WD Thunderbolt Duo: Has anyone upgraded a 4TB unit to 6TB or 8TB ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by robertlan, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. robertlan macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    I currently use a 4TB WD Thunderbolt Duo. I bought the unit a few months back thinking it would easily be upgradeable to 6TB or 8TB. I now need more storage space, and with the new 4TB WD Green drives now available, I'd like to upgrade my 4TB unit to 8TB.

    Has anyone upgraded their 4TB Thunderbolt to 6TB or 8TB ? I ask because people at WD tell me upgrading to a larger capacity drive might not work and they recommend against it.

    I'd like to hear from users who have tried it. Thanks in advance.

  2. jimbobba2773 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2008
    I got the same unit and was considering doing the same thing. I would be interested if someone has done it as I do have some 3TB disks which I can use. I can't see a problem with upgrading but it would be good to hear from someone else.
  3. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Well, of course they do. Selling an 8TB Thunderbolt Duo makes them way more money then just upgrading the hard drives.


    Pop open the top, install two of the 4TB WD Greens (or 4TB WD Reds for $10 more if you run them 24/7) and watch what happens.
  4. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    you should be able to replace the drives with 2x 4TB drives. However, I would find out if you can in fact use the Red Drives. I only mention because I have an older MyBook Studio II and I can only use WD green drives in it and no other model from WD.
  5. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    cannot be done. you can only use the same type of original (non red) drives as confirmed by Anand. as to if you can up the capacity, no idea.
  6. robertlan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    I went ahead and installed two 3TB Green drives in my unit. It took all of 30 seconds for WD Utilities to configure my new 6TB Thunderbolt Duo as a RAID 0. Works like a charm. Upon startup the new drives had a JBOD status.

    Now for really interesting info: my 4TB Thunderbolt Duo had two 2TB Red drives installed in it. This is a brand new unit I purchased from a WD-approved major online store about 4 months ago. I think Giuly is right. The unit—mine, at any rate—works with both Red and Green drives of various capacities.
  7. norrismantooth macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Red drives come standard in the WD Thunderbolt Duo "NAS".
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    That's great and thank you for reviving a thread that hasn't haf a post in over 15 months by basically stating what was already discussed. We've all been waiting 15 months for you to confirm what was already stated. We can all rest easy now..,,
  9. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    So the real question I have is can I upgrade them to say 8tb drives from amazon. Will it just treat them like a drive or will it freak out
  10. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2011
    Just randomly came across this thread (awoken after 3 years by sziehr) and am posting to subscribe. Didn't realize I could upgrade my drives in the Thunderbolt Duo, which is getting full. Will have to check this out.
  11. khongaeng macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    USA or ประเทศ&
    Sorry to awaken this thread again, but I spent a few days searching high and low on the internets, and this was the only thread that had any sort of information on this topic.

    I decided to take a chance (since the information on this thread is not so complete). When I opened my 2 Thunderbolt Duo drives (one from 2013 and one from 2014), both had WD Green Drives of 3TB capacity. I successfully upgraded both drives to the latest WD Red drives of 10 TB capacity, even though the stickers on the drives said to only replace with WD Green Drives, and the manual also says this. These Red Drives were manufactured in Oct 2018. After putting the drives in, WD Utility immediate recognized 20TB capacity Thunderbolt Duo. I used it to configure drives as HFS+ in RAID 0 for faster speeds. I think that the speeds are faster than the original 3TB drives even though both were 5400RPM, but I do not have software to accurately measure.

    I have been using the setup for a few days, transferring 7TB to the upgraded Thunderbolt Duo drives.

    Interestingly after formatting HFS+ I then formatted the drive to APFS format, and then it would no longer show up in WD Drive Utility. Still showing just fine in Disk Utility and Finder. I converted the format back to HFS+ and it is still not showing in WD Drive Utility. Not sure why it is not identifiable to WD Drive Utility after conversion. I have never had much luck with WD Drive Utility so I am not so worried about it. It still shows up just fine in Finder. I
  12. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Friends don't let friends use WD Drive Utility. Don't do it. Don't use it. You'll only regret that decision in the future... :eek:

    On a more serious note, I use Reds and Whites in NAS devices and in my PCs and as DAS devices on my PCs and Mac - the errors that WD Drive Utility generates in my Mac's Console app would cause panic (not Panics) with someone who could see the blows in their code. I use both WD external drives and WD/Best Buy easystore external drives after a reformat - they're perfect without WD Drive Utility. Just don't use WD Drive Utility...
  13. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    Yes I used WD green disks to upgrade a used 2TB unit to 8TB. Works fine. Would probably work fine with any HDD.

    That said, I set the unit to operate as two separate drives before I swapped out the original disks that it had come with.

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12 September 19, 2013