Increase network storage in RAID 5 configuration

I have the PR4100 with no hard drives. I would like to setup a RAID 5 configuration.

I have 3x 6TB drives and 1x 1TB drives. If I add them to the NAS my understanding is that I will have 3TB of total network space (the extra 5TBs on each of the 6TB drives will be ignored/limited due to the 1TB drives, and parity would reduce the space from 4TB to 3TB). Is that correct?

Later, from a powered down state, could I physical remove the 1TB drive and replace it with a new 6TB drive? If I do will:

  • the NAS recognize the replaced drive and rebuild the data automatically onto it due to the parity information? (if not automatically, how would this be done?)
  • the NAS automatically increase the network storage from 3TB to 18TB?

You are correct, a 3TB RAID 5 volume will be created. If ‘Auto-Rebuild’ is enabled when you swap the 1TB for a new 6TB the NAS will automatically recover the data to the new drive, but it will not automatically expand the volume. Once recovery is complete (should be relatively fast for just 3TB, my 48TB took around 2 days), you will be presented with the option to manually expand the volume to ~18TB.

Another option - if you need more space up front - may be to make the 3x 6TB drives into a 12TB RAID 5 volume and use the 1TB in JBOD mode as a second volume. Then when you get the 4th 6TB drive, remove the 1TB and expand your RAID 5 to include the fourth 6TB drive.

Thank you very much for your reply.

So it will auto-rebuild (if enabled), but not auto-expand. However, expanding would be as easy as clicking a button? And I wouldn’t lose any information?

Related to above, but if I go with the 3x 6TB to make a RAID 5 option now, how would I expand that later to 18TB? Is it as easy as clicking the same expand button? Will I lose any information?

Forgot to mention that it will also allow you to create a separate volume with the leftover 15TB, but that will complicate your expansion choices in the future if your goal is a single 18TB volume.

Now for the first part of your current question. There won’t be any data loss. After the initial recover hits 100%, you will have to:

  1. Click the ‘change RAID mode’ button (you’ll get a warning that it’ll interrupt file transfers). Click ok.

  2. Select RAID 5, then check ‘expand capacity’. Click ‘next’.

  3. This is as far as I can go, I only get the ‘replace’ option since I’m already set up with four disks. It’ll ask something to the effect of ‘do you want to replace a drive or add a new drive?’ Here’s where you would replace the 1TB(using the scenario that you presented in your initial question).

  4. Next, once you make your selection there will be a left/right slider that allows you to select a volume size. You’d slide it to 18TB, then you’d commit your changes.

As for the second part of your question. To be safe, prior to swapping the new 6TB drive in, you’d need a backup of the data on the 1TB volume because it’s not a part of a RAID. After that the steps should be the same.

I’m doing this… thanks for the help.

Right now, I’m on the 3rd drive. It’s doing the expansion (up to 71% so far) and the drive status is good.

BUT, the front panel LED for the drive is solid red. I did follow the steps and I got a critical warning about a failed drive as I was replacing them. I got the same on the 1st and 2nd drives as I was replacing them… but for those the LEDs turned blue while the expansion is going… we’ll see.

Is this normal? Seeing the red status LED for the drive? I see no way to reset it other than re-starting the machine, which I don’t want to do until I have completed the expansion.

BTW: I’m running 5.21.104.

EDIT (update):

OK, this is interesting… so recall the red led was on for drive 3 throughout the 50 to 75% cycle. Once it got done and ready for processing drive 4, the LED for drive 3 went back to blue, normal and the light for drive 4 went red.

I replaced drive 4, per instructions, all lights flashed a bit, and drive 4’s light went blue and it’s now doing 78%.

Looking at the warnings: I see a
Drive Inserted
System Not Ready
Volume Degraded

But I don’t see any drive faults… ( I saw them for the replacement of drives 2 and 3 even though the upgrade worked just fine and those drives showed healthy while the volume was expanding).

The original drives were 4x6TB drives, about 60% filled with data. The replacements are 4x10TB drives. It’s taking about 14 hours per drive.

EDIT (Update 2, final)

OK. something else… when all four drives are “expanded” the drive will start verifying the parity… for four 10TB drives, with about 8TB of data stored in the array, this too, about 9 hours.

After that, the drive will AUTOMATICALLY resize the volume to the maximum size. There was no option, no slider, it just did it by itself. (Note: I have the auto-Rebuild selected). Took about three days.