Breaking up FlexRaid array? Anything need to do to remove a HDD from a FLEXRAID server ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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If I wanted to rebuild my FlexRAID server I'm looking to get some confirmation on a few things.

I understand that FLEXRAID does not require an array and the data is still on my HDD- but should I delete my flexraid array or do anything special before I break it up or remove a drive?

If I wanted to remove a drive and install it on another system what should I do ????



also,


I plan to swap my motherboard for my server. And Add/replace SATA card. Can I just turn off my server- take it apart and then just rebuild my new server? I plan to clean install WHS2011 again, clean install flex raid- as I want to use a different SSD drive for the OS this time. I don't mind setting it up all again- That's not a big deal to me.

I just wondering before I take everything apart and do it if I should delete my FLEXRAID array or do anything special first?

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post #2 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 11:28 AM
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1) Stop the Storage Pool
2) Go into Services, and stop FlexRAID

Now, DOUBLE CHECK the drive you are going to re-use, confirming the name and connector port
(I know, I know...I thought I was sure too)

From the Control Panel, open up Computer Management. Drill down to the drive.

Click on "Change drive letter" It will say "C:\flexraid\blah blah blah" Delete the drive letter. Close
Click on "Change Drive letter" again, and re-assign.

After you do this, you'll have the drive with Data, but no recycle bin. In order to get THAT back
you have to Delete the Volume, but you would also lose your data. So bottom line, if you WANT
the recycle bin and all that, copy all your data off the drive right after you stop FlexRAID service.
At this point, I would just remove the drive, deleteing the volume while in the other computer


EDIT: Second question:
I was about to do all this last week, but found out the Server Freezing was due to a memory stick.
I had deleted the TV archive from the HTPCs, which at this moment doesn't work (see my thread- I
have been given advice how to fix it, just haven't goten around to it)

I say all that as your motto on HTPC builds is to ALWAYS do a fresh install. I suspect that if you're going to tear into
your server as much as you suggest, to not only do a fresh install of WHS2011 and FlexRAID, but the WHS connector
service on each HTPC as well.
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post #3 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

I did not know I needed to do all that.

I thought I could just take the server apart and put the drives in another build.

I have a few smaller drives. Specifically a 1TB and 750GB drive in my current flex raid array that I want to put into my dock and copy over the info then sell off. I don't have need for small drives.

2TB is smallest I'm using in this overhaul and all new HDDs will be 3TB or greater.

I run out of sata ports too fast otherwise.

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post #4 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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OK, you COULD just stop the storage pool and replace a drive as if it failed, letting the Parity drive rebuild the data.

I did go a bit over board as it seemed as if you were going to do a full teardown, rebuild from scratch...and you want to
re-use the old drive while making sure the data on that drive makes it into the next FlexRAID. Color me as the go-slow-so-it
gets-done-right kinda nerd:eek:
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post #5 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

OK, you COULD just stop the storage pool and replace a drive as if it failed, letting the Parity drive rebuild the data.
I did go a bit over board as it seemed as if you were going to do a full teardown, rebuild from scratch...and you want to
re-use the old drive while making sure the data on that drive makes it into the next FlexRAID. Color me as the go-slow-so-it
gets-done-right kinda nerd:eek:

Right.

I am going to take apart my current server. Remove the HDD's.

I am going to build a new server. With new motherboard, New SATA card, and new case. I am going to clean install WHS2011 to a new SSD drive. I will install FLEXRAID to this also.

Then I want to install my old HDD's I have now- into the new server I build. Alongside- The 4 additional 3TB drives I bought this week.

I understand I will have to assign the drives as DRU, and I will use a 3TB blank drive as a PRU. I'm planning on reformatting my current PRU drive and using it empty as a new DRU drive. (DRU is data, PRU is parity)

I have now about 4 3TB drives, and 4 2TB drives - and I bought 4 more 3TB drives. I'll just use a new drive as the PRU, and I realize the new set up is going to take a very long time with this amount of hard drives- since my current drives have over 12TB of data on them.


My only real question is - CAN I JUST TURN OFF MY SERVER AND TAKE OUT A SCREW DRIVER AND TAKE IT APART? Or do I need to do something first before I power down like delete my flexraid array ????

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post #6 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 06:54 PM
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The fact that you want to take your server apart from time to time to upgrade like this is reason enough to stick with a software raid server, imo. That's going to be a royal PITA with a hardware array.

Don't know why you can't just get an external dock and pull your older smaller drives and then transfer them over to your new larger drives. Then rebuild the parity drive(s) and the array with FlexRaid or similar. Might take a little bit more time upfront but you only have to do it once.


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post #7 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 06:56 PM
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No. Just stop the array/service and power down the server. Then take it apart and start transferring.

That's the beauty of software server arrays for media and HTPC.


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post #8 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The fact that you want to take your server apart from time to time to upgrade like this is reason enough to stick with a software raid server, imo. That's going to be a royal PITA with a hardware array.
Don't know why you can't just get an external dock and pull your older smaller drives and then transfer them over to your new larger drives. Then rebuild the parity drive(s) and the array with FlexRaid or similar. Might take a little bit more time upfront but you only have to do it once.

Welcome back!!

Right! Your so right I can't agree more. It's the reason I choose FLEXRAID. I have had hardware RAID since the late 1990's. But it's just not a good solution for a media server.

Taking the smaller 1TB and 750GB drives out is not a problem. I have a two HDD external USB docks like your suggesting. But I will probably use my the build in HOT SWAP BAY in my CosmosII Case. I've never really used it yet, but I guess this reason is as good as any to try it out. I can get full SATA speeds to transfer vs USB2.0 (slow for 1TB of stuff) if I use my external hot swap bays.

I was planning on just throwing the bare drive in that... copying it all over to the new server array. Then just selling off the smaller HDD's on ebay.

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post #9 of 38 Old 11-23-2012, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Then rebuild the parity drive(s) and the array with FlexRaid or similar. Might take a little bit more time upfront but you only have to do it once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No. Just stop the array/service and power down the server. Then take it apart and start transferring.
That's the beauty of software server arrays for media and HTPC.

Thank you! That's what I thought. But before I do anything I wanted to confirm.

I am going to rebuild the array which is going to take a very long time. But that is fine. I just hope I don't get a drive failure before it's done, or drop and break a HDD installing them.

Could I keep the old SSD and OS and put the old server back together if I did drop and break a drive and "rebuild" it ???

Would that work ?

What if I built my new server and then installed the old drives. If any of them did not work or failed- could I put all the old server back together minus the busted drive boot up and use a new drive and rebuild it ?

That's a pretty cool concept. Never thought of that.

I'm useing a new case and motherboard- so I will build the new server before I take apart the old one.

Then I am going to use the h61 Asrock board I have to make my brother a HTPC for Xmas gift biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 38 Old 12-02-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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OK... so just to confirm I should log onto my server. Break up my flex array by simply stopping the service.

Power down.

Disassemble the Server.

Install the new drives in my new server and that's it ???

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post #11 of 38 Old 12-02-2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

OK... so just to confirm I should log onto my server. Break up my flex array by simply stopping the service.
Power down.
Disassemble the Server.
Install the new drives in my new server and that's it ???

That's right. That's what is so awesome about FlexRaid.

You might want to rearrange (move) some of your data/media around to different drives once you have them installed into the new server depending on what you want to do. Its also a great idea to physically label each hard drive with a piece of tape to correspond to whatever drive letter you have them listed as in your OS or FlexRaid (note that I didn't do this but wish I had).


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post #12 of 38 Old 12-02-2012, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's right. That's what is so awesome about FlexRaid.
You might want to rearrange (move) some of your data/media around to different drives once you have them installed into the new server depending on what you want to do. Its also a great idea to physically label each hard drive with a piece of tape to correspond to whatever drive letter you have them listed as in your OS or FlexRaid (note that I didn't do this but wish I had).


Thanks for this.


I am for sure going to move data around. I am replacing a 750GB samsung and a 1TB seagtate. I want 2TB or larger only in my server going forward. So I will be copy over the 1.75TB of Data from those. It's mostly programs and documents on the Samsung 750GB. It's about 4 years old so I also want to move it over and replace before it fails. The Seagate I robbed out of a friends Netgear NAS box... he did not want. It's also older.. I have no idea whats on it because I added it when it was empty to the pool .... and have not broken it down to look what is on it. I guess it don't matter.

I'll just throw it into my hotswap bay and copy over. Then format them clean and do something else with them. I might put one in my brothers HTPC for movies. It's a solution that is not critical and it's failure is acceptable there. Otherwise I might sell it off on ebay while I can still get something for it and use the cash for another 3TB when I need it.


I have my drives now labeled on a piece of paper tucked into the bottom of my bottom HDD rack in my server now. That's awesome advice. This time I am going to use a brother tape label maker to label them up nice. On the SATA cables too.

I usually label them after the MFG name and model. Like "2TB WD GREEN #1" and "2TB WD GREEN #2" instead of just DRIVE D, E and such...

Great advice!

Thanks again.

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post #13 of 38 Old 12-15-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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well about to break down my server and build a new one.. I'll soon confirm these answers.

WIsh me luck

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post #14 of 38 Old 12-15-2012, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

1) Stop the Storage Pool
2) Go into Services, and stop FlexRAID
Now, DOUBLE CHECK the drive you are going to re-use, confirming the name and connector port
(I know, I know...I thought I was sure too)
From the Control Panel, open up Computer Management. Drill down to the drive.
Click on "Change drive letter" It will say "C:\flexraid\blah blah blah" Delete the drive letter. Close
Click on "Change Drive letter" again, and re-assign.
After you do this, you'll have the drive with Data, but no recycle bin. In order to get THAT back
you have to Delete the Volume, but you would also lose your data. So bottom line, if you WANT
the recycle bin and all that, copy all your data off the drive right after you stop FlexRAID service.
At this point, I would just remove the drive, deleteing the volume while in the other computer
EDIT: Second question:
I was about to do all this last week, but found out the Server Freezing was due to a memory stick.
I had deleted the TV archive from the HTPCs, which at this moment doesn't work (see my thread- I
have been given advice how to fix it, just haven't goten around to it)
I say all that as your motto on HTPC builds is to ALWAYS do a fresh install. I suspect that if you're going to tear into
your server as much as you suggest, to not only do a fresh install of WHS2011 and FlexRAID, but the WHS connector
service on each HTPC as well.

Hey thanks again for this.

I want to reuse these drives in another flexraid server build. I am upgrading motherboard CPU and installing a SATA card and additional drives.

I don't need to copy data right ?

I can just install the drives I take out of the first server into the second and add them into the flexraid pool ???

Anyone ???

I already did the delete recycle bin the first time I added them. Do I need do that again ?

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post #15 of 38 Old 12-15-2012, 09:43 PM
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Question better asked on the Flexraid forum. My concern would be all those flxr files left on the DRUs (data drives) and how they'll affect a new flexraid array.
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post #16 of 38 Old 12-16-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Question better asked on the Flexraid forum. My concern would be all those flxr files left on the DRUs (data drives) and how they'll affect a new flexraid array.

No one ever answers in that forum lol

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post #17 of 38 Old 12-23-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have a clue what this means ????






I tried to create a new flexraid pool from my old drives and it failed. The drives work and the data is on them.

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post #18 of 38 Old 12-23-2012, 09:58 AM
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There are several threads on the Flexraid forum discussing this error. Generally speaking, it seems to be associated with a bad drive and/or drivers. At least one time, just recreating the array worked the second time. Do a forum search for "End of File".
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post #19 of 38 Old 12-23-2012, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomberjim View Post

There are several threads on the Flexraid forum discussing this error. Generally speaking, it seems to be associated with a bad drive and/or drivers. At least one time, just recreating the array worked the second time. Do a forum search for "End of File".

I am not finding much... I have email Brahim for an idea.

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post #20 of 38 Old 12-23-2012, 06:19 PM
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Was there enough free space on the parity drive? If you are reusing your parity drive make sure you format it clean or delete all the flxr files off of it.
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post #21 of 38 Old 12-24-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Was there enough free space on the parity drive? If you are reusing your parity drive make sure you format it clean or delete all the flxr files off of it.

Yeah I used a brand new 3TB drive. It was empty.

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post #22 of 38 Old 12-24-2012, 11:34 AM
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You may want to perform some full chkdsk runs on your data drives. Also did you remove the folder-mount that FlexRAID puts on the data drives from your previous setup and re-created the standard volume names like TomandBeth suggested in the second post above?
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post #23 of 38 Old 12-25-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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You may want to perform some full chkdsk runs on your data drives. Also did you remove the folder-mount that FlexRAID puts on the data drives from your previous setup and re-created the standard volume names like TomandBeth suggested in the second post above?


They all pass chkdisk

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post #24 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
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I am not finding much... I have email Brahim for an idea.

Did you post a thread ? If you just mailed Brahim straight away your not going to get help. He wants all issues in thread form so that others may take advantage of the info . If you did post up a thread and are not getting help in a day or so then ......

Most likely Brahim will mail you back and tell you to "bump your own thread" and he will chime in . YOU WILL get a response.

Yes, they are a bit slow on the service side but the help is VERY good.

BTW ... I had the same warning you received and what eventually happened was that chk. dsk. FINALLY did kick in after the drive was in bad enough condition . Slow hdd deaths do not show in chk. dsk right away or in the health status of FR. Not sayin for sure you have a bad drive . Just don't rule it out cause chk, dsk say so one time . I had a drive that took over a week to finally R.I.P.

You need to put your FR logs in zip files (if there really large) and post them in your thread .It is the first thing you will be asked for so do it up front with out being asked so you don't look like a NOOB !

Outdated controller drivers can cause those errors as well as has already been eluded to .
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post #25 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 07:42 AM
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Did you ever get a response or answer? The allure of this solution is the simplicity...but does it work as advertised? Can you get support for it when needed, this is not freeware after all.

I am considering this versus unraid. Despite the different filesystem used by unraid I am leaning towards it due to the maturity and community involvement. But am still on the fence.

I will be interested to see how this turns out and how long it takes to get support.
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post #26 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Did you post a thread ? If you just mailed Brahim straight away your not going to get help. He wants all issues in thread form so that others may take advantage of the info . If you did post up a thread and are not getting help in a day or so then ......
Most likely Brahim will mail you back and tell you to "bump your own thread" and he will chime in . YOU WILL get a response.
Yes, they are a bit slow on the service side but the help is VERY good.
BTW ... I had the same warning you received and what eventually happened was that chk. dsk. FINALLY did kick in after the drive was in bad enough condition . Slow hdd deaths do not show in chk. dsk right away or in the health status of FR. Not sayin for sure you have a bad drive . Just don't rule it out cause chk, dsk say so one time . I had a drive that took over a week to finally R.I.P.
You need to put your FR logs in zip files (if there really large) and post them in your thread .It is the first thing you will be asked for so do it up front with out being asked so you don't look like a NOOB !
Outdated controller drivers can cause those errors as well as has already been eluded to .

I think this advice is spot on!

I thank you for the intelligent reply.

I feel exactly what your saying and your post was well said and explained. It has reinforced my belief of this all.

My issue is a green drive I think. It's got slow reads (really slow) and I think it might be dying. I am going to try to make a pool without the green drives see if it works. If it does I might just copy over the data then RMA it.

My 3Tb green gets stuck trying to copy a few certain video folders (I think it has a bad area on it) and my 2TB has slow speeds and makes a little noise. They do pass CHKDISK though.

I did bump my thread. I'll keep doing that.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #27 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fventura View Post

Did you ever get a response or answer? The allure of this solution is the simplicity...but does it work as advertised? Can you get support for it when needed, this is not freeware after all.
I am considering this versus unraid. Despite the different filesystem used by unraid I am leaning towards it due to the maturity and community involvement. But am still on the fence.
I will be interested to see how this turns out and how long it takes to get support.

http://forum.flexraid.com/index.php/topic,1574.msg11563.html#msg11563

This is the third post I have made without an answer.

It was Christmas yesterday so I am not worried.

I believe FLEXRAID is superior to unraid for many reasons. Free = you get what you pay for.

Waiting a day or two for great advice and solution is not a problem when the support quality is there IMO.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #28 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

did you remove the folder-mount that FlexRAID puts on the data drives from your previous setup and re-created the standard volume names like TomandBeth suggested in the second post above?

How can I check if this is ok ???

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #29 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 10:07 AM
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Usually you will know right away. If you just pull the drives from a flex raid pool and put them in a new computer (or the same) they will not show up as a drive letter in explorer bit do show up in drive manager. You simply have to go into drive manager and remove the folder-mount that flex raid uses and give it a real drive letter again. Then on that drive remove any flex raid related files or folders from the root of that drive. This will "reset" the drive from anything flex raid would have done... And is ready to be used in flex raid when you setup the new pool.

Careful with this though, if you aren't familiar with the disk manager you can easily delete the volume and your data goes poof!
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post #30 of 38 Old 12-26-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Usually you will know right away. If you just pull the drives from a flex raid pool and put them in a new computer (or the same) they will not show up as a drive letter in explorer bit do show up in drive manager. You simply have to go into drive manager and remove the folder-mount that flex raid uses and give it a real drive letter again. Then on that drive remove any flex raid related files or folders from the root of that drive. This will "reset" the drive from anything flex raid would have done... And is ready to be used in flex raid when you setup the new pool.
Careful with this though, if you aren't familiar with the disk manager you can easily delete the volume and your data goes poof!

I am very familiar with the disk manager. No problems there.

I think this was done. All the drives show up as new drive letters on the new machine.

They work and all the old data is on them. It's just trying to create the pool I get an error.

I am making a pool of 4 3TB's now. One old and three new. Three empty and one full. All Seagate. My newer drives. It's on 43% now. It appears to be working fine.

The problem I think is my old green drives. They are garbage. I have had so many issues with them. Two are RMA replacements. One clicks again. The other 3TB Green gets hung up trying to copy certain movie files. I think it has bad sector.

I am pretty sure it's one of my 3 GREEN WD drives that is issue. They do pass the CHKDSK though...

I think I am going to copy the data from them then RMA them just to be sure.

I am not buying GREEN drives again. I have had way too many issues.

I think I beat on my drives a lot more than normal folks so I tend to abuse them much more. They are not designed to handle how I beat them I think. I do a lot of copy paste and such.. and they are in constant operation.
I often have a few different copy paste functions going to or from here or there... so I think they tend to not hold up as well or something.

I've now RMA-ed 100% of my 4 GREEN WD drives. Every single drive I have is a replacement or has failed. 4 out of 4 is bad luck for sure. Some are EARS some are EARX some 2TB and some 3TB. All purchased different times.

hmmm....

In contrast all the Hitachi and Seagates are working great. I used to be a long time WD guy prior to the crappy green line turning me off.

I am going to go RED or not WD from now on. Green is fine inside a machine or for cheap basic storage but they are not very reliable or handle stress well. I would not recommend them in a server.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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