Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Spacing it out

We've managed to fill up all of the hard drive space I put in the NAS (Jerry) Thankfully it hasn't been too critical and we have been able to continue as normal basically without noticing that we can't store anything more on there.

However this is something that does need to be fixed. So I bought some more hard drives. I'm using Western Digital Greens from ebay with the head park adjusted with WDIDLE3 to extend their life. I know these are not ideal drives for use in a NAS, but they are cheap and the RAID 6 configuration means that I have time for a new drive to arrive if one dies.
Here I am setting the head park idle time to reduce the number of head parks which can wear out these green drives quite quickly as the default time is very short. It makes sense when you think they are designed for absolute minimum power consumption, but it can be a problem.
I don't have a computer set up as a test bench for doing stuff like this so I have to pull some cables out of my normal use desktop.It's not too bad to have to do. But all the same having the space for a dedicated machine with swappable drive bays for this sort of thing would be nice.

Make sure you label your CD's!!! I had a dozen or so un-labeled disks I had to go through to find my boot CD. They have now all been labeled and put in a sensible spot.

The new drives are in. This means that I just need to expand the array and it will all be done, right? Not quite. Turns out that you can't expand an array using a p400 RAID controller if the battery backup for the cache is busted. Thankfully these parts can be had for only a few dollars from ebay.
The replacement part.
Drag the whole mess out.
Apparently orange = bad.
And here we have it. The new part in and all ready to go. It was a pretty simple replacement however there were one or two parts that had to be jiggled the right way to come free.
Here we are, expanding the array. Unfortunately I think the whole data set has to go through the cache on the card which is only 256 mb or thereabouts. The array is approximately doubling to about 4.5 tb which is a lot to have to shift through 256 mb. I'm expecting this should be finished copying by the end of the weekend but that is pretty much a guess.

Once the RAID card has expanded the drive I think I will need to expand the filesystem so I will do a writeup on that because I will need to remember as well.


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