Synology DS1511+ disk expansion

  • The bare drive
    The bare drive
  • The DS1511+ with empty slot
    The DS1511+ with empty slot
  • New drive in the disk case
    New drive in the disk case
  • New drive in and detected
    New drive in and detected
  • Volume expanding
    Volume expanding
  • Disk expansion complete
    Disk expansion complete

After three years, the original 3.6TB (3 x 2TB HDD) SHR raid (Synology Hybrid RAID) has finally been reduced to less than 50GB of free space. So with the price of a 4TB drive about the same bang for buck as even a 2TB drive I decided to go and grab one and see how this hot swappable disk expansion works. This was the exact reason I decided to get this NAS solution, expandable storage with different size hard drives providing RAID and disk fail protection. I could wait until I needed to add storage space (and when it became cheaper) before adding more, rather than filling the NAS with equal size hard drives (with less total space down the line) and having to do a lot more fiddling with it, although I do wonder what would happen if the biggest drive (in this case the 4TB) had an issue and needed to be replaced. Having thought about that, I suppose with 10TB of hard disk, the free space on the volume is equivalent to 10TB minus the largest disk, so in my case 6TB, therefore the 4TB could be removed without problem, I guess they thought of everything (except what do I do in this scenario if two disks die?).

Well, now that the deed is done, I can go over what happened, if you didn’t work it out from the picture gallery I will explain it step-by-step:

  1. First, I bought a Western Digital 4TB NAS drive because that’s what the marketing wants you to do.
  2. Then I removed a a drive holder from the diskstation (it’s a bit dusty in there), all while still on.
  3. Screwed the new drive into the drive holder with the provided screws (by Synology).
  4. Pushed the drive back into the diskstation and clicked it in, about ten seconds later the light came on.
  5. I didn’t actually know what to do at this point, but decided to just load up the synology application page, and went to the storage manager, lo and behold there is a volume expansion function there.
  6. I also had no idea how long it was going to take so googled it, and was quite surprised to see that people had complained of this taking 4-5 days or more. Fortunately for me this took less than two days, and luckily there were no power interruptions or anything of that nature because I don’t have a UPS.
  7. In conclusion, that went splendidly well, and now I have an additional 2TB (decimal) of disk space which should last me a couple more years, I may even be able to get a UPS in that time.



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