Add ability to install unRAID OS to redundant drives


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Probably goes hand in hand with the cache / user data co-mingling capability feature and linux disk quota capabilities, but definitely something we want to have planned for sometime in the future, even if it's a new product offering.

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  • 2 years later...

Would it be possible to have a second USB drive, with some sort of code on it that knows what the primary is?

So you would have your primary USB/boot drive, with your licensed UUID. The backup would be a UUID you register somewhere in the primary. If someone tries to use the backup to boot a system have it check for the existence of the primary. If the primary isn't present, have it throw a message... "You are trying to boot from a backup boot drive. If this is not your intention please press 'S' and your system will shut down. If you would like to replace your primary boot drive with this drive, press 'C' to continue and we will update our license database." Then have the backup reach out to your server and make the change. You may want to include some sort of authentication requirement via emailed link to ensure a stolen USB drive can't render a licensed system inoperable. 

...or something to that effect. I'm not a coder but it sounds feasible, no?

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You want to boot from the USB - that doesn't give any wear and allows all system state to be backed up etc by duplicating the flash content. But the system could make a mirror copy to a cache drive and only verify that the USB stays connected with the license key. And then have the system accumulate a grace timer so if the USB breaks after x days uptime, then you may get a failure mail and a number of days to react and arrange a replacement.


Even nicer would be if the replacement drive can be completely empty - just connect an empty drive and click on a menu choice to have the unRAID machine report to lime with the new serial number. Then copy back the full information from the SSD and write down the new key file. So the only user interaction would be to unplug the broken drive, insert an empty drive and click "register USB replacement drive".

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I think a lot of these are interesting ideas, but I can reasons why limetech might not want to do it.

Perhaps an automated backup of the USB stick to some designated place, with the ability of a virgin stick to quickly recover itself and reset the license key, might solve most concerns?  I know I personally try and run a flash backup once a month or so, or whenever I make any Big Changes(tm), and restore it to a spare stick that's kept with my cold storage backup, but maybe have that function also store a copy onto /appdata, in addition to forcing the download of the ZIP file?


I'm wondering where the concern is coming from also.  Are people burning out sticks at a rapid rate all of the sudden?

Edited by sota
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I'm still using my original sticks from 2012-2013.  I think a lot of this is "false" failures.  Using poor quality sticks or counterfeit Kingston sticks from China,  unclean shutdowns corrupting the stick etc.


Considering just how little the stick is actually written to, it should easily outlast by far any given hard drive in your system.


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In theory, absolutely. But I've found that USB sticks, when left in all the time, run extremely hot. I use USB sticks in work for a document backup, writing maybe 20-50MB a day (so significantly more than unRAID, yes) and I've gone through three in the past year. Every time I take one out of the dock, it's too hot to hold for the first couple of seconds. I know it's more USB 3.0, but it's very difficult to find high quality 2.0 drives these days.


A relatively small concern, I suppose, but I would be a nice option to have none-the-less. 

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