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Adding disk with data to RAID array

Posted on 2005-02-28
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Hi all.

I am working on setting up a backup server with a Dell PERC RAID array with Windows 2003 Server.  What I would really like to do is to add one drive with (pre-existing) data and a blank drive, and set the array for RAID-1 mirroring.  Is this possible, or will I just destroy the data in the initial disk?

-- e-John
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Question by:e-John
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LVL 18
ID: 13420059
Most controllers will allow you to designate a source drive to copy the mirror to.  I would assume the PERC will do the same.
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Expert Comment

by:Alex911
ID: 13420251
Most newer Raidcontrollers are intelligent enough to handle such a operation.
I advice you NOT to try it out. just save tha data to a networkfolder or use SymantecGhost to make an image of the data and then make experiments (On this way, you can try out if your controller can handle this, if not then restore the image an try the second way).

hope it helps

best wishes
Alex911
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13423698
> Most controllers will allow you to designate a source drive to copy the mirror to.  I would assume the PERC will do the same.
 Errr.. probably not. Which model server and PERC is it (ie PERC 3/Di, PERC 3/DC etc)?

If it is the inbuilt RAID controller, then it is almost certainly an Adaptec - then no, any such operation is destructive. Try to craete a mirror and you'll lose your data. You *may* get away with it  on the AMI controllers (PERC 3/DC, 4/DC etc). If you have an AMI controller, post which model and I'll give you precise steps.

BTW - CTRL-A to get into the BIOS = Adaptec (PERC 2/Di, 3/Di etc), CTRL-M = AMI (3/DC etc)
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by:e-John
ID: 13424637
>>>You *may* get away with it  on the AMI controllers (PERC 3/DC, 4/DC etc). If you have an AMI controller, post which model and I'll give you precise steps.<<<

I have the older AMI Perc II Controller, which is not to be confused with the Adaptec Perc 2 or the AMI Perc 2/DC or SC.  Go figure!  Anyway, most of the literature calls it the Dell AMI PERC Controller.  It is PCI with two DIMM sockets which carry 16MB each.

I did not see an option to do this.  I plans are to ghost a drive first, in any event.  But, if there is a way, i would like to know, but will have a spare drive in any event.

I have found problems with Ghost and Copy Commander from time to time, when it does not copy all of the boot partiion information.


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Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 13424803
This will probably work - but make triply,quadruply sure that you have a good backup first:

Go into the PERC BIOS (CTRL-M)
Go into View/Add configuration
Make a *very* careful note of how the any logical discs are configured (if any).
ESC out of here and go to Objects - Logocal Drives. Make *very* careful note of how the logical drives are configures. Take note of  block size (ie 16K, 32K etc).
Go into Objects - Adapter and clear the configuration.
Insert OS drive and the disc you want to mirror on to.
Go to Configure - View/Add Configuration
Select the two drives that will be the mirror, enter to end then select RAID 1
Re-create any other logical drives ***EXACTLY*** as they were. The order in which you select the discs is *absolutely critical* but the number of the logical disc isn't ie: Logical disc 1 has member of 1:0, 1:1 and 1:2. The first number of the pair is the logical disc number, the second is the order of the disc in the set. Get the order wrong and say bye-bye data.
Select the correct RAID type and block size and accept the options.
Once you've configured all your logical drives, exit out of the Config screen and save the config (I don't recall if you get an option to save - it may be auto-magic)
DO NOT INITIALIZE THE LOGICAL DRIVES!!
Go into Objects - Physical discs, select the disc to be mirrored to and select Offline/Fail (I forget the exact wording). Once tne drive has been failed ( and the alarm drives you bonkers) select the drive again and select Rebuild.
Once the rebuild is complete, you're done!

The only possible fly in the ointment is that you'll need to get the PERC 2 drivers installed or you'll get an Inacsessible Boot Device. (I know the spelling is wrong but ..,) How you'll get the driver installed I'm not sure. You may have to do some tricky stuff with Safe Mode/recovery console.

All the above should work perfectly, but MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD, TESTED BACKUP in case it all goes pear-shaped.

You may want to download this: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ or this: http://www.startdisk.com/Web1/ubd/ubd.htm before you start. With the appropriate DOS drivers you will be able to ghost to/from a RAID array - but it takes abit of mucking around to get the right drivers installed etc etc.

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LVL 18
ID: 13640972
A split would be appropriate
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13648552
I'd like to know what the result was...
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