Inserting New Drives in Your ReadyNas

When one of the drives in my ReadyNas Duo (version one) failed I decided to replace it with a bigger one. Now this particular NAS was defined so that each drive has its own drive letter but presumable the same issue I had in trying to replace the drive would have occurred in a raid setup and even with other NAS. The issue is that the system would not recognise the new drive when it was inserted into the NAS.

The system quite readily recognised that the old drive was dead. The problem was that removing the dead drive and replacing it with a brand new drive (one on the compatibility list for the NAS) did not change the indication. It still reported the old drive as being dead and refused to recognise the new drive.

As the dead drive was the only one reporting as volume D I decided to delete the volume and see if that would fix the problem. If you are using a raid setup and one of the drives in your raid volume failed you would of course not do this. Deleting the volume advised that it would also delete any shares on the volume (this drive had only one) and then removed all reference to D from the NAS. Rebooting the NAS had no effect whatsoever with the NAS still giving the appearance that nothing was connected in the slot where I had plugged in the new drive.

It was at this point that I realised that the problem was with the new drive and not with the NAS. No there wasn't anything wrong with the new drive as far as the hardware was concerned, it is just that the drive was not formatted in a way that the NAS could recognise.

The solution was to plug the new drive into a computer in place of a DVD (or bluray) drive. This is only a temporary swap so no need to take the new drive out of the caddy or try to actually install it into the computer. Bringing up the list of available drives on the computer didn't show anything for the new drive indicating that the drive was not formatted in a way that the computer could recognise either. The difference on the computer is that the admin login has easy access to disk management tools. Using that facility it is a simple matter to delete whatever partitions are defined on the new drive and to create a new partition filling the whole drive. With this done, power down the computer and switch the drives back.

Plug the new drive back into the NAS. No need to power the NAS off to do this.

Going back into the NAS administration utility and a new tab has now appeared on the Volume page - Add Volume. Selecting that tab then allowed me to select to add the entire new drive as a new volume in the NAS. Presumably if the drive is meant to be a part of an existing RAID volume you would not need to do this and the drive would be recognised once it had the partitions fixed.

With the new volume defined the ReadyNas Duo simply needed rebooting in order to add the volume and then it was a simple matter to recreate the share and then start restoring the drive content from backups.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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