Adding Used HD to NAS/RAID

Hey Everyone,

Just joined since I couldn't really find an answer to the question I have anywhere else on the web. I'm planning on building a NAS or RAID 5 Server to act as a Media Server for my home (just to store all my DVD's, Video Files, and Music) so I can access them from any computer I'm on. I got most of the idea down, and I'm looking into what I need to buy so I can start getting this together but one of the questions I have is can I add a Hard Drive that already has some files in it to a RAID 5 system, or does the HD have to be empty first? I ask because I purchased 3 Seagate 1TB Hard Drives but have only opened one and have around 500GB of Cartoons/Movies stored on it and I was planning on just putting all three drives in the NAS/Server (they are all the same version and model). But everywhere I look they all mention how each drive is fresh from the box with no data so now I'm scared to put the filled drive in the server if it's just going to wipe all the data off of it first. So any suggestions on this would be great, since I want to know before I start buying stuff and getting it all prepared.

4 answers Last reply
More about adding raid
  1. Every RAID i've set up (0,1,1+0) requires the drives be formatted because you'll choose you're block size during the RAID configuration and it has to format the RIAD accordingly. I'm sure RAID-5 is no different. You'll want to back up your data to something else and recopy them to the RAID once it's configured.
  2. There are some RAID cards that can migrate from a single drive to a RAID configuration. What RAID controller are these drives on?
  3. Well I don't have any hardware yet, I'm still shopping around on NewEgg to see what I need compared to what I can afford :) Right now I don't know if I can afford to go with a RAID Card, so I may just use software RAID at first, and I'm looking at the ASUS DSBF-DE Dual LGA 771 for my Motherboard if that helps.

    But thanks for the tip arson94, I had a feeling that was going to be the case so I may have to build up the NAS first with the other 2 drives, copy all the data from the 3rd drive to them and then add the empty 3rd drive to the NAS afterwards.
  4. No poroblem man and yea your idea is always an option. Good luck on finding a good RAID card that's affordable. I'll give ya another tip that I've posted in another thread. Onboard RAID on any motherboard I've tried has been sh*t. They are software RAID's and they just can't be consistent. They've always worked for me for a while and then all of a sudden one day I come home and the son of a b!tch has lost my RAID configuration. I lose all my data, rebuid the array, and it's good for another year. I dont trust software RAID anymore and the only route I would go would be a decent RAID card. I could just be one unlucky SOB though so take it for what it's worth to ya. Good luck either way man.
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