QNAP NAS – How to Expand or Migrate your RAID Volumes

Adding Storage to a QNAP NAS Drive

Can you tell me the best way of adding two more WD 4TB Red drives to a qnap TS-453Be that already has two of the same drives configured as RAID 1. Looking at possibly changing to RAID5/6. Also do you add drives with the qnap already running, or must it be turned off before adding the drives.


Changing the RAID Configuration on a QNAP NAS

For modern businesses and home NAS users, one of the greatest challenges is to select and set up a reliable network-attached storage server to secure and share important data to increase work efficiency. Meanwhile, the necessity to reduce the risk of data loss by backing up data increases. As your storage grows, it may become necessary to adapt the data backup policies to meet the changing demands of the data generated. The QNAP NAS series provides a high-performance and low-TCO (total cost of ownership) solution for the modern server user. In addition to best hardware specifications and growing list of applications, the QNAP NAS series also offers innovative features such as Online RAID Capacity Upgrade (for example, replace three 500GB hard drives with three 1TB hard drives) and Online RAID Level Migration (for example, RAID level migration from RAID 1 to RAID 5). These advanced features used to be exclusive to corporations with large budgets, but QNAP implements an intuitive way to allow more businesses to enjoy these powerful technologies.

The scenarios below will demonstrate how businesses can benefit from Online RAID Level Migration and Online RAID Capacity Upgrade. Remember, that as long as yoru NAS Drive supports Hot Swapping (which your TS-453Be does), then you will not need to power down your QNAP NAS when introducing the new HDD media, jsut remember that you will likely need to upgrade your NAS gradually, from RAID 1 to RAID 5 to RAID 6.

Additionally, you should ALWAYS have a backup in place when conducting any kind of NAS RAID migration, as even if a brand 100% confirms that the data will be safe, you cannot rely on any number of interrupting factors that can happen (major things such as incorrect drive selection, to simply the power in your home is cut out and it happening mid RAID change). So, always have a backup of your data in another location.

Example of the need to Upgrade your RAID and Storage

Online RAID Level Migration allows users to migrate to different RAID configurations via the web browser over the network or internet. The migration process can be done without turning off the NAS and without losing any data. However, you will need to ensure you upgrade in the right order. So, Online RAID Level Migration supports the following RAID migrations:

  • Single drive to RAID 1
  • RAID 1 to RAID 5
  • RAID 5 to RAID 6

User Case Example

  • Jeffrey invested back in 2015 in two 500GB drives for the initial setup of a TS-453A and used a RAID 1 configuration with the two drives. The TS-453A is used as a file server for data sharing among the department in his company and data is constantly being generated
  • After 4 years, the storage needs of his department had sharply increased. The current storage capacity of the TS-453A is no longer enough. Jeffrey planned to upgrade the storage capacity without losing data redundancy by adding disks to the RAID group and migrating the RAID 1 configuration to RAID 5.

To do this, the following is required:

  • Prepare hard drives of at least the same capacity as existing drives in the current RAID array.
  • Execute RAID Migration (Migrate the system from RAID 1 mode to RAID 5 by adding a drive), then adding an additional drive afterwards if requiring a RAID 6 and repeating the process

Go to “Storage Manager” > “Storage Space“. Select the storage pool that will be upgraded and click “Manage“. The “Storage Pool Management” window will launch. The current disk volume configuration displayed on the page is RAID 1 and the RAID capacity is 500GB.

Insert the new 500GB hard drives into the NAS.

In the “Storage Pool Management” window, click “Manage” > “Migrate“.

Select an available hard drive to add to the array. The RAID migration type and drive capacity after migration will be shown. Click “Apply” to continue.

Please note: The RAID migration sequence must be Single > RAID 1 > RAID 5 > RAID 6

All the data on the selected drive will be cleared. Click “OK” to confirm.

The migration progress is shown under “Status”.

Please note: The storage pool will be in “read only” mode when the migration process is in between 11% to 49%.

After migration completes, the new drive configuration will be RAID 5 and the status will be “Ready”. You can now start to use the new drive configuration.

Depending on the drive sizes, the process may take anywhere from a few hours to tens of hours to complete. Please wait patiently for the process to finish. DO NOT turn off the NAS.

What is the Best NAS hard drive of 2019

When choosing your first NAS device, as important as it seems to get the right network attached storage device, even more important is making sure you get the right hard drive or SSD Media to store your files on. Technically any hard drive (HDD) these days can be installed inside a network attached storage device. On the one hand, this is a good thing for those that like choice, but it is also a bloody awful thing for the indecisive or those that just want to know what the best hard drive to buy is right now. In order to use any hard drive in your NAS, you will need to make sure it is the following:
  • SATA connectivity (so some Enterprise drives will also support SAS)
  • At least 5400rpm or higher otherwise you there will be lag during access which only gets worse, the more drives you add.
  • at least 120GB and above in capacity, as often applications and NAS operating systems, plus updates, will be well over 50-80GB alone over the years
  • At least 64MB cache
  • Yep..that just above covers it!

Recommended NAS Hard Drives?

We highly recommend WD Red and Seagate Ironwlf for the best NAS Hard Drives, as they provide the best balance between price, warranty, support and capacity in 2019 – though in a pinch, you can use the Toshiba NAS Hard Drive range, though they can be noisy at the larger capacities.

wd red range for NAS hard drives disks seagate ironwold nas hard drive disk

For NAS Use

See the rest of the rest of the ahrd drive range series to buy

Seagate Ironwolf HDD

For NAS Use

See the rest of the rest of the ahrd drive range series to buy

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    21 thoughts on “QNAP NAS – How to Expand or Migrate your RAID Volumes

    1. This is my first NAS set up. I chose this enclosure because I was able to get a decent amount of “bang for my buck”. I am following the tutorial but I have a couple of questions. First, when setting the Nas name and user account name AND PW is it supposed to take a while and hang while doing that or is it supposed to just process straight through that portion quickly? Additionally, since I will be using it with 2 laptops do I have to set up separate user names on each laptop even though I will be the only one using both laptops and accessing the NAS?

    2. Hi i just bought my self a QNAP ts-x453d and I guess I did something wrong because I’m getting about 150ea error message a day for whatever reason in 3 of my email. How do I stop it or reduce it to only 1 or 2 email message

    3. Hi, sorry for a very basic question. Is my understanding correct that your QNAP is connected via LAN to the same network as your Windows PC? The Qfinder is installed on that PC, so that it will help to detect the QNAP? Is my understanding correct?

    4. As much as I appreciate this walk-thru…I despise everything about this product. There is nothing more intentionally difficult to setup than a NAS, and I’ve never wanted to throw a device off a bridge more than my QNAP NAS
      I’ve rebuilt car engines, and have been building computers since I was 8. QNAP is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and I honestly don’t understand how someone hasn’t made a better version and completely destroyed this company

      Off. A. Bridge.

    5. If we have to replace one of the drives do we have to do the entire initialization of the QNAP again? What happens after replacing a hard drive and also upgrading the RAM to larger?

    6. Hi, great videos and thank you for doing this. We have a TS 669 and when dealing with the storage manager it did not give me the option of Raid 1 after I selected the six drives. Is raid 6 basically the same as a raid 1 and that is the reason?

    7. Hi, quick Q: If my QNAP NAS failed, how can I connect its drives to a Windows system? what tools do I need for Windows to recognise QTS volume? PLEASE advise, THANKS!

    8. I bought a 6 bay QNAP unit. The more I think about Raid and Pools, I don’t think I need a raid system or even a storage pool. 90% of the data that I want to backup is static, Photos, Video and Audio files. They won’t ever change again once they are written to archive disks. If I have 6 simple 18TB drives I can keep one drive empty and make a mirror copy, 5 in total, of each of my 5 archive drives and save them to to a local location and to an offsite location. If one of the drives goes bad, I can replace the bad drive with one of the backup drives and then back up the backup drive? It seems like raid is best for dynamic data that needs to span drives? I started with Reid 6 but realized it uses 50% of my total drive space. Any way you cut it if you want to back up your NAS you need another NAS or fixed drives.

    9. Despite Hero being the new sooper dooper OS for QNAP I’ve had nothing but problems with it. First of all it doesn’t appear to support raid migration. So I had to wipe the disks and start again with RAID 1. Now I come to upgrade to RAID 5 on my way to RAID 6 and it won’t allow that.

      Looks like I will need to buy another USB drive to upgrade my NAS which is why I bought the NAS in the first place.

      Nothing is ever easy.

    10. Hi, we have TS 228 having 4TB seagte enterpris drive installed. Now we want to add one more Hard disk of 8 or 10 TB.
      Is it ok to add 8TB HD..? And is it possible to keep this additional disk as seperate drive and not to add or merge with existing one.? Please guide with the procedure.. Thanks.