Author Topic: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL  (Read 5616 times)


  • Calf
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Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« on: November 10, 2010, 04:52:59 pm »

I owe Linkstation Quad LS-QL 4x500GB (total 2TB) with RAID-5 configuration (total of 1.5TB starage).

Can I expand this space by replacing the drives to 4x1TB without losing/moving my data.


Can I replace 1 drive, wait for array to rebuild and then repeat this step 3 more times with the rest of the drives?


Would that recognize the whole space on the new drive giving me 4x1TB (total of 3TB RAID-5 storage)?


Please advise.


  • Big Bull
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 08:38:08 pm »

Neither of those options will work. You cannot upgrade the drives. It will void your warranty and isn't supported. Even if you did that if replace all 4 drives at once you would lose your data and potentially brick your unit. The second option wouldn't work either because the raid would just rebuild the drive into the raid only using the size of the previous disks. The only size expansion option you have would be to attach an external USB  drive to the front and format it in xfs


  • Calf
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 08:19:26 am »

Can you explain more why replacing all 4 drives at the same time would "potentially brick" my buffalo???

I thought that this model support up to 8TB of space - 4x more than my current drives. Considering that buffalo is supposed to have hot-swappable drives  I cannot think of a reason why replacing all 4 during shutdown would make damage to my unit. I'm a working professional and have contact with more advanced NAS devices everday - never heard of issues with upgrading hard drives to bigger sizes.


Also - if drives are hot-swappable - why replacing the drive would void my warranty? (not that I'm concerned with this at all - just asking) :-)


  • Big Bull
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2010, 08:41:08 am »

The drives in LS QL are not hot swappable. When you remove all 4 drives at once the unit will lose its firmware and the RAID will be gone. Only units LS-Q8.0TL/R5 support 8TB's. Replacing one drive will not void your warranty but replacing all of them with higher sizes will. If you put a 2TB drive in there when the rest are 500 GB, then the new disk will only have 500GB's used and the reset of the space will not be accessible. Buffalo does not support upgrading the hard drives on any of their units. 


  • Calf
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2010, 09:09:01 am »

Makes sense. Thx.


  • Calf
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 01:46:36 am »
Ok, I want to chime in on this...... Because I had an extremely frustrating afternoon trying to do just this... Take my old 500 and replace them with 1TB.....   So to save anyone who reads this a ton of time, here it goes.  Do not replace all four at once... This does not work. The Firmware is in this model and I am assuming all of the LS-QL Series is indeed embedded on the RAID drives. I tried to using the methods  laid out in Documents/Posts
Topic: FAQ (1 of 5): EM Mode boot procedures
Topic: FAQ (2 of 5): Force Firmware update procedure
Topic: FAQ (3 of 5): TFTP boot procedure
Recover a non working "bricked" Linkstation in buffalo's wiki

So things that I ran into.

1.) Had an extremely hard time getting the system in EM with new drives in.  old drive no problem
2.) Could never get the system to reset to default, thus it held its old IP address, which was not keep in the firmware on the drives but on a BIOS chip on the main circuit board.
3.) I continually go the 6 Red Blinks on the power LED, If I hit the Function button, it would stop the whole system, and give a solid blue, but no IP assigned to the box so you could not get to it from any network, old setting or default settings or EM Mode settings.
4.) If you did the get the Function button to respond it would send the whole system into copy from USB mode.....
5.) even after messing with a ton of combinations of punching power button, removing power, and function button still did not brick box. Put old drive back in and the Box came right back up.

OK so what worked, YES WORKED was exactly what the person who asked this question suggested. 

I swapped out one drive at a time as if the system had gone bad...  Went to the Disk Management section of the Buffalo menu, it said that one of the drives had been replaced and asked me to re-establish the RAID.  Did that, and the after it finished that it started  "Repairing RAID Array 1" on its own.  This took about 45 minutes..  It showed the size of the drive it was adding to the system correctly, and it added the extra amount of room for the size of the drive to the space available when it was done repairing the RAID.    So just in case anyone one else wants to do this.  I replace the Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLA360 500GB   AUG-2009 with Western Digital WD1003FZEX 1TB 03 May 2014  One other thing to mention, I started with drive 4 and went backward 3,2,1 not sure it that had anything to do with the success but thought it was worth mentioning.

I took all my data off this RAID before I did this because I didn't want to chance it, which you should not either, but it seemed based on the way it reacted that it would have kept any previous data that was on the old RAID drive. So since these models are way out of warranty, go head upgrade, don't leave old tech for the trash dump, reuse, repurpose and enjoy.

I created this document to help anyone else.
Step 1: Turn off RAID Box (do not turn power off to the box)
A. Log into Buffalo LinkStation LQ-QL083
B. Left Click “Maintenance” in the menu
C. Left Click on this “Restart” in the menu
D. Left Click on “Apply” On Shutdown the LinkStation

Step 2: Replace Drive 4 (Replace in Backward order one at a time not all at once)
A. Use black arm latch to pull out drive
B. Take out all the four screws underneath
C. Put in and screw down the new drive

Step 3: Fix Error
A. Log into Buffalo LinkStation LQ-QL083
B. You will get a Warning “Error has occurred in RAID Array1”
C. Click on this Warning it will take you to “Disk Management”
D. Select the Disk that is open that you just replaced. (Check box that is white)
E. Then the grey out “Restructure RAID Array” will Become active
F. Left Click on “Restructure RAID Array”
G. You will get a message

“Restructure RAID Array

Any data on the replacement disk will be overwritten rebuild the array.
This process cannot be cancelled once started.

Are you sure you want to continue?”

H. Left Click “OK”
I. This will give you “Please Confirm Request” Page
J. Type in the “Confirmation Number” into the “Entry” box
K. Left Click “Apply”
L. You will then get a “Rebuilding RAID Array” Page.
(Drive Green LED’s on LinkStation Flicker wildly, power LED Flicker Alternating Blue- Red at a slower pace)
This took me about 4 minutes and 42 seconds for each round/drive.
M. Left Click on “Continue”

Step 4: Repairing RAID Array1)
A. LinkStation should reload the “Home” page, but you may have to log back in first.
B. You will get a message (Repairing RAID Array1)
C. Left Click on this It will take you to a “RAID Array Information” Which will show you the Status of the Array being Repaired
D. You watch it if you want. I tended to come in and reload in and check this about every 30 minutes to make sure it was working. I personally setup under Maintenance my email server and address to get Mail Notifications in doing this I got an email when it started and one when it finished. Taking the times on these Each round/drive took 7 hours, yes 7 hours
a. 4:31 PM to 11:29 PM - 7 Hours
b. 1:56 PM to 9:07 PM – 7 Hours 11 Minutes
c. 2:40 PM to 9:38 PM – 6 Hours 58 Minutes
d. 12:19 AM to 7:33 AM - 7 Hours 14 Minutes
E. Might end up being longer depending on how big the replacement hard drives and the original hard drives were.
F. I left a set of test files on the RAID, and the system after all of this kept the files, I wouldn’t suggest it, but it does seem to keep all data if you do this.

Step 5: Resetting the RAID to fix capacity
A. "Disk Management"
B. Click on “Orange Tool/Arrow icon” in front of “RAID Array1”
C. RAID Settings
D. Left Click Change RAID Array get a message

Remove RAID Array,

Data stored on the target disks will be deleted.
This process cannot be cancelled once started.

Are you sure you want to continue?

E. Left Click “OK”
F. Please Confirm Request Page comes up type in the number given and left click “Apply”
G. Get a Screen “Changing RAID” this took 3 Minutes and 15 seconds
When Finished it went back to the “Home” Screen showed that all drives were being used 0%

HDD Space Used
Disk 1
0.00 GB / 923.76 GB (0.00 %)

Disk 2
0.00 GB / 923.76 GB (0.00 %)

Disk 3
0.00 GB / 923.76 GB (0.00 %)

Disk 4
0.00 GB / 923.76 GB (0.00 %)

H. Left Click on “Disk Management”
I. Left Click on RAID SETUP
J. Left Click on “Orange Tool/Arrow icon” in front of “RAID Array1”
K. Choose your Raid Mode/Structure (Pretty drawings that explanation how and what RAID does and the layouts that it creates on the drives)
L. Make sure your drives are selected
M. Left Click on “Setup RAID Array”
N. You get a message
Remove RAID Array,

Data stored on the target disks will be deleted.
This process cannot be cancelled once started.

Are you sure you want to continue?

O. Left Click "OK"
P. Please Confirm Request Page comes up type in the number given and left click “Apply”
(This took way shorter than I thought it would.
10:51:25 - 10:54:10 2 minutes and 45 seconds)
Q. Left Click “Continue”
R. And Wahla (Voila!) The Array is now full size for the drives that are in place. I can confirm that if you had Data on the system it will be erased in this last step, so backup if you don’t want to lose anything.

OLD view
HDD Space Used
RAID Array 1
0.00 GB / 1337.32 GB (0.00 %)

NEW view
HDD Space Used
RAID Array 1
0.00 GB / 2771.52 GB (0.00 %)

Hope this helps everyone.
For those who are experts/highly experience and that interested: While doing this I ran across this article on “5 Tips to speed up Linux software RAID Rebuilding and Re-Syncing” ... speed.html
These are great tips, and might be able to be applied to this box to fix the slowness of this box and slowness of the 7-hour rebuild process. Don’t know how anyone's client can expect to be down 7 or more hours while their main data box is off line…..
The Quazi One
“ Sting theory states: you should always buy in pairs”

« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 11:47:30 am by ArmenBodour »


  • 1500 Lb Water Buffalo
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Re: Expanding Linkstation Quad LS-QL
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2016, 01:56:20 pm »
Yes, yanking and rebuilding drives one at a time is doable, but super slow, as that guide mentions.

You can do this. Again, not supported, voids warranty, etc. (But there aren't any of these still under warranty anyway)

Backup data
Delete the array
Power down
Yank drives 2-4
Replace them with blank drives
Power up
Format the new drives
Build a RAID 0 array for drive 1 and 2
Let it rebuild (it's putting the OS onto drive 2)
Break the array
Power off
Replace drive 1
Power on
Format drive 1
Build a raid array on all the now new drives
Restore data from backup

Best part of this is that all your original drives still have the os and should remain bootable. Might be a good time to make a disk image.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 02:02:15 pm by Eastmarch »
**A single copy of data, even on a RAID array, is NOT a backup! Hard drive failure is not a question of IF, but WHEN! Don't take my word for it, take Google's!**