Aug 20 2009

Western Digital Sharespace – Rebuild Raid

Published by under Computing

I’ve got a western digital ShareSpace (4TB) at home to store all my photo’s and music. It’s a bit of overkill as I only use a fraction of it at the moment but having a series of usb drives that have become redundant as they’ve got too small I decided to go for the biggest I could get with the hope it would last a bit longer. I’ve got it set up with RAID 5 (it’s default setting), which means if any of the drives fails I don’t lose my data. I recently had a bit of a scare when I got a ‘DataVolume degraded’ message when I logged into the share drive (I logged in as there was a blinking red light on the front of the box).

The first thing I did was look at the status of the drives, they were all showing as good but drive 3 was showing as not being part of the RAID array any more (hence the degraded situation). I did some internet research which brought back a load of horror stories with people having lost all their data e.t.c. I then spoke to Western Digital (full credit for having a global support line with the number easily findable from the web site), who advised to clean the disk (there is an icon next to it in the advanced / volumes section of the interface) then rebuild the RAID. Mindful of the horror stories I’d read I backed up my photo’s to a usb drive (not enough space or time to take the music as well) before starting. As it turned out it was a very simple process, all I had to do was click the clean drive icon and the ShareSpace cleaned the drive, then turn the ShareSpace off then on again. It automatically began re-building the RAID and within about 15 minutes was back online.

It’s worth noting that the quick turn around was because I don’t have much data on my drive at the moment, the more you have the longer it’s going to take to rebuild the RAID array. Also if there is a problem with the drive (the status doesn’t show as good) you’ll need to replace the drive with an identical Western Digital drive (turning the system off first) then when you turn it on again it will automatically rebuild the array.

Hope this helps someone, happy to respond to queries about this if anyone’s worried, I know I was as the prospect of losing all my photo’s doesn’t bear thinking about. I’m very please with how the ShareSpace worked and dealt with the problem and feel confident about the preservation of my files.

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