Rebuilding raid1 on my ex2 ultra (6TBx2) seems to take forever

I have done a full factory reset as my ex2 ultra has been very problematic for weeks. Can’t get the latest firmware to download (stops at 20%) and the raid is degraded even though both disks are good. So decided to do a rebuild before another attempt to download firmware os5.21.104.

How long will it take to create a mirror 6TB during formatting and partitiioning.

Hi @lenb,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for best assistance and troubleshooting:

I have opened a case and am waiting for a reply. In the meantime my EX2 Ultra is a mysterious black box with the ethernet connection lamp flickering and no access from the OS app or windows10 connection to see what is going on. In day 2 now of trying to get this unit working after the debacle of updating firmware 5.20.113.

“raid degraded”

“doing rebuild”

So - - -how much data is on the disks? Are you just trying to reformat the disks; or are you trying to preserve data?

  • if reformat and rebuild; should be fairly quick.

  • if rebuilding Raid1 from one good disk to a second new disk. . . .that will take a minute (got to copy all the data over)

  • if cloud services are enabled. . . .watch out that this doesn’t trigger the dreaded “index” cycle. . .which for 6TB can take 3-7 days.

  • can you still access the device dashboard?

I am probably a bit light on the tech side but thought I could manage a full factory reset, change of the CR2032 battery, select a raid1 config with both disks being reformatted (no data on either now) and allow the system to set up the desired result. This is after a nightmare of poor performance after the 5.20.113 firmware update. All my data has been backed up to another external drive, thankfully.

The dashboard is no longer available even though the ex2 ultra is still shown on the router with its static address. the OS5 app says the system is offline. the Windows10 login to the dashboard is not reachable.

Both disks were checked before I started with the raid1 set up and no errors were reported and both came back as GOOD. I did have the cloud access on (didn’t know this would be a problem) and the system gave a message to be patient and not to turn off the NAS (EX2 Ultra). Then a round icon that kept changing shades of blue with the word PARTITIONING next to it.

The disks are RED 6TB and I set up to mirror all but 1.5TB (which I don’t need and set to be spanning).

Steady stream of green light flickering where the ethernet connects and both disks are quiet.

I must confess that I’m baffled by the lack of access while this process is underway. There are no other icons or progress messages.

Do I wait another 7 days and pull the power to create a restart? Do I wait indefinitely to get a dashboard to appear?

Very frustrating, time consuming, and not good value for what I’ve put into this unit so far.

Any help would be appreciated.

you need both of the ex2 disks to do mirror raid 1
so I do not understand how spamming is part of this ?

Spanning combines multiple hard drives into a single logical unit . Unlike Striping, Spanning writes data to the first physical drive until it reaches full capacity. When the first disk reaches full capacity, data is written to the second physical disk.

on the main problem - i would still re-check each disk on an external computer or retest using without a raid setup. as you already have the data backup.

The raid1 set up mirrors the amount of your two disks that you allocate and gives the option to span the remainder. I only tried this approach because I don’t need all the disk space for mirroring. But if this is causing a problem, then I need to restart the process and omit the spanning option.

I have given this to tech support as an open case but nothing back yet.

Even the user manual is not clear about all the options and potential challenges for each. E.g., does it make a difference to not combine mirroring with a spanning allocation? Should the set up happen without internet/cloud access to avoid indexing if the disks are both fully reformatted?

I have resisted shifted to a internet cloud service as I want more control over my data…but this is making me rethink the way forward.

regarding testing: if the full diagnostic tools from WD on the ex2 ultra are doing their best, why do I have to test elsewhere? the SMART algorithm gives a prediction on each drives condition, but when you test, they come back as GOOD.

I now accept that these drives need replacing about every 18months…this is not explained in the marketing info or the product user manual. And the cost of the ex2 ultra plus the constant replacement of drives (and the limits of accessing the unit if the broadband service is down) does strengthen the case for shifting to an icloud service and discontinuing the WD product.

Can you sense my frustration and disappointment?

WD Red series drives should not need replacement at 18 months.
What is telling you that is necessary?
(WD Red is standard for WD Nas units - - - rated for 24/7/365 use)
(no idea regarding warranty)

If possible; I would avoid WD Red; as these are SMR drives in most popular sizes. Use Red Plus to get CMR disks. Google SMR or CMR HDD to understand the difference. Bottom line: SMR = cheap; slow. CRM = Conventional drive. (Prices nearly identical when purchased)

I have not setup too many units. . . and I was unaware it was possible to have Raid1 and spanning on the same disks. Try starting over and try another option. For FRESHLY FORMATTED disks; this shouldn’t take very long. CERTAINLY not a day.

Certainly, if you think HDD’s have a “relatively” short life. . .for goodness sake don’t use spanning. What happens if a drive goes bad?

Cloud services, in the WD world, involves “indexing” the drive to streamline online content access. Should be very quick if there is no data on the drive. When I did it two years ago, with an EX2; it took about 1.5 days to index about 1.5 TB of data (an absurdly long amount of time). Unit was very, very sluggish during this process. I suggest setting up the system and make sure it’s ok before enabling that step.

Don’t rely on internet based cloud service. You are one “change of terms” update or one missed payment to lose all your data. Always have at least one (if not two) backups of your data. (My most recent loss of a drive was 3 days ago. Spend about 4 hours trying to recover the drive; spend about 1 hours recovering data from a backup - - → and net loss of near zero data)

For those also struggling with the raid1 set up and associated firmware upgrade issues, I have the following “lessons learned” feedback from my efforts to resolve this problem.

The case put to WD Support: firmware update 5.20.113 caused a series of problems including degraded raid ; not able to roll back or update to latest firmware 5.21.104; all system and disk tests came back GOOD but red LED light and caution remained; full factory reset didn’t solve the problem but noticed that I couldn’t create shared folders or load files onto the drives via USB or LAN; 4 sec reset never work nor multiple reboots; waited for the call back from WD Support and pondered my next move.

Firstly, I had already backed up my data on an external USB drive so avoided a total disaster.

Finally, I removed both drives (having previously replaced the CR2032 battery in the device) and replaced what I believed to be a good drive into 2nd bay and restarted the unit.

Shock, surprise: the firmware automatically updated successfully and setting the drive to JBOS all went well. Keep in mind that all the diagnostics provided with the ex2 ultra said both drives were good and no errors found. NOTE: MY HOUR LONG DISCUSSION WITH WD SUPPORT AGENT CONCLUDED THE ENCLOSURE WAS FAULTY AND OFFERED A DISCOUNT FOR A NEW ONE!

Files now loading and shares being set up just fine. Bought a new WD 6TB RED drive and inserted into first bay. Migration took about 12 hours but when smoothly and all is back to where it should have been. All LEDs are blue and the box is busy but quiet.

Asked WD Support about diagnostic tools that I could download to my laptop to test the replaced drive in a docking station. He suggested using MS Disk Management…oops, sorry, it’s LINUX, not Windows that runs ex2 ultra. No, can only use the tools that come with the unit…the ones that constantly said all was good with the drives and the system.

Asked why no reset button or power off feature: sorry, not designed for either of these features. You must hibernate and unplug to turn off completely and re plug to restart.

I have had this unit for 4-1/2 years and now running with the 4th and 5th drives having dumped two as not usable and one as a HD attached via a docking station for one more back up.

It’s my hope that his feedback to other users may be helpful. I have many WD products but realise that I must keep seriously irreplaceable data backed up on external drives and now some are on icloud.

Good update.

Followup question: So are you running one new drive or two new drives?

If you replaced drives. . .were either of the drives you pulled actually faulty?

** Bonus points for having backup disks **

** Treat your backups as if your data depends upon it **

The drive in bay 2 was a replacement from the original that came with the box; the one in bay 1 is a new drive that is the second replacement for bay 1. The unit is not under high usage stress and doesn’t appear to be very robust. The SMART (so called) advanced technology uses an algorithm to determine the life of the drive and once it turns the LED to red, there is no way to retrieve the situation without replacing the drive. Marketing strategy, perhaps?

Also…is there any diagnostic tool that can be downloaded to a laptop to test these drives separately from the WD ex2 ultra?