This is my first post, so please be kind.
I've searched for the answers to my questions and found some help, but I don't know for sure if all products across the LinkStation line are the same, and I want to be sure before I actually go out and buy a drive.
I've had my LinkStation Mini for a little over two years now. About a year ago, Disk 1 started acting up- it would drop into an "Error" state on the web GUI and pop alerts on NAS Navigator 2: "I12: The RAID array works under degrade mode." (I'm using it in RAID 1.)
I can rebuild the array and the disk will work fine for a day or two, then the problem reappears. I've stopped rebuilding the array because I feel like it's a waste of time. In the meantime, all my files are accessible as normal.
It seems though, that the drive is defective and should probably be replaced. I've found instructions that make it seem relatively simple to pop the plastic case open and replace the physical drive, but that's about where my confidence ends.
I'm not really sure what's best to do about replacing the drive. Should I try to get another of the exact same drive (even though it's kind of an old drive by today's standards)? I imagine that's unnecessary, but how close should the specs be? Are different HDD manufacturers okay as long as the specs are the same?
Can I mix 5400 and 7200 RPM drives? SATA 2.0 and 3.0? What about 512B and 4096B sector drives?
Both drives right now are Western Digital 500GB 5400 RPM drives with 512 byte sectors, but it seems like most new drives these days are 4096-byte drives. Can I use 4096 byte sector hard drives in the LinkStation Mini, or are 4k byte sector drives not going to work?
Also, I've always heard you're supposed to buy all the drives in a RAID array at the same time and replace them at the same time, so should I buy two drives now? If I buy two 1TB drives, can I rebuild the array after replacing the bad drive, then replace the good drive and rebuild again to end up with a 1TB RAID 1 array containing all of my original data?
Sorry to pack so many questions in here.