Extend Drive C

What is the best way to extend the drive C partition on a Win 2003 Server without losing any data.  

Thanks for any help.

Rob
Rob623Asked:
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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
User PowerQuest Volume Manager - dont entertain any other product :)

Pete
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Rob623Author Commented:
Got it, thanks.
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Rob623Author Commented:
Pete,  I just checked out the Volume Manager (now made by Symantec)and it is a whopping $800!  I guess I should have mentioned I didn't want to pay that much.  Isn't there some other way, although maybe not as easy, to extend the partition?  The Wndows 2003 server is for a small business (10 users).  Thanks.

Rob
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Extending the C: drive is difficult:

First thing is to determin if you are using BASIC or DYNAMIC volumes:

Dynamic vs basic (when to use what)

if you have hardware RAID, do not use DYNAMIC disks.  DYNAMIC disks are handy when you use the OS-level RAID.  Again, if you are using hardware level RAID, Dynamic disks should not be created and do not provide any advantage:

Because some people need to hear this one more time... Note:  Microsoft Recommendation regarding Dynamic Disks: If you do not need software based spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, or RAID-5 sets, it is best to use basic disks

(some people still don't get it, so here is a MS link that provides more information: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=329707)


If you disks are DYNAMIC, you are going to have problems making the C:\ drive bigger.  Even PowerQuest Volume Manager doesn't support extending Dynamic Disks.

So how do you solve this problem?  You could use GHOST to get an image of the server OS.  Then use your hardware RAID utility to make a bigger partition.  After the bigger partition is available, you can restore your image.  I've done this successfully many times.  But I'm not sure if this is free.  Go to Powerquest.com and see if you can download an eval of Ghost.  If you can, this is your easiest solution.

Other things you can try is:

1) Backup Os
2) Resize Partitions
3) restore OS

More information:

If you are using hardware RAID and your are using BASIC disk, the disk expansion process is listed below:

1) add one or more physical disks to your hardware RAID 5 array (if hot pluggable, you don't have to reboot or shut down)

2) go into your hardware RAID controller configuration utility to see if the new drives are recongnized by the hardware.

3) use the hardware RAID software to incorporate the new drives into the RAID 5 set.  Compaq Array configuration utility, for example, calls this EXPANDING the array.

4) after the array has been expanded, you will have "free" or "un-used" space.  You now need to "GROW" the appropriate partition size.  Your hardware raid software should allow you to do this.  The Compaq Array configuration utility, for example, call this process EXTENDING the partition.  This step will incorporate the "FREE" space into the partition.  Remember these are all hardware RAID steps....these steps have nothing to do with the OS.

5) You should now be able to look at the RAID 5 set and see that your partition has grown and has incorporated the new drive space.  This is good...you now have contiguous drive space for all partitions on your hardware RAID 5 set.  However, you still need to make changes in order for the OS to see the drive space properly.

6) once you boot into the OS and go into Disk Administrator, you will notice that at the end of the partition you've added disk space to, that there is FREE disk space.  Your volume has remained its original size...this may surprise you because you've updated the partition size using the hardware RAID utilities.  This will happen because the OS won't see the growth in the volume until you run DISKPART.

Now run diskpart:

1.      Install DISKPART if needed (See Appendix A for more information.)

2.      Run DISKPART to Extend the appropriate volume to include the additional disk space.

2a.    DiskPART ? Launches the DOS-Based disk partition utility
2b.    DISPLAY VOLUMES ? Allows the administrator to view the available volumes
2c.    Select Volume X:  ? Allows the administrator to target the appropriate volume for extension
2d.    Extend ?  This command extends the targeted volume to use all available free space.

More information on DISKPART: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=325...


-Later

Joe Poandl MCSE

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Rob623Author Commented:
Thanks, Joe,

The server does not have a RAID system nor is the volume dynamic.  I guess it would seem that the best thing to do is use Ghost (if it supports Win 2003 Server) to produce an image of drive c  and reformat the hard drive and then restore.  Yes?

Thanks.  Rob
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NJComputerNetworksConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No...if your not using RAID and you have available free disk space, you should be able to use Volume Manager ($800).  If you don't want to spend the money, you can try to download Ghost as a first option (format HD) and restore image.  If you can't get a free copy of Ghost, try to use backup/restore.

Ghost will work on Windows 2003, I just recently used Ghost to do what you are doing on a Windows 2003 server.

-later

Joe Poandl MCSE
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Rob623Author Commented:
Joe, does this produce a bootable exact copy of the original drive?  Also, what version of Ghost did you use?  I have Ghost 2003 but it doesn't mention support for Windows 2003 Server.

Rob
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Ghost version 8:  http://sea.symantec.com/content/product.cfm?productid=9&aid=23

Yes, the image is a bootable exact copy of the original drive.
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