Diskless First-Time Setup (Incremental Migrations)

Hello! New member here, long time WD owner.

I am planning to buy an EX4 diskless unit, so that I can populate with drives over time. The user manual only covers pre-populated units, and earlier threads which discuss this are from a year ago, before changes in the firmware, so I’m not entirely clear on the procedure. I hope someone can help me with this.

Is it possible to achieve one of these two scenarios WITHOUT DATA LOSS OR REFORMAT?

Start with an EX4 and a single drive which presently has data (JBOD?).
Later, add 2 more blank drives (total 3) to migrate to RAID5
Add a 4th drive to expand the array for more storage space?

Start with an EX4 and two drives, one which has data and a second blank
Configure above two discs as RAID1
Later, add a 3rd drive migrating to a RAID5
Finally adding a 4th drive to expand the RAID5 array for maximum capacity

Phrased another way, is it possible to:
Start with 1 disk as JBOD
Add 2nd disk to get to RAID1
Add 3rd disk to get to RAID5
Add 4th disk as RAID5 to max out capacity

I think this is referred to as an ‘online migration’ or ‘horizontal migration’, but again, the important thing I’m after is no loss of my existing data on the drive I presently use.

Thanks in advance!

I don’t think you can add a drive to the EX4 what has been formatted from elsewhere. I may be wrong.

Bump. Still looking for an answer to the above.

I’ll try find out, but I don’t think you can go from RAID1 to RAID5. It’s a good question. I can’t find out because I don’t have at least three blank drives to test this with. If it could be possible then you would have to break the RAID1 configuration to revert to a single drive and then add two discs to then be able to create a RAID5 array.

That is the option on a DL4100. Not sure if it’s the same for an EX4. I’m guessing this option would change a single JBOD configuration to RAID5. I’m not exactly sure how the second option works. I’ve not found a concise and clear explanation of the Expand Capacity option.

Here’s where the confusion comes from.

This brochure says the following:


Disk management
RAID: JBOD, spanning, 0/1/5 10/5 + hot spare support
RAID migration:
•JBOD to RAID 1
•JBOD to RAID 5
•RAID 1 to RAID 5
Hot swapping
Hot spare (in four disk mode)
Disk roaming
Array roaming

My question is if the RAID Migration can be done WITHOUT DATA LOSS.

I’m astonished that this question has languished for a week on a WD sponsored forum without a reply from someone on staff. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in customer support.