Replacing all drives

I have been running an ex4100 now for a few years.

When I set the unit up, I used 4, 2tb disk drives that I was no longer using and set them up as raid 5 in case one of them failed.
I have no idea how old these drives are, but I have been running the ex4100 for about 3-ish years and they were probably about 5 years old when I first put them in, so I am guess they are about 8 years old and should probably be replaced,

However, I don’t know if there is a “correct procedure” for doing this and wanted peoples thoughts on the matter.

I can see two options:

  1. Over the course of four nights, simply switch it off, replace one drive and let it rebuild overnight ready for the next day.

  2. Backup all the data to a separate drive (about 4tb’s of data), switch it off and replace all drives at once, then restore all the data.

Option 1, will take a lot of time and I assume hammer all the drives for a week as it will be constantly rebuilding the drives and risks one of the older drives failing leading to corruption during the rebuilding phase.

Option 2, seems simpler as I will always have a backup copy, but I really don’t want to have to reset up the Ex4100 (which I am assuming I will have to do as the data like the users and the shares are probably stored somewhere on the disks themselves).

Has anyone replaced all their drives? What was your experience?

Thanks in advance.

A few thoughts - - -

  1. Hammering the hard disks IS a concern.

  2. You do want a backup of all the data - - > So I encourage the 4tb external drive option.

  3. You can save the configuration file and upload it back into the unit. Buried some where in the settings portion of the dashboard.

  4. The “I have more money than sense” option: Make the backup; pull the disks and replace with fresh drives. Copy data back. PUT THE USED DISK IN A DRAWER as a doomsday backup.

Haha, love option 4… I wish I had more money, but maybe this is why! However, what price data loss and the drives are about 8 years old already so its a case of when not if and feel like I am living on borrowed time ATM :slight_smile:

I’ll look for the option to save the config file, haven’t seen it as part of BAU…
Thank you

So I thought I would post an update in case anyone else wants to do what I did!

Yes, I have swapped all four of my 2tb Hitachi drives for 4 Wester Digital Gold drives.

The process was simple I am pleased to say.

Firstly, I powered down the EX4100, then I removed the old drives, inserted the new drives and powered back on.
The unit had remember all the authorized users so a simple log in and I had access.

Predictably it was complaining it couldn’t find the old volume so I dismissed that message and went straight to Storage and formatted a new raid 5 array across the 4 drives. That took a couple of minutes and the array was available to use.

The array then started the process of checking parity which was going really reallly slowly.

I found restoring the previous config completely useless and I was hoping this would restore the shares. It didn’t.

So I have to re-create the shares and give access to the users again. This was simply but then I only had to create about 10 shares, if I had 100 or more this would have been a major pain in the a…s .

WD, an improvement idea, save the shares as part of the configuration file, it can’t be difficult! People will have to replace all the drives in time!

To NAS_USER, who thinks I have more money than sense. You may be right, but when I pulled the Hitachi drives they were dated 2010 so 12-13 years old. Not a single drive had any problems so I am very very impressed with the quality of the units and will keep them, just in case one of the new drives goes bad and I need to replace it to maintain the integrity of the array quickly.

I am glad I did the change over and hope you will all find the process as simple as I did.

BTW, for the technically minded, I did back up my data to another hard drive and restore it to the EX4100. I felt safe doing this because I could always have just put the old drives back in again!