Why Is It Called "Resilvering?"

Q: Why do some people refer to the process of remirroring or rebuilding a RAID 1 drive set as “resilvering?”

A: Antique mirrors (the reflective kind you hang on a wall, or are in your bathroom) used silver (Ag) for the reflective coating, below the glass. Over time that silver would get tarnished and/or damaged, so you’d restore them by re-silvering them. I’m sure you’ve all seen this, where an old mirror has streaks in it but they’re below the glass.

When your RAID 1 mirror set gets “tarnished” you resilver it and it’s shiny & new again. You can rebuild a RAID 5 array but you resilver a mirror. 🙂