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Multiple upgrades needed. What order to proceed?


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I'm running UNRAID 5.0-rc12a.  I have 1 parity and 12 data drives, a mix of 4TB and 2TB drives.

My motherboard, CPU, and RAM were purchased May 2013 (AMD A4-5300).

My 2GB flash drive is even older, as are several 2 TB drives

I'm using 8 onboard SATA ports and have 2 Dell H310 server cards, one of which is not in use.


I have a new flash drive I'd like to start using.

I have 3 Seagate Exos X10 (10TB) drives I'd like to replace parity (1 or 2?) and data drives as I retire the oldest ones.

I would like to buy new motherboard and CPU, but that can wait.  I hope.


I have so many questions.  I'll try to keep to a couple here.


My priorities are

  • updating to the latest release of UNRAID
  • replacing the flash drive and the oldest spinning disks
  • install the 3 10TB drives to replace parity and older drive(s)


Here's the order I'm considering. 

  • leave my current flash drive as is and upgrade UNRAID version as I migrate to the new drive and migrate the license key.
  • make sure it all works
  • swap out the parity (I think 2 parity drives sounds great)
  • make sure it works
  • replace several old 2 tb drives with the remaining 10TB drive(s)
  • think about replacing motherboard/RAM/CPU later


Should I proceed in a different order?  

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One change (or step) at a time is always the prudent way to proceed when making a number of changes/upgrades to a working server.  That way if something goes awry, you have a known starting point to troubleshoot from.


You are starting from Version 5.  (I had posted earlier and made a stupid assumption-- on my part-- that you were on version 6.)  Do the upgrade to version 6 first (unless your Flash Drive is smaller than 1GB).   Here is a link to a thread about the upgrade from version 5 to version 6:




Unfortunately, the compressive Upgrade WIKI seems to be gone.   So the PDF instructions will have to be your guide.  (The Wiki provided solutions to people who had large numbers of plugins which would not work in version 6.) 


One thing I would like to recommend is that you make a backup of your flash drive before you make the first change and you continue doing that as you move forward.  Once you are on version 6, the quick way to do this is to 'left-click' on the blue "Flash" in the 'Device column for the 'Boot Device' on the 'Main' tab of the GUI.  Under the 'Flash Device Settings' tab/section, you will find a button for 'FLASH BACKUP'.

Edited by Frank1940
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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been a long slog, but I've finally gotten Unraid all updated. 

I'm on v6.9.2 from 5.0-rc12a (I'd upgraded from 4.7 when 5.0 was released)

2 parity disks, 13 data disks

transferred my key to a new Samsung Bar Plus

transferred my backup key to another new Samsung Bar Plus (old thumb drive is lost somewhere and was old 11 years ago)

I started with 3 new 10 TB Exos ST10000NM0086 drives I bought in April (for $215 each). 

I bought a Toshiba MG06ACA10TE (a bargain!) during this upgrade.  I hope it's a good one.

I now have 2 10 TB parity disks, and a mix of 2, 4, and one 10 TB data disks.  I have a precleared 10 TB disk  as a quick-replace spare.

All my disks have been upgraded from reiserfs to xfs using a round-robin approach with rsync in a terminal window.

All my old disks are power-saving desktop disks; some are 10 years old.  I'm working on replacing them with enterprise disks.

I added a BN1375M2 APC Back-UPS Pro from Sam's Club (Smart-UPS too expensive), which Unraid seems to have handled without any plugins.


Thank you Frank1940 for taking the time to answer my questions.  Thanks to everyone who posts in this forum and/or writes plug-ins; I couldn't have done it without you.  


I don't run any VMs, and only a few plug-ins, but Wow!  Amazing job on the new (new to me) Unraid!  What a change from v4 and v5!




Further reading may put you to sleep.  I wanted to document my steps as best as I remember them, in case someone like me comes along with a similar question later. 


Here's what I did start to finish.  I did as much as I could to maintain parity while I was working. 

  • Read, read, read everything I could find about how to do this
    • Be careful on the Unraid site; there's lots of old junky information you'll get to from your Duck Duck Go searches.  I tried to stick to the Unraid Manual as much as possible.
    • Spaceinvader1's You Tube channel is great.  There are others, but they all want to banter and BS while they walk you through something.  I don't have time for that, thank you very much.
    • Be careful if you run dual parity.  Some of the advice on adding and removing drives without doing parity rebuild doesn't hold true for dual parity (I think).
  • Read, read, read everything I could find about how Unraid manages the array
  • Took screencaps of drive assignments
  • Backed up my old v5 flash. 
    • Somewhere along the line I must've moved a file instead of copying it, resulting in a bit of a mess.  Luckily, Unraid is very forgiving.
  • prepared my new Samsung flash with v 6.9.2 using the create flash utility.  Didn't copy any files from old system, since I managed to mess it up.
  • started up, copied my old key from the backup to the config directory
  • booted up, used my screencaps to reassign all my drives.
  • transferred key to new flash (maybe Unraid made me do this before reassigning drives, can't remember)
  • parity check when array started
  • backed up most important files to external drives (probably should have done this sooner, but I think it's more difficult prior to v6.)
  • powered down, installed and precleared a pair of 10 TB Exos drives
  • replaced Parity drive with new precleared Exos
  • parity build (no parity during rebuild, but I stll had the old parity drive just in case)
  • precleared my last 10 TB spare and added it to Array - formatted xfs
  • added second Exos as Parity2
  • parity build
  • various reboots and rearranging of drives.
  • ordered another 10 TB drive, cuz I'm out of spares
  • precleared original 4 TB Parity
  • replaced oldest drive (10+ years old) with old Parity disk
  • rebuild
  • aw nuts, it's still reiserfs.
  • Read some more about various ways to move data to get from reiserfs to xfs, followed Spaceinvader1's rsync tutorial. 
    • There is a plugin that purports to do this for you, but I did mine by hand.
    • Disclosure: I'm comfortable at the 'NIX command line.  I'm not good, but I'm comfortable.  
  • Wrote the whole plan on paper for each drive before I started, crossing off each step as it happened. 
    • rsync disk1 to disk13 format 1
    • rsync disk2 to disk13 format 2
    • rsync disk3 to disk13 format 3
    • rsync disk4 to disk3 format 4
    • rsync disk5 to disk4 format 5
    • etc.
  • Rsync disk to disk; don't touch shares; don't forget frontslash on "from" drive.
    • rsync -avh --remove-source-files "/mnt/disk1/" "/mnt/disk13"
  • left the frontslash off the "from" drive the first time; now my file structure has the old disk1 as the top directory
  • read some more - ended up just using mv to move everything up one directory
    • Unraid doesn't seem to have man pages
  • After each drive's data was rsync'd I used a find command from the newly-emptied drive to make sure everything got moved.  Rsync again if there were still files left.
    • find . -type d -empty -delete
  • Format newly-empty drive to xfs (Read some more about how to format drives.  Followed those instructions).
    • noticed reiserfs uses 12-ish MB on an empty drive.  xfs uses 12 GB.
  • After the first one, I did a dry run output to a text file first, so I could have a record of what was going to get moved.
    • rsync -avh --dry-run --remove-source-files "/mnt/disk2/" "/mnt/disk13" > /mnt/disk13/out/disk2_rsync.txt
  • First three 2 TB drives (the 10-year-old ones with SMART warnings) rsync'd to the new 10 TB data drive.  After that, used round-robin.
  • repeat for days and days and days - 2 TB drives take 6-7 hours to rsync.  4 TB drives, twice as long
  • Phew!  finally done.
  • Parity check (33 hours)
  • preclear my new spare 10 TB drive, unplug it, leave it in the case (I have five 5-drive cages with screws and individual cables to each drive; it's a hassle to mess with them).
  • For now I've left two of the old 2 TB drives in the array, but I've excluded them from shares.  One of them has 1 pending sector; the others were just CRC errors.  I also excluded another of my 11-year-old 2 TB drives.
  • I'm still reading up on the best way to shrink the array whilst maintaining parity protection.  Not sure if it's possible.





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Adding or removing drives is the same whether single or dual parity.


Adding a disk to a new data slot in any array with valid parity will clear the new disk (unless already clear) so parity remains valid.


Removing data disk(s) from the array requires New Config with parity rebuild, since parity isn't valid without the removed disk(s). It is possible to "clear" a disk while it is still in the array by writing zeros to the entire disk. Then New Config without it can be done without parity rebuild, since parity was updated with all those zeros and so the disk can be removed without affecting parity.


Reordering disks will invalidate parity2 since its algorithm depends on disk order.

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