RAID 5 failed drive replacement

This is my personal computer, not a mission critical production server. I don’t back up, because if my computer completely dies, I won’t. Still, it would be a major pain in the ass. As is backing up a terrabyte or so of non-critical data.

Three 1TB drives in RAID 5, one is dead. The drive is about three years old, so well out of production. What do I do? Toss any old 1TB drive in there and rebuild the array? Does it help any if it’s the same brand (Seagate)? If I can do that, can I toss a 2TB drive in there, rebuild the array and then do that two more times to update all the drives and double my storage?

I know it’s ideal to keep identical drives for replacement, but the ideal ship sailed long ago. What can I get away with?

It depends on the disk controller, but usually you can throw almost any 1TB disk in there. However you should make sure that it’s the same size or bigger - not all 1TB disks are the same size - there could be 10’s of GB difference in size. Check the manufacturer’s spec sheet.

What happens when replacing with a larger drive varies based on the disk controller and how it handles it. Those I’ve dealt with usually keep your existing 1TB volume and allow you to create an additional volume on the extra space.