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Upgrading Parity, adding more drives and removing an existing one

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This has been asked a number of times before and I've read through a lot of threads, but its my fist time doing this and wanted to double check for sanity.

I have an array currently running with 3 x 4tb drives and 1 x 8tb parity drive.

Thanks to black friday sales I now own 2 x 18tb drives.

I want to add these to the array whilst removing 1 x 4tb drive (I want to put it in another machine), giving the following: 1 x 18tb parity, 1 x 18tb + 1 x 8tb + 2 x 4tb array.

Is the most sensible way to do this:

  1. Run a Parity check.
  2. Stop the array.
  3. Power down.
  4. Remove Parity drive (doesnt need to be physically removed, I will just disconnect it) and install 1 x 18tb drive.
  5. Power on.
  6. Assign 18tb drive as Parity.
  7. Start the array.
  8. Build Parity drive.
  9. Stop the array.
  10. Power down.
  11. Remove 1 x 4tb drive, install 1 x 18tb drive and reinstall the 8tb drive.
  12. Power on.
  13. Assign new drives to the aray.
  14. Start the array.
  15. Data should be rebuilt, leaving a fully working system as described above?


I guess this might not be the most efficient way, but by doing it stepwise it makes me slightly more comfortable and I am happy with any additional time it needs. I feel like I am missing a step when I remove the 4tb drive but cant work out what that is.



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5 hours ago, Huggies15 said:

I guess this might not be the most efficient way


That's why you Backup


If you have a backup, everything is easy and can take as much time as you need.


Your plan looks sound, well thought out, even smart, but if you don't have backup... don't blame me if it goes sideways.



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You were forgetting to start the array after you unassign the old data disk. This commits the change to unraid so that the drive will be emulated. Then stop the array and assign the new data disk. 



I'm doing the same thing with my server next week. Here is the link to the unraid manual you should follow and the steps I'm taking in my dual parity setup:


unRAID Storage Manual


Parity Upgrade Section 

1. Preclear new disks 

2. Make backups of flash drive, dockers, VM'S, and appdata.

3. Take screenshots of Disk Assignments and Shares. 

4. Run a Parity Check. Verifying 0 sync errors. 

5. Disable Dockers and VM's. 

6. Disable Mover and any other scheduled tasks. 

7. Turn off auto-start for array. 

8. Stop array and unassign parity disks. 

9.  Power down server.

10. Remove parity disks and store in safe place until parity is built on new disks. (In case you lose a data drive in the process)

11. Install new parity disks. 

12. Start server. Verify new disks are the correct ones by looking at serial numbers. 

13. Assign new disk/s to Parity slot/s. (Unraid suggests to replace one parity disk at a time, in dual parity, which will keep the array in a protected state during parity build). I will be replace both parity disks at the same time to save time. 

14. Start array in maintenance mode (so nothing can be written to array while building parity) or normal mode (to access data while building parity).

15. Wait for parity build to finish. Then reboot server to verify unraid boots correctly, with all the correct disk assignments. 


Data Upgrade Section 

16. Start array. Verify all your data is still there. 

17. Take another set of backups and screenshots (same as in Parity section). 

18. Stop array. Unassign data disk to be replaced. 

19. Start array to commit change to unraid. You may have to check a box at the bottom of the page stating that disk will be emulated. (Necessary to start array for missing disk to be emulated). 

20. Stop array and power down server. 

21. Remove the data disk you just unassigned and keep safe until data is rebuilt onto new disk. 

22. Install new data disk. (You can now use the old parity disk since your server has built parity on the new parity disks). 

23. Start server and verify new data disk is shown by looking at the serial number. 

24. Assign the new data disk to the empty slot you created when you removed the old data disk. 

25. Start array. (You may need to check a box at the bottom of the page stating that unraid will rebuild the data on the new disk using parity). 

26. Once the data disk is rebuilt, verify all your data is there.

27. Reboot your server to verify there are no issues and all data is still there after starting the array. 

28. Take new backups and screenshots of everything for future use. 

29. Change settings back to normal, like array auto start, re-enabling dockers, VM's, Mover, etc. 


Enjoy your larger array!

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