Terastation Upgrade

April 21st, 2008

Couple months after I replaced a drive in my terastation, another drive died. Sigh. Time to upgrade. Took many many hours, but I upgraded my 1TB Buffalo Terastation (4 x 250GB) to 2TB (4 x 500GB). Of course its less than 2TB – once RAID 5 is setup, it comes out to about 1.4TB of usable space. And you definitely want RAID 5 – that means if any one of the 4 drives dies, you don’t lose any data, just replace it before a second drive fails.

Here’s the deets:

  1. Bought four 500GB drives for about $100 each,
  2. Copy data from Terastation to one of the 500GB drives – mounted via USB on windows xp, could also work with IDE inside PC (4-6 hours)
  3. Disassemble Terastation, pull out 250GB drives (<1 hour)
  4. Copy data from 500GB to 2 of the 250GB drives on windows xp PC (6-8 hours)
  5. Partial Reassemble Terrastation with 4 new drives (10 mins)
  6. Upgrade Terastation firmware to 2.16 (had trouble with disk format till I did this)
  7. Format each disk (5 mins) (had to reboot a couple times to get it to work)
  8. Create Raid array 1 (RAID 5) using all 4 disks (2 mins), raid “checking” took 13 hours
  9. Create shared folder
  10. Copy data from the 2 250GB drives back to terastation.

More on http://buffalo.nas-central.org/index.php/Terastation_FAQ

  1. August 29th, 2008 at 03:51 | #1

    Please help! I tried to “upgrade” my terastation like you did, but I am getting no where fast. I did not have any data to copy to one of my 500G’s so should I have preformatted one of them before I installed them into the station?

  2. chad
    August 30th, 2008 at 13:39 | #2

    Robert – You don’t need to preformat. I did have trouble formatting the drives using the terastation until i upgraded 2.16 firmware (steps 6 and 7).

  3. Anthony
    September 10th, 2008 at 10:52 | #3

    Thanks for your info, I am able to upgrade form 0.6TB (160×4) raid 5 to (500GBx4) raid5. as you mention, I upgrade when one of the harddisk (disk1) die.
    I actually repair my raid and update firmware at the same time. still no problem
    here what was happening
    1. before disk1 die, was using firmware 1.xx version, and I set to shutdown when detect raid error. I was not able to reconfig the raid from radi5 back to standard. until I reboot 10 times, each time it give me 1 second for me to change the setting from web broswer to disable shudown when detect raid error.

    2. once I did that, I have 2 issue now, I have unsupported firmware 1.xx with 500GB , destory the RAID5 is not possible because it require to rebuild the RAID5 first. so I discard the message, I download and upgrade firmware from 1.xx to 2.16, ( need run upgrade prgram 2 times.) after upgrade second time, the red blinking light for disk1 blinking and the web running again, so now I know the new firmware 2.16 know the system does has raid error.

    3. then I start destroy the raid 5 and put it back to startard. BUT IN FACT, I should not do that because some how to new Firmware still rember the error was in RADI5 config, so when I install a new 500GB into the system. and when I click the repair, it start rebuilding the raid5 config again even though I already change all harddisk to standard. so anyway, this is good, if I need to rescue data from raid5 , the system will know and will try to recover even after a new firmware updated.( of cause all my data already gone)

    4) so since I know I already destroy the raid5 to standard, so I stop the raid5 rebuild process by select “destroy raid” when it currently rebuilding.

    5) now I have 4 standard harddisk, first one is about 480GB, and I am repeating step 5 to replace the rest of 3 harddisk.

    Anyway, your info is great!!
    I got my seagate 500GB for $79 from frys this week!!
    for $320 I upgrade from .6 TB to 2 TB, not bad.
    I think I can avoid buying a new NAS for anther 2 years , I hope the power supply or mother will never die.

  4. Greg
    October 26th, 2008 at 14:47 | #4

    Hi, nice job. Do you now if this will work with the Terastation Home Server firmware 2.11? I notice that the Terastation goes up to 2.16. Thanks.

  5. chad
    October 26th, 2008 at 15:27 | #5

    Greg – Not sure, might as well try and upgrade only if you need to.

  6. Ken
    December 11th, 2008 at 16:19 | #6

    Great upgrade detail. My question is, Is there a limit to harddrive size? How about four 1terabit drives? Or is it a limitation on the firmware, etc.

  7. chad
    December 11th, 2008 at 17:56 | #7

    Ken – Not sure, but I don’t see why there would be. If you try it, let me know if it works or not.

  8. Liam F
    August 9th, 2009 at 11:04 | #8

    Hey, any luck with upgrading to 4 *1TB drives? Would love to find out what the max drive size would be for the Terstation?


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