Add One or More New Data Drives

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You already have an unRAID array up and running and you want to expand your storage by adding one or more new data drives.

  • Stop the array
  • Power down the server
  • Install your new hard drive(s)
  • Power up the server

Your unRAID array should start and come on-line.

Note: Until you assign the new drive(s) you will not see them on the main unRaid management page. You cannot assign new drives on the "Devices" page until you assign them to logical slots in the array. To assign them:

  • Stop the array.
  • On the "Devices" assignment page, assign the new disks to available slots.
  • Go back to the main unRaid management page, if the drives are new, or if they have any other file-system other than reiserfs, they will appear as "unformatted" You will need to check the checkbox to format them. this will erase any data that was previously on them by first clearing them and then partitioning and formatting them with a reiserfs file-system.

When this operation finishes, all the data disks, including the new one(s), will be exported (shared) on the lan and be available for use.

The format operation consists of two phases. First, the the entire contents of the new disk(s) is cleared (written with zeros), and then it’s marked active in the array. Next, a file system is created. unRAID Server uses the ReiserFS journalled file system.

The clearing phase is necessary to preserve the fault tolerance characteristic of the array. If at any time while the new disk(s) is being cleared, one of the other disks fails, you will still be able to recover the data of the failed disk. Unfortunately, the clearing phase can take several hours depending on the size of the new disks(s). Formatting, once the drive is cleared, usually only takes a few seconds.

The capacity of any new disk(s) added must be the same size or smaller than your parity disk. If you wish to add a new disk which is larger than your parity disk, then you must instead first replace your parity disk. (You could use your new disk to replace parity, and then use your old parity disk as a new data disk.) You can either swap their positions physically on the cables and leave the drive assignments the same on the devices page, or logically swap their assignments on the devices assignment page.