology rebuilt the array in a few hours. The array was four 3TB Seagate NAS drives (5900 rpm). All was well, then again, all the drives were the same age and well out of warranty; I bought them as a group about five years ago. I considered that it would be prudent to replace/upgrade the drives.

        I ordered five 4TB Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives, which arrived this past Thursday afternoon, June 4. I set about my task Thursday evening, formatting a drive in the drive dock on top of my NAS. I consider it best practice on a new, RAW drive to run a full format, because that checks every sector on the drive. It takes a good while longer, but it eliminates the possibility of writing data to possibly bad sectors later on; all available sectors are known good after a full format. Any bad sectors are marked as unusable. It’s not that I expect bad sectors, it’s that I want to know for certain that there aren’t; best practice in my view.

        After formatting that first drive, I pulled the drive in port 3 and replaced it with the new drive, I opened Intel RST and marked it as a spare, then began formatting a new drive while Intel RST recognized the spare and began rebuilding the array. The array rebuild was finished before the drive was completely formatted. I repeated this process three more times during the course of Friday, June 5, finishing up around midnight. Before I went off to bed, I placed the fifth drive, my new spare, in the drive dock, and formatted it as Intel RST was once more rebuilding the array. The RAID array was available for use throughout this time, although perhaps with a slower response time.

        This morning I removed the spare from the drive dock, boxed it and put it away for safekeeping, then opened Intel RST to expand the array size to fit the new 4TB drives. The array size will increase from 5.5TB to 7.4TB after RST has completed initializing the array expansion. When the initialization was complete, I restarted my NAS, opened Disk Management, and extended the volume, which is seen by Disk Management as one drive. Then another restart, and my NAS upgrade is complete and good to go.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2270005 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If your disk reports bad sectors it is not well. All modern disks are self correcting and manage bad sectors internally.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2270091 Reply
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          If your disk reports bad sectors it is not well. All modern disks are self correcting and manage bad sectors internally.

          Your ideas of “best practices” and my ideas of “best practices” are obviously not the same.  I will continue to ‘full format’ new, RAW HDD’s because I want the satisfaction of knowing that each sector on the drive has been checked.  A ‘Quick’ format does not give me that satisfaction.

          We each have our own reasons for doing the things that we do.  I will continue to follow my own advice.  It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone other than me.  I’m not trying to satisfy anyone else.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by bbearren.
          • #2270296 Reply
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            I wasn’t advocating anything, just pointing out something not always recognised.

            cheers, Paul

            • #2270345 Reply
              bbearren
              AskWoody MVP

              I wasn’t advocating anything, just pointing out something not always recognised.

              Nor was I.  I am aware of the capabilities of modern disk drives.  I’ve replaced a couple that have failed, in spite of those modern capabilities.

              The failed drive I replaced in my NAS (which led to my upgrade/rebuild) is non-existent in my drive dock, not recognized at all.  That failure is also the reason I purchased five drives, in order to have a fully formatted drive of the same type to use in the event of failure in the future.

              Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
              "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
              "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2270010 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I ordered five 4TB Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives

        Replacing all HDDs with SSDs would have saved you two days of formatting….

        • #2270095 Reply
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          Replacing all HDDs with SSDs would have saved you two days of formatting….

          A couple of things; it wasn’t two days of formatting.  It wasn’t two full days anyway, and it wasn’t devoted to only formatting, it was also rebuilding the RAID 10 array after each drive replacement.  My NAS accomplished both tasks simultaneously, and the time spent waiting for a format to complete was only about half an hour.

          And the second thing, buying five 4TB Samsung SSD’s (the only SSD I use; personal and experiential preference) would have increased the cost by an additional $2,894.80, and for no improvement in performance.  Bear in mind, this is my NAS, Network Attached Storage, box.  It is throttled by the transfer rate of my gigabit Ethernet network.  SSD’s cannot have any effect on that particular bottleneck.  It would simply be a waste of money.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2270041 Reply
        mulletback
        AskWoody Plus

        What’s your backup routine for the NAS?

        • #2270097 Reply
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          What’s your backup routine for the NAS?

          Terabyte Unlimited Image for Windows to a 4TB HDD in the drive dock periodically.  I already have multiple copies of everything that is on my NAS, so drive imaging is not as critical.

          Also, a RAID 10 array can lose a drive without losing the array.  My upgrade makes that extremely obvious.  It can lose two drives, as long as they’re not on the same mirror, and still not lose the array.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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