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Help with partition management or RAID 5 array setup?

Parition management / RAID5 array on PDC?

Our setup:

We have a PDC with Windows 2000 installed.  The server has a system drive, split into 2 partitions (C: & D:), and one more drive (designated F:).  Both drives are identical size/model (FUJITSU MAJ3364MP SCSI).  Now, when the server was set-up, the person who did it, made the C: volume pretty small (8GB) and we are now running VERY low on space on this volume (for applications etc). Therefore I need some advice / recommendations:

Option1 >>>
Is it possible to 'extend' the partition size of C:, with 3rd party partition software ..if so, is this relatively safe and straightforward, as long as backup's are done etc?

Option2 >>>
As an alternative, would you recommend 'merging' (if possible) both C: & D: so that I just have C:, thereby making it 'easier' to setup a mirror-set or RAID 5 with additional (identical) drives?

Option3 >>>
Is it possible to move/migrate the data (from volumes C: & D:...ie. first physical drive) to another (larger) drive, and then setup my mirror-set or RAID 5 array with additional identical drives?  How could I achieve this?...is it feasible?

In short, I want the easiest (doesn't matter about cost) way to have more space to play with (future proof) and introduce fault-tolerance for the hard drives.  Any help would be very much appreciated?

Note: both drives are 36GB capacity each.

Thanks a lot guys - Much appreciated

craig
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ras2a
Asked:
ras2a
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1 Solution
 
Da1KingCommented:
I think the best option you are going to be looking at is a type of combination of 1&2.  If you were able to get your hand on Partition Magic you could remove partition D: on drive 1 then resize partition C: to take up the full space of the drive.  Of course you would want to make sure do perform all the necessary backups as this can go very wrong.  Also an easy way to get a hold of partition magic would be to use a tool like SuperWinPEPlus.  This is a bootable CD that has several system utilities on it one of which is an old version of Partition Magic.  If you search for it in Google I am sure you can find it.  Remember though that you will be destroying partition D: before extending partition C:.  So you will need to backup any data you already have on that partition.
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ras2aAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that...I was hoping that somehow I'd be able to retain the data in place and somehow change the size of C:\ 'on the fly' as it were?  So that the extra space for C:\ is taken up from the 'free' space on D:\  But now you mention it, I imagine this is 'not' possible?

Hmm, maybe it will be easier to setup RAID1 (mirror-set), so at least I have failover.  That's a point, is it possible to setup 2 mirror sets, so for example, I have my 'system' drive mirrored with a drive and also my 'data' drive mirrored with another drive?

Thanks anyway...I'll hold out for another suggestion or two and if no response, I will award the points

cheers mate

craig
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Da1KingCommented:
I beleive that newer versions of Partition Magic could possibly do the resize that you are talking about but I am not totally sure.  I beleive that you could setup the mirrored sets as you are asking.  Basically have two partitions on Disk 1 mirrored to two partitions on Disk 2.  Mirrored sets have to be on seperate physical disks.  The only thing I am not sure about is actually mirroring two different partitions.

I do know that in my experience with the servers I have built in house I am more worried about saving data then applications.  I usually install my OS on one physical drive then create a RAID5 array and use it to store all my data.  This way if the OS drive fails I just reinstall the OS along with apps and I am off to the races.  If I have a RAID5 drive fail I just replace it and am again good to go.  Now if I were working for a larger organization I would definately mirror the OS drive in order to expedite recovery in the event of a hard drive failure.
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ras2aAuthor Commented:
Wonder if I may be able to do the following:  

1 - Create a mirror with the SCSI drives and ghost this (V2i, Symantec etc)
2 - Install a SATA RAID card/drives (remembering to install SATA driver's under current OS) and restore the ghosted image to this SATA mirror
3 - Change to boot up from the SATA mirror...resize, merge partition's as needed.
4 - Add a third disk to the SCSI drives and creat RAID 5 array (3 drives)...
5 - So then I have SATA mirror with OS and apps and also RAID 5 array for data

sounds plausible ...in theory - lol

I've awarded you the points anyway matey :)

Craig
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Da1KingCommented:
Yeah it could be.  The only thing I could forsee being a problem would be with the boot.ini file.  If the entries in it are incorrect you could have problems.  Especially since you are going from one disk controller to another.  You could end up having to modify it to do what you want.  Good luck.  =)
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ras2aAuthor Commented:
Yeah I'd thought about that.  I would test it out on a non-production server first.

Thanks for the advice anyway pal

Craig
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