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RAID 5 & Replacing Disks

Posted on 2004-10-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a proliant ML350 with 4, 9 gig SCSI drives on a RAID 5 (three are in use and four has no power light, which I don't understand).  The original admin set up a 2 gig partition and a 15 gig partition.  Drive C: is getting full (700 megs of free space left) and the big cheeses wants to replace the 4, 9 gig drives with 4 36 gig drives.  I want to change the RAID array when I do this so that instead of a 2 and a 15, we have a 36 gig C: and a 36 gig D:.  In other words I want to mirrior the first two and the second two.  The server does have a tape backup, but I'm thinking if I back up the full server, replace the drives, I'll have to reinstall the server os and backup software before I could do the restore.  It's not that I mind that, it's just I want to minimize downtime and all that.

What's the best way to do what I want to do?

I'm thinking of using Ghost, but have yet to figure out how I'm going to do this.  At first I thought I'd just install a second RAID controller, bring the second array online, Ghost one to the other, replace the old with the new and reboot.  How does that sound?

I would appreciate feedback on the best way to accomplish this change out.
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Question by:crp0499
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    by:shahrial
    What Server OS are you running. Windows NT/2000/2003 ?
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    by:
    hi crp

    you would need a good backup, wipe out the old rives + containers,
    insert new drives create containers, OS + Data .....
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    by:crp0499
    Sorry about that...that little piece of info would help.

    Windows 2K Server.

    So, you don't like the Ghost idea huh?

    So I'm looking at a full backup, new Drives, RAID and OS, then a restore?
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    by:cooledit
    That's the most stable solution,
    Have a nice weekend
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    by:crp0499
    So is Ghost just not a viable option?
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    by:cooledit
    I would not recommend it whilst it might partition your drive
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    by:crp0499
    OK, so how does this sound?

    Bring in the server, back up the entire thing (all drives, system state, registry, etc) install new drives, rebuild array to my specs, OS it, then restore.

    I'm thinking of using Windows to do the backup and restore so I don't have to install their backup software and I'm thinking of backing up to a network drive here in our office.
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    by:cooledit
    that's sound like a very good option
    and as you said you'll have a network drive to backup to speeding up the process.
    Win native backup is good
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    Author Comment

    by:crp0499
    OK, so just to review.

    Server comes in.

    I use Windows Backup to make my backup to a network drive.

    Install and configure my new RAIDS

    OS it, update and patch it.

    Restore.

    Reboot.
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    by:shahrial
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    by:Troxalias
    You could also change the disks dynamically with no downtime, provided that your controller supports hot plug and the all this stuff. Take a 9GB disk out and replace it with a 36gb disk. wait for raid to rebuild the new disk and do this again for the next disk. do that until you have replaced all your disks. When all is done and your raid is in healthy state, extend you logical volume and you are done :-)
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    Author Comment

    by:crp0499
    But I'd still just have 9 gigs since the array will only be as large as the smallest disk.
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    by:shahrial
    Troxalias, have you done this before or known someone who had done it before?
    Because it will be great if that's possible...;-)
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    by:cooledit
    hi, there

    What Troxalias mention here is a possible way to do things, but do please still make a backup in case it does not turn out successfull..
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    by:Troxalias
    For sure you have to keep handy a good and recent backup of your data before doing ANYTHING related to your data!
    I have done it in Sun Storedge Arrays, but i know  (personally) people who have done it in HP and Compaq Servers.
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    by:shahrial
    Ok. I'll try it too on my test server...thank you, Troxalias...;-)
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    Author Comment

    by:crp0499
    OK, I want to close this out.  So far cooledit has the most sound advice.  I have some new info too.  The box has a Compaq Smart Array 3200 in it.  At this point, I'm planning on doing the following:

    Backup the entire PC to both tape (using Backup Execc) and to network drive (using Windows native backup).

    Pull out the old 9 gig drives.

    Insert the new 36 gig drives.

    Build a RAID 1 (a C: of 36 and a D: of 36).

    Put on a new OS (Win 2K Server).

    Restore the Windows native backup.

    Reboot.

    Anyone want to add anything to this?
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