Confused about which new hard drive I can use

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THX1139
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Confused about which new hard drive I can use

Post by THX1139 »

So, in 2016 I bought an Asustor NAS (AS6204T). It's been used only once in a while so it hasn't been running for nearly that many years. Still, drives fail with age and today when I decided to boot it up again after a really long downtime I got a red light on one of my 4 drives in a Raid 5 setup. I can't get diagnostic to say anything specific but I assume that it needs to be replaced.

Now the problem: since new products are being released at a rather high rate, I don't know what new drive to get that will work with my old setup. The original drive is a Seagate NAS HDD 4TB SATA3.0. And the closest I can find here is a Seagate IronWolf 3,5'' NAS HDD 4 TB. https://www.komplett.no/product/1215133 ... s-hdd-4-tb

But will it be compatible? I believe the manual says that drives must be replaced with identical ones but that of course isn't possible unless you bought a stack of extra ones when you first bought the NAS.

I also wouldn't mind upgrading all of them to bigger volumes if possible but the most important part is to not lose all the data. Hoping somebody could clue me in as I know very little about these things. Thank you!
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snapshot
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Re: Confused about which new hard drive I can use

Post by snapshot »

'Identical' only means 'the same size' (or larger) so the 4TB Ironwolf is exactly what you need. A 4TB WD Red Plus would also do the job.

In theory, you could replace the drive with a larger one, let the RAID rebuild then repeat the process with the other three drives then expand the RAID to use all of the new drives. However, given that your drives are old and the stresses of rebuilding a RAID 5 are high, this process would almost guarantee that at least one more would fail and your data would be at risk.

I would strongly recommend copying your data off to an external USB drive then replacing all four drives with new ones and building the RAID again from scratch. You need to do this anyway even if you decide to just replace the failed drive to make sure your data is secure.

My personal preference would be to buy even larger drives and use RAID 10 rather than RAID 5 although I realise this is a more expensive option.
THX1139
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:59 am

Re: Confused about which new hard drive I can use

Post by THX1139 »

That’s a great help, thank you!!! I now have to decide on which option to go with, same size or larger. On the one hand, larger makes sense as data accumulates and every project also increases in size as the world progresses. 4K video takes more space than HD video, etc. But on the other hand these larger NAS drives are expensive and I may stick with what I currently have in terms of available space.

But anyway, thanks again for the info I needed!
ndl101
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:32 pm

Re: Confused about which new hard drive I can use

Post by ndl101 »

THX1139 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 3:16 am Now the problem: since new products are being released at a rather high rate, I don't know what new drive to get that will work with my old setup. The original drive is a Seagate NAS HDD 4TB SATA3.0. And the closest I can find here is a Seagate IronWolf 3,5'' NAS HDD 4 TB...

But will it be compatible? I believe the manual says that drives must be replaced with identical ones but that of course isn't possible unless you bought a stack of extra ones when you first bought the NAS.
Seagate Ironwolf NAS drives are decent drives for a NAS, I am using the series myself. As for compatibility with the current RAID, as snapshot mentioned, you only need top consider the size but it might be worth checking if the motherboard if compatible with the new drives, though, but tbh I expect no issues with the drives are of equal size.
snapshot wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:14 pm My personal preference would be to buy even larger drives and use RAID 10 rather than RAID 5 although I realise this is a more expensive option.
If you by "RAID 10" mean RAID 1 + RAID 0, then in a setup with 4 disks max, personally, I do not see the benefit over RAID5. Sure, with RAID10 you are getting increased read/write speeds but at the cost of decreased capacity, no increase in data security to that of RAID5. In a 4 disk RAID10 setup, if you loose the wrong two disks, you loose all your data which means that in practice a RAID10 setup only tolerates a 1 disk loss. A 4 disk RAID5 setup also only allows for the loss of one disk without data loss but with comparably increased capacity, slightly less increase in read speed, normal write speeds. As a side note, a 4 disk RAID6 tolerates the loss of two disks with a capacity comparable to that of 4 disk RAID10, read speeds lower than that of RAID5 but higher that normal and normal write speeds. It is also true that the strain on the disks while rebuilding the RAID is quite high for RAID5 and RAID6 compared to RAID10 which increases the risk of losing a disk during rebuild.
Sure, it all comes down to which parameters matter one value the most and the stats on data security/tolerated numbers of disks lost changes in the favour of RAID10 as the number of disks increase but again, this is a 4 disk setup.

I made it long as I lacked the time to make it short.

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THX1139
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:59 am

Re: Confused about which new hard drive I can use

Post by THX1139 »

Several things to consider for me here. Mostly cost. I have the browser tab open for the disks I’m planning to buy but I keep stalling for one more day, (now looking at the Seagate IronWolf 3.5" NAS HDD 8TB ST8000VN004).

I’m a bit disappointed with the entire NAS experience. First it got ransomwared through something in settings. Don’t remember what it was anymore but it was disappointing as I don’t even have any cloud settings enabled. Another disappointment is that you really need to replace all drives, so the great advantage of supposedly being able to replace one drive on the fly seems less valid in real life. Also if rebuilding causes such a stress on the other drives that I need to get a large external drive in addition in order to back up the backup, things are starting to get unreasonably pricy.

As an alternative I could just get two huge external USB drives and then manually clone one onto the other and place it in a second location. The disadvantages to this is of course, no cloud should I choose to enable it, no Emby server on my TV that has all my old movies and shows on it and also manually having to update my backup on the second drive from time to time. Well, often if there is to be any point to it. So I guess I will continue with the NAS and new drives.

ndl101, you make a good point about compatibility. I guess I should make certain that these newer drives are compatible. Most likely they are but I should make sure, thanks.
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