NS2300N Large Drive Swap/Upgrade and Partition

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Nerd Vader posted this 22 October 2021

I know it's an old product, but it still works just fine.  I have a RAID 1 (Mirror) using 2x1TB for 1TB of storage.  Working fine.

I have purchased 2x8TB drives.  I would like to simply hot swap a raw 8TB into one of the slots.  Will the NS2300N partition the new drive on its own and begin to rebuild?

- or -

Must I create a 1 TB partition elsewise before plopping it into the NS2300N?

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I understand that there is (maybe) a 2TB "large filesystem" limit, but I plan later to partition everything down to that limit.  Not an issue.

Thank you!

 

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R P posted this 22 October 2021

Hi Nerd,

I have been using an NS2300 at home for years. I bought some 2TB surviellience drives and it's still working.

Originally I made a 4TB RAID0 volume. For a long time everything worked well, but when the volume was about 2/3 full, files started disappearing. As the largest drives tested with this unit were 1TB, it was possible that there would be issues with larger drives. So I copied the data off and made (2) 2TB volumes and have had no further issues. They had to have tested with a 2TB volume from (2) 1TB drives in RAID0, so the largest tested volume was 2TB. Note that a mirror with 2TB drives should also work.

I'm not sure what would happen with 8TB drives, the volume creation might fail, but even if it works you'll still hit the file disappearance issue that I hit at some point.

My suggestion, don't use 8TB drives, the largest that will work is 2TB drives with (2) 2TB RAID0 volumes.

Although I did not test with partitions, I don't think they will help.

Nerd Vader posted this 22 October 2021

Howdy RP,

Thank you for the information, and I'm sorry you had file-loss issues.

Partitions absolutely will work, as it firmly sets off one filesystem from another.  This is the low-level solution to "large filesystem" issues, and even using the oldest (relevant) technology, you get four partitions per physical drive.  8TB gives of course 4x2TB, and 2TB is the approved "large filseyetm" limit for this machine's generation of technology.

My question is more about swapping a raw huge drive into a functional 1TB RAID1:  Will the machine partition the raw space on its own before rebuilding, or do I have to partition prior to insertion?

R P posted this 22 October 2021

Hi Nerd,

I'm not so sure this is the case. But if you plan to go forward please let me know how this works out.

If you remove a 1TB drive and replace it with an 8TB drive it will rebuild to to 8TB drive, but only 1TB will be used. The rest of the drive will be unusable. You won't be able to just replace the drives and use the extra space.

There appear to be 2 ways to work this...

1. Buy a 2TB USB drive and copy the files off, install the 8TB drives your NS2300 and copy the files back (and now you have a USB backup). You can get a 2TB USB drive from Costco for about $70 and less on sale. I'm sure your local retailer also has something similar.

2. WARNING: Untested idea ahead.

a. Power down the NS2300.

b. Remove the 1TB drives.

c. Insert one 8TB drive and partition it to (4) 2TB partitions.

d. Power down the NS2300

e. Insert one of the mirror drives into the unused drive bay and power on the NS2300.

f. You should now see the 8TB partitions and a critical RAID1.

g. Copy the files with your OS from the mirror drive to one of the partitions on the 8TB drive.

h. When this is done power down, remove the mirror drive and insert the other 8TB drive, partition as mentioned.

This solution won't require an extra drive and you'll still have the 1TB drives as backup.

Nerd Vader posted this 3 days ago

Greetings -- I just wanted to add a final (?) reply and to THANK YOU "R P" for your thoughtful and timely responses.

As it turns out, I was unable to try any of this.  The machine errored out with a shrieking two-beep error code: power supply or fan issue.  This makes sense -- long ago, the thing got cooked in a hot room.  I'll have to let this beloved piece of gear go.  This small machine put up with abusive conditions for years.  Mine finallly crapped out, but I don;t hold it against the machine.  I have no idea what i paid for it back in the day -- it served faithfully for years and when it died, it left behind completely recoverable drives, which I skived off to other media years ago.  I had forgotten about the heat error.

Being old, it has limitations from its time -- the large file system issue (2TB max).  This is a function of the state of the art at the time, and this machine was as good as it got for the price.

It served data for years, and even after the machine itself died, it left behind easily recoverable files -- no funky proprietary (laughable) encryption or format schemes.

Promise really built a winner with the SmartStor NS2300N, and I'm grateful for the years of reliable service.  The tropics and a lack of A/C finally killed it, which is my fault.  The machine was good.

Thank you R P for your thoughtful responses -- looks like none of it will matter  But 'm glad I got to talk to you here.

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