TeraStation Larger Disks and RAID5

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Background

It is now possible to get IDE disks up to 750Gb in size, and SATA disks up to 1.5Tb in size. Larger disks may become available in the future. Many users would like to be able to use such disks to upgrade their TeraStations capacity.

It is also possible to use disks larger than 750Gb on an IDE based system via a SATA/IDE converter, although you have to make sure you get one small enough to fit into the available space. The ones tested were obtained via eBay, and consisted of a small PCB that was the same size as the back of a 3.5" drive with a SATA connector on one side and an IDE socket on the other as shown below:

Pata-sata.jpg

The board plugged into the back of the drive and simply converted the connectors from SATA to IDE and there was just enough clearance inside the case to fit the power and IDE cables. For large disks a SATA drive plus a converter is normally cheaper than the equivalent size IDE drive, so this is attractive from a price point of view.

The systems that are currently covered by this article include all the original PPC based TeraStation Models:

  • Original TeraStation
  • TeraStation Home Server
  • TeraStation Pro v1

These all come with a Linux 2.4 Kernel. This version of Linux has a limitation where a single file system cannot exceed 2Tb. As Buffalo have assumed that normal use is to use a RAID array treating all 4 disks as a single file system the largest disks that is supported by the standard Buffalo firmware is 500Gb. This article covers techniques for using disks larger than this (albeit with some restrictions).

The following ARM based TeraStation models are not covered:

  • Terastation Live
  • TeraStation Pro v2

These systems come with a Linux 2.6 kernel. This does not suffer from the limit of 2TB in a single file system. Although there is no reason to suspect that the instructions described in this article would not work they should not be required as the standard Buffalo firmware should handle larger disks without issues.