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Please bare with me, as I'm getting conflicting info from Synology's site and other sites.

I have a DS214se, with only one 4TB drive in it, and it works great. I want to add another drive, but have a couple of questions:

1. I read that the 214se can only accept 2x4TB drives, nothing larger. But on Synology's site, it states up to 16TB per drive. Would like to add an 8TB drive to the second bay, but want to make sure it'll work.

2. Regardless of drive capacity, my plan is to create new shared folders on the drive, so it's separate from the 1st drive. But I would also like to "Store" the Synology operating system, config, apps, etc, on it as well. This way if the 1st drive ever fails, the 2nd drive can boot and everything work as normal (minus the data lost from drive 1).

Is this possible? Any help would be appreciate and thanks in advance!
Where did you read 2x 4TB drives? In any case, that may have been true when the model originally launched, but could have been updated later.

Is the firmware up-to-date on the DS214se?

Do you have a backup of your data on that NAS? Have you checked that the backup files are valid?

RAID1 is what I would suggest. But that may mean formatting the original drive first (hence the need for a backup that is known/working).
A NAS will boot without a disk in it. That's all stored on the small flash drive in the unit.

The hesitation I would have is whether it will automatically convert to raid or simply remain jbod when adding the second drive.

Capacity limits are only for what they have tested with prior to selling. Drive sizes have increased 5x that at this point.
Yes, it's up-to-date, with the latest version of DSM (6.2 version 7 for that model).

I only use it for media storage, and no, I do NOT have a backup of it. That's one of the reasons I thought of getting a 8TB drive to put in the second bay. If I can "clone" the first drive to it (with the expanded storage), then I could remove the old 4TB drive and keep it as a backup of sorts.

I guess I need to install the new drive, format/create a new volume, point apps to go to that drive, create new shares, and move stuff over. Then I should be able to remove the old drive and it'll function like normal. (Want to add another 8TB drive down the line).
@taz291819, how important is your data?

I would not touch the DS214SE until I had a backup of the data (if they are important).

Either buy/borrow an external USB drive and copy your data there, and then do your experiments, or simply buy a second NAS instead.

It doesn't matter what the hardware/software is capable of. What matters is the result. And if you're unsure about the proper procedure of adding a second drive successfully to a NAS with data on it, it may not turn out well.

Buy the hardware you need to have a proper backup of the data (you need it anyway). Or, buy a second NAS and COPY the data over to it and test it fully before decommissioning the current NAS (test for at least a month, in my experience).
I have two DS214SE.
I use one as a hyperbackup vault for my DS218+. It has two volumes - one is 4Tb and the other 8Tb and is running DSM 6.2
The other I am using for DSM7 testing. It has a 3Tb with an 8Tb HDD in a single SHR volume (just 3Tb). I am trying out DSM7.1 and Photos on it (very, very slow).
This data sheet shows that it can take 2 12Tb drives.
I would not touch the DS214SE until I had a backup of the data (if they are important).

Wholeheartedly agree here - before making any changes to the storage pool - back up that data on the current storage setup.

It only takes one mouse click to make that data go away...

Synology has good guidance on how to grow out a NAS with new drives, or upgrade a current setup.

Be forewarned - they're going to nudge you towards SHR on the update - which isn't a bad thing, but on a hot filesystem, you want to have a backup just in case things go wrong.

Anyways - I would check on the Syno forums - while the DS214SE has some time behind it, users there would know more about which drives work (or not)...

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