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RAIDZ2 10TB from FreeNas 7 to Windows Home Server, how?


Active Member
Hi all,

I have 5x 2TB drives running as RAIDZ2 and I created the RAID and am using it with FreeNas 7.

I would like to know if it is at all possible to somehow keep the 10TB RAIDZ2 in one piece and successfully move it over from FreeNas 7 to Windows Home Server?

Can I keep my data without issues and move over somehow, if so how, or am I screwed?

Thanks for any help.


Distinguished Member
Are you talking about a "in place" upgrade from FreeNAS to Windows, or are you migrating from one physical box to another...?

How much of your storage is used...? (and what's the file mix - small number of large files, lots of small files or a combination of the two.)

What file system did you create (UFS, ZFS, etc....?)

There might be some clever people out there that know these platforms intimately and have better advice, but generally you can't pick apart RAID systems and move bits of them about. A RAID array - drives, controllers, file system and all - is a single "thing" that can't be deconstructed (so for example you can't gradually pull the discs out and move them somewhere else, esp in striped/parity systems as the blocks of the file system are distributed across the discs.)


Active Member
I was hoping for an in place upgrade, but I am using ZFS for RAIDZ 2 and I don't think Windows supports ZFS? I think I might be screwed. The files are large and small and I have maxed out the 10TB.


Distinguished Member
It sounds like I'd be correct to say you've got a FreeNAS box and want to turn it into a Windows box without loosing the contained data..?

I think you're right about Windows not supporting ZFS, at least not natively - though I don't know about the latest versions. And there may be some add-ons, though again last time I looked (Aug 2013) I didn't find any.

You might be able to do something like run up FreeNAS as a Virtual Machine (VM) under Windows then import the storage/array into it (ZFS is supposed to be good at being "portable" like this, though I've never tried it and it would give me the willies.) And this is assuming that FreeNAS's ZFS implementations hasn't done something "special" - though again wait for some proper FreeNAS experts to comment.

I see differing opinions on the web about whether "FreeNAS in a VM" is a good/bad thing.

Whatever mechanism you might like to try using, it is risky and I'd want to have some backups of my data - at least the critical/irreplaceable stuff.


Well-known Member
Isn't RAIDZ2 a RAID6 type organisation ? Your 5 x 2TB drives should only have 6TB of data on.

I think it's unlikely that you'll be able to transfer your disks across and preserve the data. I think you'll have to transfer the data off to backup storage (a couple of external 4TB USB 3.0 drives should handle it), move the drives across to the new system, reformat them (in whatever RAID filesystem the target supports) and then re-load the data from backup. The good news is that you can now get pair of 4TB externals drives for well under £250.


If you feel lucky you'll only need one more 2TB drive. Pull 2 drives, let it run degraded and use the 2 pulled drives and the new drive to backup.

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