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Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Chokehold
Aspirant

Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

I was casually looking at the volumes tab of my ReadyNAS admin page.

And so I noticed that the X-RAID button was not lit. I specifically recall getting a ReadyNAS specifically for X-RAID capabilities and cannot recall at all having changed or made any setting that would set it to Flex-RAID instead. But this is beside the point.

 

I was looking up whether I could simply change from Flex-RAID to X-RAID by clicking the button, but I don't want to risk losing the data if I can avoid it.

 

What I did find, was a thread changing X-RAID to Flex-RAID from 2009. This felt fairly outdated, but it mentioned one would need to do a factory reset. A recent incident has made me want to avoid this as far as I am able.

 

I also found KB 22813 that states I can simply click the button and my data will be retained. Simple as pie, right? Not if you're insecure like me, no.

 

Long story short, can I click this button and switch to X-RAID and keep my data?

 

And if yes, will it increase my disk space and storage capacity? See below.

 

Thanks for any help on this!

Model: RN104|ReadyNAS 100 Series,RN10400|ReadyNAS 100 Series 4- Bay (Diskless)
Message 1 of 18

Accepted Solutions
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Your logs show a 4x2TB RAID-5 layer and a 3x2TB RAID-5 layer. Replace the 3TB disk with a 4TB disk and you should get some more expansion.

View solution in original post

Message 9 of 18

All Replies
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

If you are running RAID-5 with a single volume then you should be able to switch to xraid with no data loss.

 

What is your current disk configuration?  Are all the disks the same size?

Message 2 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Sadly they are not the same size.

It is currently RAID-5 with Flex-RAID, like so in this order from left to right in the bays:

 

WDC WD30EZRX-00D8PB0 3TB

WDC WD40EFRX-68WT0N0 4TB

WDC WD40EFRX-68WT0N0 4TB

WDC WD40EFRX-68WT0N0 4TB

Message 3 of 18
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Turning X-RAID on or off does NOT affect the data in the volume.

If you're running Flex-RAID with mixed capacity HDDs, then you are limited by the smallest HDD in your current volume.

The thread from 2009 is about X-RAID/Flex-RAID on RAIDiator 4/5.

Now, on ReadyNAS OS 6, you can switch between X-RAID and Flex-RAID (seemingly turning X-RAID on or off by the look of the GUI) without the need to Factory Default (you can't turn X-RAID back on if you don't have a "compatible" volume).

If you have a single RAID5, you can indeed turn on X-RAID and it will expand your volume by almost 2TB (a bit less if you substract overhead, etc.).

 

 

Also, please, if you're unsecure, have an external backup of your data! A RAID providing redundancy does NOT replace an external backup 😉

Message 4 of 18
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID


@Chokehold wrote:

Sadly they are not the same size.

 


This is not a problem, it simply suggests that XRAID is a better mode for you.

 

You can turn XRAID on.  I haven't tried that in this scenario, so I am not sure if the volume will automatically expand when you do.  So let us know.  If it doesn't immediately expand, try rebooting.

jak0lantash wrote:

Also, please, if you're unsecure, have an external backup of your data!

 

The truth is, you should feel concerned if you don't have a backup.  Your data is always at risk if it is only stored on one device.  Raid reduces that risk some, but it is still there.

Message 5 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Quick reply:
Crucial things are backed up, changed the thing to X-RAID, nothing happened, so I rebolted the device and still nothing seems to be happening in the way of expansion.
I am not seeing much activity in the logs either aside from background services started and the fact that we rebooted.

OS is 6.5.0.

I believe I saw some thread about replacing a drive and the result or progress didn't show anywhere until it was actually done. Could this be something similar? And how long would this theoretically take? I understand if there's an entire index needing to be rewritten but am not too experienced with RAID arrays myself.
Message 6 of 18
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Please send me your logs (see the Sending Logs link in my sig).

Message 7 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

@mdgm-ntgr

Logs are now sent as per instructions.

 

Thanks for having a look!

Message 8 of 18
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Your logs show a 4x2TB RAID-5 layer and a 3x2TB RAID-5 layer. Replace the 3TB disk with a 4TB disk and you should get some more expansion.

Message 9 of 18
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Are you seeing a 10 TiB volume size on the web UI? 

Message 10 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

I am not seeing a 10 TiB volume in the Web GUI, no. 

 

after_xraid.png

Message 11 of 18
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Did you upgrade disk-1 from 2 TB to 3 TB after you installed the 4 TB drives?  That would explain the layering mdgm reports (which explains the 9 TiB volume size).

 

The easiest solution is to upgrade the 3 TB drive to 4 TB.  Re-creating the volume would also give you an 10 TiB (11 TB) volume size - but would also destroy your data, so you'd need to restore it all from backup.

 

Message 12 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

I've had this device for quite some time now, so if memory serves, that would be a fairly certain yes.

 

Let's see...

I started out with 2-2-2-2, upgraded to 2-2-4-4, then 2-4-4-4 and finally got a hold of the 3TB so I got a 3-4-4-4 setup.

 

So yes, I guess that would explain the entire thing. At some point during the 3-4-4-4 setup, or the 2-4-4-4 setup (I can't recall), the whole OS was factory reset or something that really looked like it, because upon logging in to the UI made me set up a new administrator's account and all the data was gone, but I could not name my volume the way it was before.

Not sure what happened back then, but that's in the past and my point to this story is that the volume may or may not have been destroyed and rebuilt at that point, if that brings any clarity at all to the layering conundrum, as it were.

Message 13 of 18
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID


@Chokehold wrote:

 

I started out with 2-2-2-2, upgraded to 2-2-4-4, then 2-4-4-4 and finally got a hold of the 3TB so I got a 3-4-4-4 setup.

 

So yes, I guess that would explain the entire thing.


Yes.  Once the partitions were created for 2-4-4-4, the array could no longer use the full 3 TB.  

Message 14 of 18
Chokehold
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

Roger that.

 

I will try to get a hold of a 4TB disk instead then and return here if expansion was unsuccessful.

 

Thanks for all of your help! 🙂

Message 15 of 18
lrizos
Aspirant

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

I accidentally went from X-Raid to flex-Raid and cannot go back on my readynas  

 

I click on the button and get an error message 

 

You are attempting to switch from Flex-RAID to X-RAID. This is not possible because you have expanded volumes

 

I attached. photo

 

Can anyone advise me how do I go back so the memory can increase. 

 

I have tried calling netgear but they are not responding. 

 

Regards

Leon 

Message 16 of 18
StephenB
Guru

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID


@lrizos wrote:

 

Can anyone advise me how do I go back so the memory can increase. 

 


AFAIK, The only way to do that is to destroy the volume and recreate it.  That will destroy your shares, so you would need to recreate them and restore the data from backup.  You would also need to re-install any apps.  

 

Expansion is still possible with FlexRAID, but more complicated.

Message 17 of 18
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: Changing from Flex-RAID to X-RAID

At some point, Netgear made it impossible to go from FlexRAID back to XRAID if you have a vertically expanded volume.  IMHO, this makes no sense, as I know of no FlexRAID expansion that's not XRAID compatible unless you've done so outside the GUI via SSH.  But it is what it is, and I know of no work-around.  I have documented how to do XRAID-like expansion of a FlexRAID volume from SSH: How-to-do-incremental-vertical-expansion-in-FlexRAID-mode.  

Message 18 of 18
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