Storage Manager DSM 7

How to format a drive on Synology NAS

The process of formatting a drive on a NAS or server using RAID differs from that of a mobile device or PC. You cannot simply format a drive that’s reserved for storage and will need to run through some steps to deactivate a drive for replacement or to completely restore the NAS to its default OS settings. This guide will run you through both routes on a Synology NAS.

How to deactivate a drive

Deactivating a drive within Synology’s DSM operating system safely prepares the drive for removal. Though the majority of Synology NAS enclosures have hot-swap drive bays, it’s always a good idea to follow this process if you’re experiencing drive issues.

  1. Open Storage Manager.
  2. Go to HDD / SSD.
  3. Select a drive.
  4. Click Action > Deactivate.

How to securely erase a drive

Even the best NAS won’t be immune to drive failure. Should you need to erase a drive before sending it back to the manufacturer under warranty, or simply wish to clear it for disposal, follow these steps within Synology DSM.

  1. Open Storage Manager.
  2. Go to HDD / SSD.
  3. Select a drive.
  4. Click Action > Secure Erase.

How to reset a Synology NAS

If you need to start over, it’s possible to reinstall DSM without affecting data stored on the drives or wipe everything and start anew.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on “Update and restore.”
  3. Select “System Reset.”

As covered in my in-depth guide on resetting a Synology NAS to its factory defaults, this method will not affect data in the pool. When setting up DSM again, you can pick up where you left off with the current installation.

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