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hypyke

IDE – SATA Mix: Upgrading the parity drive

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I have an interesting situation.  I will include some pics so you can see the arrangement and size of my drives.  Click the images for larger versions.

 

drives2.JPG    drives1.JPG

 

This is how the array is currently configured.  I have just ordered 3 500gig SATA drives and I would like to upgrade the array using them. 

 

The problem is my current parity drive is an IDE drive so I cannot simply replace it.  If I replace one of the 4 SATA drives then it will not work because it would try to rebuild the data on a drive larger than the parity and I would image that it would bark at me if I tried to do that.

 

As it stands I would imagine, there is no official way to do this so I have come up with what I think will work.

 

1. I stop the array and remove BOTH the parity disk and disk 11.  Disk 11 will be set aside.  I will do this with the understanding that the array is unprotected.  I could backup the unraid config and replace the 2 drives if something went wrong though.

2. I place one 500 gig in the disk 11 slot, make it the parity drive on the devices screen, and build parity on it.  To do this I would need to select the option in the gui that asks me if I want all drives marked as NEW so that data is not affected.

3. Once that is complete I insert the OLD IDE parity drive back in it's slot.  Then I select the option to clear the drive and format when it detects the drive on startup.  This will get rid of the old parity data and give me a completely black 400 gig drive.

4. I insert the OLD disk 11 with it's data intact in my windows box and copy all data to the 400 gig drive that I cleared above.

At this point I have all the data that was on the old array setup and 1 500 gig parity drive on the SATA bus.  I have 100 gigs more space free than before because the old disk 11 was a 300 and the old parity drive was a 400 and is now a data drive.

 

5. Now I can replace 2 of the SATA drives in the array with the new 500 gigs one at time and allow unraid to rebuild the data on the drive and expand the array.

6. This should give me a little less than 400 gigs of space since I will be replacing 320's.  That plus the 100 gig gain above gives me ~500 gigs net gain. 

 

Now, I should have 1 300 and 2 320 SATA drives outside the array.  I will be using them for my second tower at some point.  I know it would be easier to build the new tower with the 500's I just bought but I am not ready for that yet and I need the space now. 

 

Any flaws in my thinking?  Any suggestions? (Besides making sure my cables are well seated)  These drives are all in cages so the swapping should not be a problem.

 

Thanks.

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Since you are intending to use your 'current' parity disk as a data disk, no need to remove it, just reassign it as 'disk11.  During startup, system will see that it's unformatted and you will be able to click the 'format' button - this will save you a 'clearing' step.

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4.I insert the OLD disk 11 with it's data intact in my windows box and copy all data to the 400 gig drive that I cleared above.

 

If I remove a drive from the array with data on it and install the drive in my windows xp system, will XP be able to read the files?  i woudn't think so.

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If I remove a drive from the array with data on it and install the drive in my windows xp system, will XP be able to read the files?  i woudn't think so.

 

Yes, but not natively.  You need a program to do it.  rfstool is a command line program and YAReG is a nice gui tool for it.  See here - http://yareg.akucom.de/

There are other alternatives as well.  See the links at the bottom of the wiki entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReiserFS

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