How to Repair a Synology Volume When a Drive is Failing or RAID Failure

Drive FAILURE – How to Repair a Synology Volume

Daryl Burney

Daryl Burney

Creative Director

There are 2 scenarios for drive replacement on Synology Rackstations.

1. Drive Failing - where you are notified by email or a notification in the Synology software

2. Drive Failure/RAID Failure - When a drive actually fails and gets booted from the volume.

Let’s get straight to it as I’m sure you’re anxious. Don’t worry I’ve been through it a dozen times. It’s easy to fix, you can keep using your volume and you won’t lose any data. 

I actually need to replace a drive myself, so I’m going to walk you through my procedure. This example is on our RS10613xs+ with Synology DiskStation Manager V6.2. (Similar procedure for all Rackstations)

The beginning procedure for drive failing has an extra step.

Drive “Failing” Procedure

You got an automated email from Synology Rackstation telling you that a drive is failing and needs to be addressed. In this case there will not be an alarm on the rackstation and there will not be a particular drive with a yellow indicator light.

As you can see in this email we will be replacing Drive 2….but which is drive 2 if there is no indicator light? See the next step.

Replacing “Failing” Drive

If you are replacing a drive that is failing but not actually failed, it will still have a green light on the rack station, as it’s still actively in use by the volume. So it is not obvious which physical drive to replace. No Problem, Here is the simple step to indicate which drive to replace;
  • Switch Drive Status
  • Log in to your DiskStation Manager (DSM) as Admin.
  • Go to Storage Manager>HDD/SSD and find the offending drive. It will say Failing in red. Select it.
  • Go to the Action Menu, select Switch Drive Status. This will turn the drive light to yellow.
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Find Failing Drive and pull it out. (Pull out is the same as for a Failed Drive)

Now you have the “RAID Failure” alarm. Moving forward the procedures are the same as the scenario for a Failed Drive/RAID Failure

Drive Failure - Steps to replace and rebuild.

In this situation your drive has actually failed and you have an audible alarm situation with a scary message, “RAID Failure” on the Rackstation screen and a drive with a yellow light. You will also get an email notification and a few extra grey hairs.

Pull It Out

The offending drive will have a yellow indicator light, just pull it out! No need to turn anything off. These suckers are hot swappable.

Your volume should still be usable, so no need to rush. However I do recommend to my staff to go easy on the volume access during this period. Specifically no adding or removing media during this time.

Replace your drive

I’m assuming you have a spare on standby. It should be the same size (or more if you must but not ideal).

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Mount new drive into the holder

Check the warranty status online. Manufactures are good at replacing drives quick smart in my experience, at least with Western Digital anyway.

Insert the new drive

Simply slot it straight back into the rackstation. No DSM settings need to be adjusted at this point.

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Just go ahead and insert the new drive.

Synology - Rebuild Volume Steps

On your Diskstation manager (DSM) go to Storage Manager>HDD/SSD.

Your new drive will pop up in the drive pool as “Not initialised”. This is good. No need to erase it or format it. Synology will take care of it for you in the next steps.

  • In the DSM pop over to Storage Pool
  • Select the offending Storage Pool (Volume)
  • Go to the Action menu select Repair
  • A screen will pop up with your new drive sitting proudly on the left hand side.
  • Drag it into its new home and select Next
  • Confirm that it’s ok to delete the data on the new drive (This is where it gets formatted with the Synology File System, LINUX)

And that’s it….the percentage count begins. For our volumes it usually takes about a day, depending on how much data is on it. You can use your volume all the way through this process, however there will be performance loss during the rebuild.

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RAID Volume Rebuild steps

When the parity check has finished you will get an email from your good friend Synology Rackstation or you can just check your Synology notifications.

Super easy huh?! They are very reliable systems. We have been using this chassis for 7 years and can highly recommend them, although I do look forward to upgrading to an SSD chassis this year. 5 years is really the life span limit if your server is a critical cog in your Post Production facility.

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