EX4 Seems hungry for more drives?

Looking for someone to clue me in here. I’ve maxed out my data space on my EX4 (came with 4x2TB Drives). I’ve started the process of what I thought would be simple, expanding my storage…Here’s my Dashboard Info for reference… I’m running RAID 5, with Auto Rebuild Turned On. I have only one volume- no partitions if that matters. I’ve gone into the Storage tab>RAID Screen>Change RAID Mode Button>selected to start expanding… all is good… I put a new 5TB drive in the first bay that asks with a red LED for the new drive, the EX4 likes this and it starts the process of expanding (that’s what it says in the dashboard with a status bar). The first bay after a while does it’s thing, I get a nice blue light, but then my EX4 asks for another drive with a red LED in the second bay. Status in the dashboard says the volume is still expanding… is currently at 25 or 27% or something… So I spend the money and I get a 6TB WD Red drive thinking maybe with my new 5TB drive I need to now have that size or bigger on another drive… So I put the new drive in the 2nd bay and my EX4 really thought that one was delicious, bay 2 is now happy and has a blue LED on it. But!!! Bay 3 is hungry with a blinking red LED asking me to replace it’s drive!! So I’ve spent quite a few dollars feeding my EX4 and stills hungry!!! So the question is what to do? Get 2 more larger data drives? My Home Screen on the Dashboard shows that the expansion has done nothing to give me more storage, probably waiting for me to finish this “massive” volume expansion… Anyone have any thoughts or is there a post that you know of that explains why my EX4 is such a data storage pig? Thanks in advanced for any advice!

ALL of the drives must be expanded, but not necessarily the same size.

If you’re increasing the RAID5 volume from 6TB to 9TB (4x3TB drives) then all of the drives must be 3TB or larger.

The array will only size according to the smallest of the drives in the set.

You can’t mix and match sizes in a RAID5 array and expect to use all of the space.

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Ah! Thanks Tony! That makes sense. I’m coming off using a Drobo so that’s were my mind is… I appreciate your time to help me out.

Tony, just to be clear, it is possible to vertically expand a Raid 5 array, e.g. a 4x3TB - 9 TB useful storage, to say a 4x6TB - 18 TB useful storage, buy sequentially replacing the 3TB drives with 6TB drives? For what is worth, here is a definition and graphic:

Vertical Expansion

With vertical expansion, growth is achieved by expanding the storage volume
with larger hard drives. Vertical expansion is a cost effective method of
expanding storage capabilities within a single machine by replacing existing
hard drives.

Thank you and where on the Dashboard do you start this expansion process?

All - I spoke too soon - all of the above information was based on information from WD Tier 2 Technical support and the fact that this relatively unknown feature exists in the change raid procedures. When I performed this upgrade all went as I outlined up to the point of integrating the last of four 6 TB drives in an attempt to upgrade my array from 9 TB (4 - 3TB disks) to 18 TB (4 - 6GB disks). Once the 4th drive was integrated, the next step should have been for the array to have been re-spanned to the new size. This did not happen - I still had a 9 TB array … *** however *** when I rebooted the EX4, the array went away - the EX4 detected 4 new empty 6 TB disks and wanted me to configure them! Given that EACH 6 TB drive took 15 hours to be integrated - I lost 60 hours … all for nothing. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VERTICALLY EXPAND A WD EX4 WITH THE CURRENT FIRMWARE 2.11.133 - IT WILL NOT WORK!