Upgrading a NetGear Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ to 6TB

Recently, I’ve been evaluating different solutions for upgrading my home storage solution for backup and file storage.  A couple of years ago, I decided to purchase an Infrant ReadyNAS NV+, which offers appliance-level simplicity to deploy a virtualized drive over a flexible RAID system.   It’s a 4-drive system that supports hot-swapping of drives and optimized Ethernet traffic for mixed (Mac & Windows) networks.

I’ve been happy with the ReadyNAS, and performance has been fairly good since I upgraded the Gigabit switch that I use.  However, over the past two years, my storage needs have grown:

  • iMac 27″: 2 TB drive for documents / applications / photos, 2 TB drive for iTunes, 2 TB for Time Machine
  • Macbook: 250GB main drive

The ReadyNAS has 4 750GB drives, providing 2.25 TB of available storage.  At the time I deployed it, my backup needs were about 1 TB, so I could use the drive for backups and incremental updates.

The problem now is the iTunes drive.  It’s too large to backup effectively with Time Machine.  I’ve been using Carbon Copy Cloner to update a disk image of the drive on a weekly basis, but I’ve found that it’s extremely finicky and errors out in a number of situations.  Plus, at 1.6TB, the iTunes library will likely outgrow it’s 2TB home sometime in 2010.  (If you’ve ever purchased a TV season on iTunes, you’ll understand the storage needs).

In order to figure this out, I tried asking the question on Quora, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

So, I decided to make the big move to upgrade the system.  Looking at prices on NewEgg, I decided to opt for the Western Digital WD15EARS SATA 1.5TB drives.  Low power and 64MB of cache.  $109 each.  (Great price – selling the 750GB drives will likely pay for 25% of the upgrade).

Unfortunately, the drive wasn’t listed on the compatibility page on NetGear’s website.  Fortunately, a quick board question provided me with the info I needed – the drives will work, if I upgrade to the new beta firmware (4.1.7 T29).

So that’s what I’m doing tonight:

  • Upgrade firmware
  • One-by-one replace each 750GB drive with a 1.5TB and let it resync
  • Once all four drives are replace and synched, reboot and let it reconfigure to the 4.5 TB logical size.

Once I get the ReadyNAS NV+ to 4.5 TB, I’m going to move my iTunes library to the ReadyNAS.  This way, it can scale easily to more than 2 TB, and I don’t have to worry about backup because of the RAID configuration.  (I have a clone of most of the library on a Mac Mini in the kitchen.)  I will then move the 2 TB drive that currently houses the iTunes library, and move it to the Airport Extreme hub so I can use it as a Time Machine drive for the MacBook.

I’m not sure this information is actually useful to anyone.  My guess is that someone, somewhere out there will want to know that you can, in fact, upgrade the Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ to more than 4TB, and that you can use the Western Digital DV15EARS 1.5TB drives with it.  And maybe, just maybe, someone out there is morbidly curious about the evolution of my network storage.

Or so I hope.  I’ll update this post if anything goes wrong.

16 thoughts on “Upgrading a NetGear Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ to 6TB

    • I don’t have any offsite backup currently. It’s hard for me to evaluate that level of risk / reward. My bias would be to do offsite backup, but haven’t found a service that can handle 4TB elegantly and cost-effectively.

  1. I find your updates on this interesting. Prices on these were quite high for a while, I finally saw them drop a bit recently. Newegg has some rebates going on now, but I just picked up a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ and some 1TB drives on eBay. With Bing cashback and eBay Bucks factored in, I ended up with a great deal.

  2. Hey man I like what you are doing. I myself bought a ReadyNAS NV+ and I have also purchased 2 WD drives of 1.5T each. Nothing works properly so I going to try and upgrade the firmware as you are suggesting.
    Let you know the results later… Cheers and thanks

  3. So did this process work OK? I’m wanting to do the same thing with my ReadyNAS with four new WD 4tb drives.

  4. glad you posted this. If you can tolerate a couple of questions: is the NV+ hooked up to the airport extreme? or another router? if to the AE, any complaints?
    thanks for the time.

    • You should check the ReadyNAS boards to see if that drive has the right power / heat levels, and if it’s supported by the most recent firmware. But in theory, I see no reason why not if it meets those criteria.

  5. Adam – Great step by step approach to added GBs! I followed your procedure all the way through with each step building on the each other. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem of the newly replaced and synced 1TB drives not reconfiguring up to the 4.0TB size.

    I added each of the new 1TB drives, one-by-one into the slots formerly occupied by .5TB drives. The resynching of each new 1TB drive went smoothly. I was able to reboot through FrontView with no problem. 20 minutes later the process was finished and the reading, disappointingly said.

    Ch 1 : Seagate ST31000524AS [931 GB] 463 GB allocated
    Ch 2 : Seagate ST31000524AS [931 GB] 463 GB allocated
    Ch 3 : Seagate ST31000524AS [931 GB] 463 GB allocated
    Ch 4 : Seagate ST31000524AS [931 GB] 463 GB allocated

    I don’t understand why the 463 GB allocated is not changing to 931 GB after the reboot/reconfigure process has been successfully run.

    Does this make sense and can you help!??

    • I’m not sure – have you verified that this drive is supported by the version of the firmware you are using? I had to check specifically that my drives were supported by the 4.1.7 T29 firmware I installed.

  6. I was considering the same thing, I have Seagate Baracuda 750gb drives and three ReadyNas NV+ units, my justification was on power consumption as much as capacity, I then considered getting the bitcasa deal that cost $99 a year for unlimited storage http://bit.ly/InfinateStorage sadly they put up the price but if you use that link you get some free storage, might solve some of your online backup requirements As the Readynas does not support greater than 2tb drives this would be the last upgrade I could do with these units.

    • See my other post on why I’ll never buy a ReadyNAS again. Major data loss due to their misdirected support. Don’t upgrade the units. Get rid of it and buy something of quality (I’m using Synology now.)


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