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RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

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RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby tech17 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:59 am

Hello Community!

I recently almost killed my simple RAID-1 while trying to change my disks to the larger ones.
Was able to recover the RAID but I still need to do the same thing, so I need to understand what did I do wrong in order not to repeat it and to complete the migration.

I have a NAS model AS3204T - non hot-swappable disks, so that I need to switch the device off to change the disks.
Starting situation: RAID-1, two healthy disks of 3TB (WD) in slots 1,2
Want to upgrade to RAID-1, 10TB

I tried to act according to https://www.asustor.com/en/online/Colle ... ?topic=352 , yet this document looks to cover models with hot-swappable disks only and/or may be I failed somewhere on the road to follow the instructions?

What I did.

Step 1. In Storage Management Utility chose "Replace the existing disks in "Volume1" with larger ones".
Step 2. Turned the NAS off, took off a 3TB disk from slot 2, inserted a new 10TB disk into the slot 2, turned the NAS on
Resut: NAS starts all right as usual and starts to synchonize the disks, copying the disk1 to disk2
Step 3. After the synchronization finished with success, I may be turned the NAS off and on a number of times
Step 4. Turned the NAS off, took off a 3TB disk from a slot 1, inserted a new 10TB disk into the slot 1, turned the NAS on
Result: NAS starts in the mode where it proposes me to setup itself(!) At which point I realize I almost broke everything.

I then was able to insert back one disk of 3TB into the slot 1 and restart the NAS in a mode of RAID-1, single disk, then even added a 10TB disk (a 2nd one) into the slot2 and the NAS was able to sync disks, so my current situation is:

Healthy RAID-1
Slot 1: 3TB disk
Slot 2: 10TB disk

So, the questions
- what did I do wrong previously ?
- how can I proceed further to substitute the last 3TB disk with a 10TB one? - which (10TB disk) may be already initialized by NAS, as it was used on Step 3, I am not sure).

Regards, tech17 (Michael)
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby Nazar78 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:21 am

Did the utility specifically tells you to replace slot #2 when you started the process? And did you notice any further instructions from the utility about the next disk after the sync is done?

While in the healthy raid 1 with 3+10tb in slot 1 & 2, run the process again this time replace the 1st slot 3tb with 10tb. Then the last step is to expand the size. If still fail please contact Asustor support, they should have a proper way to deal with non hot swap NAS.

I've done it before but manually with mdadm commands not with the utility as it doesn't support usb exclosure and the usb enclosure doesn't support hot swap unlike the internal slots.
AS5304T - 16GB DDR4 - [40TB N300 RAID10 + 5 Bay USB: 8TB RAID5 & 480GB SSD for Apps]
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby tech17 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:29 am

> Did the utility specifically tells you to replace slot #2 when you started the process?
> And did you notice any further instructions from the utility about the next disk after the sync is done?

Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to additional instructions. I supposed that just throwing away one of the disks would restore the RAID-1 on the one put as a substitution, like it could happen if one of the discs got broken.

First time it succeeded but not the second.

Really, if my first disk now breaks physically, how the RAID could be restored if I already tried kind of the same scenario and saw it does not restore...

Still, with all that, I much sorry if I missed following the instruction precisely on the road.
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby orion » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:04 am

You can try:
Step 4: Move 10TB disk in slot-2 to slot-1. Insert new 10TB disk into slot-2. Turn NAS on.
Step 5: After sync finished, try expand volume size (Expand button).

In your original step 4, I guess NAS ADM finds the disk being totally new (without any partitions or without proper partitions). So ADM try to initialize NAS.
However, I think ADM should check slot-2 in this case. But it does not apparently.

Really, if my first disk now breaks physically, how the RAID could be restored if I already tried kind of the same scenario and saw it does not restore...

If the first disk is old one, partitions and others should be correct. Then, I guess ADM should be able to check RAID integrity.
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby tech17 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:36 pm

orion wrote:You can try:
Step 4: Move 10TB disk in slot-2 to slot-1. Insert new 10TB disk into slot-2. Turn NAS on.
Step 5: After sync finished, try expand volume size (Expand button).


I will try. It'll take time though. May be 2-3 weeks. Then I'll post update here.
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby Antonios » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:08 pm

Ok, I can help you with that cause I have done it, have seen it fail and found the way to fix it.

1. NAS is always on during the procedure. In order to be able to remove hdds POWER DOWN NAS, remove NAS cover and place NAS on its side, prepare hdds screws by unscrewing them a bit but keeping them in place. THEN POWER UP NAS and wait for it to startup normally.
2. Initiate management of the volume, then select the option to install bigger hdds.
3. System will ask to remove hdd1 (1st slot) first.
4. DON'T POWER DOWN THE NAS
5. Unscrew hdd1 (1st slot) and holding with one hand the NAS keeping it steady, carefully slide hdd1 outwards. Don't worry, all SATA is hotswappable, there may be no hdd trays to facilitate the procedure but the NAS doesn't know that.
6. The NAS will beep to signal that something happened to hdd1 (1st slot) which is now missing
7. Management screen will show hdd1 as missing and Raid 1 in a degraded state
8. Management screen will ask you to insert the larger hdd in the empty slot1
9. DON'T POWER DOWN THE NAS.
10. Insert carefully the larger hdd in slot1 holding with the other hand the NAS steady. Don't worry, all SATA is hotswappable, there may be no hdd trays to facilitate the procedure but the NAS doesn't know that.
11. Place the screws of the hdd and tighten very slightly if at all being careful not to drop any screw inside the NAS on the main PCB. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE HDD SCREWS.
12. It will take a few seconds for the larger hdd in 1st slot to spin-up and then be recognized by the NAS, the NAS may or may not beep, but will start the rebuild immediately without further action from you.
13. If the management screen does not refresh to this rebuild state select momentarily the Disk tab and then return to Volume tab to force the screen refreshing which will now reflect the rebuild procedure by percentage
14. Wait until NAS finishes the rebuild
15. NAS will now ask to remove hdd2 (2nd slot)
16. DON'T POWER DOWN THE NAS
17. Repeat steps 5 to 13 for hdd2 (2nd slot)
18. Wait until NAS finishes the rebuild for the larger hdd in slot2
19. Repeat steps 17 to 18 until all hdds have been replaced with larger ones and the rebuilds have completed (in case of Raid 5 / 6 etc)
20. NAS will now show the expand volume option.
21. Start the expand volume option and wait until the procedure is finished, it goes gradually in steps, and when finished it shows the full usable volume of the larger hdds.
22. NAS will now start to synchronize the expanded space.
23. Wait for NAS to finish.
24. Now NAS operates normally with the new larger hdds and everything seems normal
25. Until you decide to POWER NAS DOWN.
26. Then NAS never starts again.
27. Continue reading in the next post.
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby Antonios » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:12 pm

Continuing NAS recover procedure from last post.

28. If NAS has a static IP on your LAN, once you POWER IT DOWN and then POWER IT UP it is no longer reachable in this static IP address.
29. DON'T PANIC.
30. If no DHCP server exists on your LAN or if DHCP server is disabled in your router or whatever then either enable DHCP server or temporarily attach a DHCP server to your LAN in order to find the NAS again.
31. Force POWER DOWN NAS by keeping the power button pressed until NAS powers off.
32. POWER UP NAS
33. Use a network scanner program to locate NAS in your LAN, it is at some other IP address now. Alternatively use all IPs from the DHCP server's IP pool in series until you find the NAS again in your LAN.
34. NAS now is in a default state, passwords are reset to default and NAS appears un-initialized.
35. DON'T PANIC.
36. Locate the exact current firmware file you used for the NAS or go download it manually if you haven't kept it in some safe place
37. Once you have the firmware file proceed with manual firmware installation, DON'T LET NAS DOWNLOAD ON ITS OWN ANYTHING
38. Point the NAS to the specific correct firmware file, exact version that was installed in the NAS before the hdds replacement.
39. Let NAS install the selected firmware file.
40. NAS will finish the procedure immediately and show all parts completed successfully including 100% initialization of hdds.
41. NAS will beep and reboot on its own.
42. NAS is now NOT accessible in the IP address it got previously from the DHCP server.
43. Use the network scanner again to locate the NAS in your LAN.
44. NAS now is back on its old static IP address because it has started successfully from the hdds and found and applied all the old settings.
45. POWER DOWN NAS using the web interface on its old static IP address.
46. TIGHTEN HDDS SCREWS, replace top cover and place NAS back in its permanent location.
47. POWER NAS UP.
48. Verify all settings are intact and volume space expanded, Raid is in healthy condition.
49. Job finished.
50. Have a nice day and forget about NAS volume expansion problems.



Comments follow.

Obviously hdd1 contains something that is not replicated by the rebuild but is written to the hdd during the initialization procedure. Could be just an activation of a partition or it could be something else, the thing is that hdd2 is different from hdd1 in a raid1 and this has come up before when hdd1 failed and NAS should be able to startup from the 'mirrored' hdd2 once relocated in slot1, but didn't and should startup from a new hdd1 after said raid1 finished rebuilding but it didn't. The missing part is put back into the hdd in slot1 by the firmware installation or initialization procedure. And while in a space expansion with larger hdds type situation the thing is kinda controlled this can't be said in case of failure of hdd1 in a raid1 where the obvious immediate courses of action won't bring the system back up.



Disclaimer follows.

1. Use at your own risk
2. YMMV
3. Just my 2c.
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby goshi » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:23 am

Hi, guys.
I have now same. I have bought two 12TB disks (real size is 10.91TB). I have AS3202t NAS with two 4TB disk.
Now I cannot migrate to new disks, because:
* the disks cannot be hot-swapped
* when I eject disks one by one with powering off the NAS and when the second disk has been swapped to continue sync process, NAS on boot redirects me to Setup screen
* swapping new disks from HDD1 to HDD2 does change anything
* I have tried Antonio's method with ejecting disk from working NAS and inserting new without power off: NAS told me, that RAID is broken and match new disk as "Inactive" without rebuilding RAID.

This is crazy behaviour, because I have bought NAS with native RAID support to save my data and full mirroring. Now, if one of the disks will be dead - I will get broken system (but could copy data from another, which is the nightmare for typical home customer).
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby orion » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:46 am

Hi, guys.
I have now same. I have bought two 12TB disks (real size is 10.91TB). I have AS3202t NAS with two 4TB disk.
Now I cannot migrate to new disks, because:
* the disks cannot be hot-swapped
* when I eject disks one by one with powering off the NAS and when the second disk has been swapped to continue sync process, NAS on boot redirects me to Setup screen
* swapping new disks from HDD1 to HDD2 does change anything
* I have tried Antonio's method with ejecting disk from working NAS and inserting new without power off: NAS told me, that RAID is broken and match new disk as "Inactive" without rebuilding RAID.

This is crazy behaviour, because I have bought NAS with native RAID support to save my data and full mirroring. Now, if one of the disks will be dead - I will get broken system (but could copy data from another, which is the nightmare for typical home customer).

That surprises me. My NAS is a hot-swappable model. I cannot try it. It seems that your result (your NAS cannot boot correctly with old HDD1 + new HDD2) is different from OP. It is hard to find out what's the problem without more detailed information. I think you should send a support request to asustor directly. https://support.asustor.com/
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Re: RAID-1 migration to larger disks failure - why?

Postby Antonios » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:14 pm

goshi wrote:* the disks cannot be hot-swapped


Yes, they can. See steps 5 to 12.


goshi wrote:* I have tried Antonio's method with ejecting disk from working NAS and inserting new without power off: NAS told me, that RAID is broken and match new disk as "Inactive" without rebuilding RAID.


See step 13. Deals with this 'new hdd seems as inactive and not rebuilding' issue. Switch tabs momentarily to FORCE screen refresh. The NAS has already start rebuilding after new hdd spin-up, but the screen does not show that automatically.
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