I'm looking at buying a hot-swap NAS that supports SATA/SATA II hard drives. Can I get any SATA drive and put it into the hot-swap trays it comes with, or will I need to find a certain kind of drive?

4 Answers 4


Normaly any SATA I/II you can found in the markey will fit in. Check you NAS documentation to see if there some limitation about it.

Hope this help.


Any on the NAS drive's HCL will do. If you tell us which models you're looking at or have bought we could help you get the best out of it.


Typically, the hotswap drive needs to be essentially identical to the drive it is replacing, but every system is different.

Some systems can support swapping in a bigger drive with similar characteristics, with the excess space being unusable. Certainly, it can't be smaller than the drive it is replacing. I imagine that the tolerance for similar but bigger drives would be discussed in the technical specs of the system, or can be obtained from the company support mechanisms.

One of the very unique features of the Drobo system is that it can handle size and flavor of drives.

  • I think Jeffrey's NAS is empty to start with, and he's wondering which drives he can buy.
    – nray
    Sep 26, 2009 at 17:03
  • The capacity of the drive is only an issue in once case - you can't replace a larger with a smaller drive. However if they are in an array, you also will loose any expanded capacity because that can't be replicated across all of the the members of the array. Dec 15, 2017 at 17:56

Your NAS solution may have only been tested with a particular kind of drive, including firmware version. It may have custom firmware.

You will have to trust the manufacturer's advice about supported drives. Even though they may deliberately deceive you so that they exclusively can sell you overpriced drives, there's no way to determine whether this is the case or whether there is a good reason for a particular drive.

Most flaky SATA solutions I've seen have problems due to interactions between drives and the controller. A drive that the controller vendor never tested is asking for more problems.

If it's a very low-end NAS solution, the problems caused by the NAS itself will probably eclipse any problems caused by drive/controller compatibility. And it is unlikely that there is custom firmware, or even serious testing of drives by the vendor.

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