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Fastest way to setup array


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Hi, Im very new to unraid, I have read through the tuturial on how to setup, however i am confused as to the quickest way to setup for my circumstance.

 

I have 5 brand new 2tb drives, i have just purchased my registration key and i am wanting to use 1 drive as the parity with the other for storing media. In the configuration wiki in the section "Add drives to the array" It mentions that pre-clearing drives is popular because it allows you to skip the lengthy process, however its also states that pre-clearing can take up 25 hrs for a 2tb drive?

 

My question is can i not just do a simple format and then add 4 formatted drives to the array, and then transfer data onto them, leaving the parity drive until a later date. Or will i have to pre-clear these drives on that later date in order to add the parity drive, and will this method then result in wiping those 4 drives of all data?

 

I am lloking to get the array up and running as quick as possible and then leave the time consuming stuff until later.

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The quickest way is to assign the disks to the array with no parity. The "array" will start. No clearing is needed.  Pressing format will format the disks with RFS. Total time: 5 minutes. 

 

But I don't suggest that and here's why. 

 

New disks have a relatively high failure rate. Running a burn in test helps weed out the bad ones. Preclear will test the drives thoroughly and enable you to use the disks with more confidence. (The fact that preclear leaves the preclear signature is irrelevant for a new array). 

 

It is also not advisable to run an array without parity protection. Although you can add it later, in order to test your new server and its ability to maintain parity properly with reasonable performance you need the parity drive in place. 

 

I understand your desire to start quickly, but to minimize risk I really recommend the following:

 

1 - Setup server

2 - Run overnight memory test

3 - Run preclears on all disks (takes about 24 hours, but all disks can run in parallel)

4- Assign disks to the array including parity

5 - Start array. Parity will build. Will run 10 hours or so. No clearing occurs on a new array. 

6 - Format the disks

7 - Start copying files using the disk shares (you can setup user shares later). You should get ~30MB/sec copy speeds, maybe faster, depending on hardware and drives. 

8 - Run an overnight parity check the first night. It will confirm parity is being maintained properly. 

 

Many new users have tried to shortcut the setup process and found themselves starting over as problems occurred and they were not confident the initial configuration was stable. 

 

So that's my recommendation :).

 

Good luck!

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The quickest way is to assign the disks to the array with no parity. The "array" will start. No clearing is needed.  Pressing format will format the disks with RFS. Total time: 5 minutes. 

 

But I don't suggest that and here's why. 

 

New disks have a relatively high failure rate. Running a burn in test helps weed out the bad ones. Preclear will test the drives thoroughly and enable you to use the disks with more confidence. (The fact that preclear leaves the preclear signature is irrelevant for a new array). 

 

It is also not advisable to run an array without parity protection. Although you can add it later, in order to test your new server and its ability to maintain parity properly with reasonable performance you need the parity drive in place. 

 

I understand your desire to start quickly, but to minimize risk I really recommend the following:

 

1 - Setup server

2 - Run overnight memory test

3 - Run preclears on all disks (takes about 24 hours, but all disks can run in parallel)

4- Assign disks to the array including parity

5 - Start array. Parity will build. Will run 10 hours or so. No clearing occurs on a new array. 

6 - Format the disks

7 - Start copying files using the disk shares (you can setup user shares later). You should get ~30MB/sec copy speeds, maybe faster, depending on hardware and drives. 

8 - Run an overnight parity check the first night. It will confirm parity is being maintained properly. 

 

Many new users have tried to shortcut the setup process and found themselves starting over as problems occurred and they were not confident the initial configuration was stable. 

 

So that's my recommendation :).

 

Good luck!

 

 

Thanks for the tip. I will be following it when i start my build.

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