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Upgrading IOmega ix2-200 to bigger hard drives.

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 31, 2012

I purchased an iomega ix2-200 around a year and a half ago, wonderful device. however since then, the data i have in my household has grown. So i thought, i would replace the 2 x 1tb drives it came bundled with and upgrade them to 2 x 2tb drives with future planning in mind…. clearly not an easy feat as you will find out why.

first things first, i love learning and trying new things, but one thing about me is that as much as i love learning, i no longer have the time or luxury to try and do extensive research and properly understand things. This gives me two valid lessons; 1- i should just save headaches and RTFM since it often goes this way.  2- being a hands-on person, this is undoubtedly the best way for me to learn something.

Nonetheless, it became clear that iomega had intended to continue their monetary gain by simplifying the process and taking the complexity of such activity while at the same time having you return to them and shell out more money in their direction. Now if i didnt have 7 hard drives loitering & littering the space i refer to as my hybrid desk-home office space it would make sense. however i have all these drives and i wanted to use 2 of the 2tb size i already own.

first attempt

removed BOTH 1tb OEM drives and replaced with 2tb drives… powered on, get what after googling around discovered is called a WLoD (white light of death) – how so if these drives were working fine when i tested them prior to putting them on.

research revealed that the partition and files required for the device to start up are in fact NOT in some sort of onboard memory, but in fact in drive(s). The boot partition is created on both drives to ensure if one drive fails it can still boot from the other one and once a faulty drive is replaced that it is able to start up properly.

there are some page hits when researching ‘upgrading’ drives on this device but some required booting into linux and partitioning and copying files and dl an older unencrypted bios from the web.

if youre like me and embrace a KISS way of life, then you damn well want to avoid all those extra steps. having ALL the data previously moved to my DNS-321 gives me the ability to not give a damn about the data, in fact i never trust upgrades to go smoothly, so i always copy all the data and delete it from the device i am tinkering with so i can manually queue it all back and manually copy it myself.

heres what i did and it worked (note that there is probably a step(s) there that can be skipped, however its working so feel free to skip the step(s) if you figure it out and let me know (via comment) if it works with it removed)

1- left original iomega drive (1tb) in bay 1 and replaced bay 2 with my own 2tb drive

2- booted and went into drive management and added drive and rebuild raid 1 array – took a while (but not FOREVER)

3- after that completed, and it booted up, successfully.. powered back off and replaced bay #1 with my 2nd 2tb drive while leaving my 1st 2tb drive (mentioned in step 1) in there

4- powered on and once again went into drive management and rebuilt drive 1 array

5- after that completed, it saw both drives but the available space was only the size of the smaller original 1tb drive, so i had to set protection level to raid 0, it gave me the schpeel about it earasing all data.

6- once that finished it saw an a striped capacity of 3.64tb

7- set protection to level 1 (raid 1) and applyed changes to rebuild the arraid in a mirrored mode.

Now i have the intended capacity of 3.64TB in a mirrored (RAID 1) mode

i realized i could have probably just set it to raid 0 and saved me time then re-raid them to raid 1 but as i recalled the boot partition one only 1 drive i got paranoid and took the extra step, it may be possible to skip this extra precaution but i didnt do it. again, i am interested if any one tries it the shortened way and it works, please let me know.

so there you have it. i dont recall the temperature of the old drives but this one when i replaced the drives was running a little hot, do tell if you notice temperature changes. the device has an internal built-in fan but i guess it hasnt reached its threshold to go off. this temperature may also be affected by the fact that its accessing both drives while it was rebuilding arraid.

thats a simple way to get this done without having to do some crazy linux commands, however if you want to know those ways here are the links

http://tentacles.posterous.com/upgrading-the-disks-in-an-iomega-storcenter-i

http://zepman.tweakblogs.net/blog/3552/iomega-ix2-200-bad-flash-recovery-and-hdd-replacement.html

one thing i must mention, is DO NOT reformat your original drives. iomega considers this a way to void warranty, so you may want to hang on to that in case you ever require warranty (as long as your still within the warranty period) and them to recognize it, else you are SOOL.

 update January 6. 2015:
so after 3 years of my NAS being on 24/7 one of the drives died on me. as a result i posted these 2 posts
part 1: https://alfredomarchena.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/downgrading-iomega-ix2-200-drives-challenges/
part 2: https://alfredomarchena.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/downgrading-iomega-ix2-200-drives-challenges-part-2/
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