C Drive Space, RAID 5 nightmare

We have a server running sbs 2003 on a clone server with an Adaptec 2110s RAID 5 Array across 3 36gb SCSI disks

The system partition is 4gb and has like 500mb free space. As a result services fail frequently, theres not much room to install service packs, fixes etc.
I have deleted as many unnecessary files as possible

The data drive (ie rest of the space) is also full (page files, apps, data etc)

I have been supplied with 2 more 36gb identical drives to resolve the disk space problem.

The crunch is that i have an app running on this server which cannot be reinstalled elsewhere so the existing sbs 2003 o/s must remain intact.

The adaptec card does not support reconfiguration or adding drives to the array without breaking it.

any1 got any inspirational suggestions? ghost as an option has been exhausted and eliminated.

im quite happy to investigate suggestions myself so ideas, however unfounded, are welcome

thanks guys..

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the 2110 should support expanding the array!

I've done this on older cards - 2000S and 2100S.

What software are you using for the array? I stay away from Storage Manager Pro (the JAva one) and stick to Storage Manager - it's simpler, and will (should) allow the array to have new drives added into it.

That said - you will then need to convert the Disk (the windows object) to a dynamic volume, and then extend the volume on to the freespace you have just created. It might take a few reboots to sort out...


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sloopethAuthor Commented:
accoring to adaptec ....


      Can a RAID 0/5 array be expanded by adding additional drives to the array?

This information applies to the following Product(s):

- Adaptec SCSI RAID 2000S, 2005S, 2100S, 2110S  <<<--------------- MY CARD!!! :D
- Adaptec SCSI RAID 3200S, 3210S, 3400S, 3410S

This information applies to the following Operating System(s):

- Windows NT 4.0,Server and Workstation
- Windows 2000, Pro, Server, DataCenter and Advanced Server
        No. Online Capacity Expansion (OCE) capability can only be used under the following conditions:

RAID 0 or RAID 5 array
All partitions of the array must be formatted under Windows NTFS file-system.


amazing use of english in this sentence by adaptec 'All partitions of the array must be formatted under Windows NTFS file-system' what on earth do they mean.

'no it's not possible unless you reformat the drives'???
'no it's not possible unless they happened to be formatted with ntfs'
or perhaps...
'no it's not possible by the way all drives must be formatted with ntfs by law on pain of death'??

anyways who knows

im not using any software for the array - i created it in the adaptec setup and having bothered using any windows software at all to manage the array.

so what you are saying is

add my extra disks - let the Storage Manager pick them up but use Windows software Raid to add them to a logical array?
sloopethAuthor Commented:
i should add your suggestion does not fix my c drive problem?
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Yes, Use Storage Manager to make the array bigger. Did one last week on a 2000S, from 3 * 36Gb to 4 * 36 GB, and took aboiut 6 hours. Did it live, though, so no downtime till we needed to reboot at the end. :)

After the reboot you can convert the disks, then reboot.

After that reboot you can expand the volume...

yes, it does fix the problem as you can then extend the c volume - effectively adding more space to the volume in a non contiguous location...
sloopethAuthor Commented:
ok we're going for it !

anyway i put the new drive in and when i click expand array i get the ''there are no availavle drives on this controller for expansion"

any thoughts?
sloopethAuthor Commented:
i have the disk showing up as basic/online and unallocated in win disk manager

in storage manager the disk shows up as optimal - it is identical to the other 3 showing the same size/model number etc.

do i need to format the disk 1st?
You need to add the new drive to the array first, then expand.

Convert the basic to dynamic, then expand.

Do not accept my answer - please.  I am simply adding to harley's work to clarify - he has provided the answer for you.

sloopethAuthor Commented:
the 'expand' option im talking about is in the storage manager i havent got as far as expanding the C drive yet.

never mind guys the powers that be dont want to wait any longer - nightmare reinstall situation for me im afraid

thanks for all your suggestions

As a temporary fix you can move the pagefile and print spooler to another drive to free up some space while you figure it out.


sorry - different timezone, I was sleeping downunder.

No, don't format first.

The expand option was in Storage Manager, Yes.

The Extend option is in Windows Disk Manager.

sloopethAuthor Commented:
yer unfortunately we couldnt get the expand option to work just told me no suitable drives available.

reinstall winblows here we come oh woe is me

have a nice weekend gents
Ahh - are the drives a different model?

I have seen this happen with seagates 7200rpm being one or 2 sectors larger than a seagate 10000rpm, so not being able to add the 10,000 to an existing RAID, even as a hotspare.
sloopethAuthor Commented:
oddly they were identical drives even from the same batch as the originals having been purchased at the same time
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Windows Server 2003

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