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At the moment I have a RAID 1 array made of 2x 4TB drives, which gives me 4TB of data. This array is inside my PC.

If I get this WD EX4100 NAS, along with 2 extra 4TB drives, will I be able to make a RAID 5 of 4x 4TB drives without loosing data and avoiding extra drives laying around?

Basically, would the following flow work?

  1. Get WD NAS + 2x 4TB drives
  2. Break the existing array (2x 4TB) and format 1 of the drives
  3. Insert 3x 4TB drives into the WD NAS
  4. Create a RAID 5 array out of the 3 drives (8TB total)
  5. Copy my existing data to this array
  6. Format the remaining drive
  7. Add the remaining drive to the RAID 5 array (12TB total)

That last step is what I'm mostly concerned about. I'm not sure if this would work. Can I add a new drive to an existing (non-empty) RAID 5 array and avoid loosing data?

There are several goals for this approach. Being able to access my data from any device and any place and ultimately prevent my PC from being 24/7 turned on just so I can access my data.

  • So why is there a “remaining” drive? Is that one that will have data on it that you will copy to the new array? – JakeGould Sep 12 '16 at 9:27
  • That's correct, Jake! The "remaining" drive is the one that will hold my data until I copy it to the new array. – Pedro Pinto Sep 13 '16 at 17:49

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