Beginning in 2021, Synology rolled out their HDD HAT5300 series of drives, and following that they have changed their HDD compatibility policy.

Now I did write about those drives and those policy changes a bit back in January and March of 2021, but I wanted to reflect on this a bit more considering there are some concerned users out there as to what models will be affected here and what does and incompatible drive mean exactly.

Validation and compatibility

Following the launch of RS3621RPxs, RS3621xs+, and RS4021xs+ models in January, Synology rolled out its new policy.

These are the following changes that apply to the three models mentioned above and any upcoming devices of the same class:

  • Drives not listed can be used, in an unsupported state
  • Drives listed as incompatible will not be able to be used
  • DSM will notify users that their storage drives are unverified or incompatible
  • Technical support will be limited when using unverified or incompatible drives.

So what are compatible, unverified, and incompatible drives?

Drives tested and verified to work by Synology

Any drives not listed on the compatibility list

Any drive explicitly listed as incompatible on the list, due to serious issues found during testing

*Usable only when drives are migrated from a pre-policy device

DSM demeanor depending on the HDD definition

Depending on the type of drive that DSM will detect you can expect different outcomes from both DSM itself and Synology support if you will ever need it.

DSM with unverified drives

  • Any unverified drive’s status would show unverified
  • Warnings will be displayed when selecting unverified drives to create a storage pool
  • Storage pools with any unverified drives would show a danger status
  • DSM will send warning emails about unverified drives
  • Removes the display of certain drive information:
    Allocation status
    Bad sector count
    Serial number
    4K native HDD

DSM with incompatible drives

In case of a drive migration scenario, these policies will apply:

  • Can be used, but limited to only repair (expand or modify actions blocked)
  • Any storage pool with an incompatible drive displays a danger status
  • Will send warning emails about incompatible drives
  • Removes drive information (same as unverified)

If you are running a NAS with a fresh DSM install, then these rules apply:

  • Not listed during storage pool creation wizard – cannot be used
  • Shown in Storage Manager list as incompatible, lacks the same fields

Technical support

For devices that apply the new policy, the amount of technical support provided will be limited for customers that have decided to use unverified or incompatible drives.

Hope this clears up some questions about the new policy. Now, this will be mainly applied to new devices in the FS/XS/XS+ and UC category, but still, if you are getting new drives and have a NAS already or are planning to get a new one, it would be best to stick to the officially supported list to avoid any problems regarding stability, functionality and in the end, support.