RAID Query - Hard Drives

Posted on 2013-06-11
Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hi EE,

Just a quick question regarding hard drives in a RAID group.
If we had a hard drive failure, and needs replacing, and we cannot source the same hard drive, do we just find a hard drive with same size and speed regardless of its model?

Question by:goraek
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Expert Comment

ID: 39239975
It's generally fine to use any drive as long as it's the same or bigger capacity.  Obviously you also want to it to be the same or better speed/specs so it doesn't bring the group down, but this isn't a requirement.  I've seen/used different drives plenty.

Author Comment

ID: 39239976
Thanks - what if the speed is greater, will this still work? Lets say I went from 7200 to 15000? Will this affect the rest of the raid?

Author Comment

ID: 39239982
Also to add - if I want to upgrade the hard drives in the raid:

EG. 5 x 1TB 7200 to 5 x 2TB 15000 (will this be ok?)
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39239987
No, it is not generally fine to just replace a HDD with any other HDD of >= capacity.   Best practice is to

1. Check the manufacturer to see what HDDs are specifically qualified.  Not all HDDs are the same, especially SATA drives.  Consumer SATA disks don't have the right firmware to work properly with most RAID controllers.

2. Assuming the 15K HDD is on manufacturer's supported list, then go for it.  The faster drive will result in slightly faster performance all around.

Author Comment

ID: 39240016

In my case, I have 2 x Seagate ST31000528AS 931 GB. One of them had died on me. And I need to replace it quick before the other one goes!

And I believe this particular model does not exist anymore (its been discontinued), however there are some out there, but I would rather upgrade the hard drive.

What is my best scenario?

Author Comment

ID: 39240021
By the way, the spec is SATA2, 32MB cache, 7200rpm. Would be good if I can upgrade. And its a Netgear ReadyNAS unit.
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39240035
This is a simple thing to do.  Look at the netgear site and check their HCL.  Surely they have qualified other 1TB disks.  

Save yourself the time and grief of risking data loss by just asking Netgear what 1TB HDDs they support.  But just any HDD will not do. Get a 'green' disk, or one with 4KB sectoring and you may end up regretting the decision because such things expose you to data loss.

Heck, windows software RAID won't support doing software RAID1 with a Seagate drive and just about any recent model of WD disk drive because the Seagates are 512 byte sectoring, and most of the consumer class WD drives have 4KB sectoring.  If you try to do this, it will give an error.  Think about it.  Firmware and settings matter more than you think, especially in a RAID config.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39289623
Thanks for the info

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