FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Knowledge Base

Can I install and access drives with existing data on it?

This depends on the situation but in general, the answer is no. The drives will have to be re-formatted once they are installed in the new enclosure, therefore erasing all the existing data.

There are several reasons why the drives have to be formatted:

  • The new enclosure is using a hardware RAID controller. Unless it's the exact same RAID controller and the same firmware as in your old enclosure, the existing partitions will be removed in order to create a new RAID system. During this process, all existing data is lost.
  • The storage controller inside the new enclosure is using a different way of formatting the drives (e.g. with or without support for 4K sectors). In some cases, you might be able to change the firmware to make it compatible but if not, the drive(s) will have to be formatted again in the new enclosure.
  • The new device requires a certain file system (e.g. MyCloud series or Cloud Hybrid series). During the setup, the system will automatically format the drive(s) and create the pre-required partitions and file systems.

The exception to the cases above:

  • If the RAID controller has a "Non-RAID" setting, it might be possible to access the existing data without having to format the drive(s).
  • If the storage controller uses the same way of formatting the drives and it's an enclosure without RAID controller, in many cases, the data can be accessed without having to format the drive(s).

The recommended way:

  1. Backup all the data to a different location when the drive is still installed in its original enclosure or inside the computer.
  2. Install the drive in the new enclosure. If it's a RAID enclosure, remember to set the RAID mode.
  3. If you can access the data, you can use it as is but if possible, we recommend to keep the backup.
  4. If you cannot access the data, format the drive(s) in the new enclosure. After the formatting process is completed, move the data from the backup location to the newly formatted drive.