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post #1 of 6 Old 10-01-2012, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I have been filling up some drives recently and haven't setup a raid system because I don't want to run the risk of losing data when building the array. I have turned to flexraid because you are able to add full drives to the array.

Question is when adding full drives to the array how does that work. Do you add them all at once or one at a time? Basically I want to reload my operating system and turn my current htpc into a flexraid server. Want to do that the easiest way possible and through everything i researched this seems to be the way. If anyone has done this let me know if I am on the right track

Thanks for your time.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-02-2012, 04:27 AM
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I'm in sort of the same boat as I'm about to switch over from unRAID to FlexRAID after transferring all of my data over to drives formatted with NTFS so I can run FlexRAID in Windows. The FlexRAID wiki doesn't really address how to do this but Assassin covers it in his tutorials on his server blog locatedf at http://www.assassinserver.com/. It costs $25 to join, but just like his HTPC blog, it's worth the cost of admission. From what I gather, you install the drive in the PC and boot it up. Open up FlexRAID, stop the array, and add the new drive to the drive pool. Make sure you've set up the permissions for the drive, as required, and then restart the array.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-03-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the help captain. i am subscribed to all of assasins guides. great stuff...

do you know if it will be wise to start an array with some bare drives first? i figure at the least a bare parity drive and one other.

i am not in tune with raid in general, just don`t want to risk losing data. or spend hours moving it around.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-03-2012, 04:00 PM
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I see no reason why you can't. I'm more familiar with unRAID than FlexRAID, but I believe they're both similar in their ability to add drives or make changes to the array configuration whenever you want. The beauty of both these programs is the ability to add either bare drives or ones full of data. You shouldn't have to worry about losing anything.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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Take a look at snapraid (and the elucidate gui add on). It is open source so it is free - and it run on Windows. If you find you like it, great. If you want more features you can then move to flexraid by simply uninstalling snapraid and installing flexraid.

http://snapraid.sourceforge.net/
http://elucidate.codeplex.com/
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-04-2012, 08:20 AM
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Since running FlexRAID, I'll assume you want to run snapshot RAID and not real-time. FlexRAID real-time is still in it's early stages and even the developer, Brahim, does not recommend relying on it.

I've been using FlexRAID since it's early beta days for years so my setup is 'manual' and I'm not familiar with some of the newer automated features, so maybe this is different with my setup? With snapshot, you really don't have an 'array' in the way you would think of a typically RAID array. It's just a bunch of disks which you define the FlexRAID software to look at to generate a parity off of. You can add / remove as many drives as you want, whenever your want, with whatever data on them. There is no service to stop or concern of loss of data or corruption if you remove a drive. All you have to do is run an 'Update' and your parity will scan all drives defined for the snapshot pool and generate your new parity. If you are adding a hard drive with no data, then you can run 'Fast RAID Expansion', but you can still run an update with the same result...it's just slower.

Most of us setup a scheduler (built into FlexRAID) to run snapshot updates for us. I set mine to run every morning. FlexRAID will cancel an update if it detects a hard drive is missing (this means your OS can't read/find the drive). If your drive is corrupting data, the snapshot will still run, and update the parity with the corrupted file (it won't corrupt your parity, it'll just restore the corrupted file). FlexRAID has a SMART monitoring service built-in that you can set a scheduler to check your hard drives and send you an email notification if a SMART status changes. This by no means guarantees you'll know when a drive is corrupting or about to fail, but it can help.
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