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RAID 5 with 3 36 HD on Windows 2003 Enterprise

Posted on 2004-10-20
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I just got a new Dell Poweredge 2650 dual Processor with three 36 GB HDs.  I chose RAID 5 during the installation.  After the intsallation under disk mangement it shows that there is one c:\ drive with 4GB capacity and another partiion or drive with 67GB.  Is this pretty normal with RAID 5 with three drives that it automatically chooses space for the c:\ drive?  Does this mean that any application I install on the server will go on the other partition?  Lets say I install SQL server on it.  Should I install it on the c:\ or the other partition?  Please help me in this dilema. Thanks.
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Question by:zeeshan_a
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12362518
The RAID controller presents a virtual disk to the OS.  The OS then carved that disk into 2 - one with 4 GB the other with 67 or so.  If you configured the server using Server Assistant, then it's default (if I remember correctly) is a 4GB C: drive.  Thus, that's what you got.

If you plan on installing SQL, then I'd install it to C: but move the data files and log files to D:
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Author Comment

by:zeeshan_a
ID: 12362837
Thanks for the quick response leew.  Is it possible to increase the size of the c:\ from 4 GB , lets say I need to install more applications?  If I can then is possible thru the disk management or do I have to use a third party software like partition magic? Or should I leave the 4GB drive alone and install everything on the other partition?  Thanks
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12363118
Disk Management can't do it.  Nor can Array Manager (which you should install - comes with the Dell Server).  Partition Magic MIGHT be able to - because this is a SCSI RAID and a server, I'm not positive it will work.  Really, for time savings, if you haven't put a lot on it already, I'd highly recommend reinstalling from scratch.  Again, use the Server Assistant CD and read carefully.  One screen will configure the RAID containers, the other will configure how to break up that space to the OS.  If this is a DC or you've already put a lot of stuff on it, then I'd say do your best to put everything on D: where possible - and move the pagefile there - that will free up 1.5+ GB (Assuming you have 1GB of RAM in the system).
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Author Comment

by:zeeshan_a
ID: 12363267
Ok!  I have not put a lot on it yet ...just the OS.  I wil take your advice and re-install from scratch.  What do you recommmend for the c:\ drive size? or do I even have to do the partions?
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Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 12363439
Personally, I like to do C: drives of ~7 GB.  Sometimes more, but it depends on what I'm using the server for.  I also try to keep in mind that with each release of Windows, Microsoft likes to increase the space used by the OS by roughly 50% (or so it seems).  If you're talking about putting the OS and SQL server on the system and that was it, I'd probably stick with my suggestion of 7 GB C: drive.  Even if it's SQL and the OS on the 4 GB drive, provided you move the databases to a different drive, that too should be fine (potentially cramped later, but probably fine).

I like to make C: OS and programs only.  Put data files, etc on D: or another letter.  If you ever have to blow away c: you can do so with little regard (note: I didn't said NO REGARD) for what's on it.
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by:Duncan Meyers
Duncan Meyers earned 100 total points
ID: 12364408
FWIW, you're obviously using the Dell OpenManage Server Assistanty CD (DOSA). After you select the RAID type, the next screen has a slider, and that is where you adjust the size of the C: partition. I've seen it heaps of times: people click through that screen without realising its importance and end up with a 4GB partition. Quite why it defaults to 4GB I don't know. It's inadeqaute for W2K and W2K3. You'd think they'd make allowances for that...
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Expert Comment

by:cooledit
ID: 12367989
hi, there

Just a good advice in case you add on 2-3GB on the first partition then you'll be able to make a parallel install incase the OS crashes..
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