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Expanding RAID volume on Dell 2650

I just replaced 3 of my 74gb drives in a RAID 5 config to 3 300GB drives, and now i can see that only about 1/4 of the space is being used. I went to the dell open manage utilty and told it to resize it to the full amount and it came back with this error message:
"The function specified was failed because not enough space was found on the specified device (AI, please check)"

I even tried just upping it by 100mb and it gave the same error.
I am running win 2003 server, on a dell 2650.

Thanks,

Omid
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oyashare
Asked:
oyashare
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1 Solution
 
rindiCommented:
Are there more than these 3 drives in your raid? You have to upgrade all drives of an raid 5 array before you can expand the size of the array itself. Also make sure the firmware of the raid controller is uptodate (but first finish replacing all disks and wait until the array is 100% running and not rebuilding any part of it).
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oyashareAuthor Commented:
I have already done that part of it. My question now is about after that fact. All the disks have been replaced and the server is up and running, i just need to utilize ALL of the disk space instead of only a quarter of it.

Thanks,

Omid
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
I presume you have a PERC 3/Di or Si? From what you've posted, you've gone from 74GB SCSI drives to new 300GB SCSI drives. The expansion available in Array Mangler will allow you to add a new drive into an array rather than exapnd the existing partition. To expand the partiton, you can try using diskpart.exe (as you have 2003, it is part of the base OS) or one of the proprietry partiton management tools like Partition Magic. I'm confident diskpart.exe will do what you need.

How to use:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;325590
More information:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bcb9100d-698f-40a3-bf53-692d793c6e4f&DisplayLang=en

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Duncan MeyersCommented:
BTW - although I've never had a problem using diskpart, make sure you have a backup before you run it!

Better safe than sorry :-)
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oyashareAuthor Commented:
I have not gotten to that point yet. i know i have to use diskpart, but the space is not seen by the disk management yet. It still looks like there are the 74gb disks in there. I need to first expand the RAID, then i can expand the partition. But when i try to expand the raid from open manage, i get this error:
"The function specified was failed because not enough space was found on the specified device (AI, please check)"

Thanks,

Omid
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
> I have not gotten to that point yet. i know i have to use diskpart, but the space is not seen by the disk management yet.

My apologies - of course, you're quite right. The bad news is that as you have a PowerEdge 2650, and presumably, a PERC 3/Si or PERC 3/Di RAID controller, you can't expand the RAID container. The expand option you're trying to use is to expand onto an additional disc (adding a fourth disc to a 3-disc RAID 5 array, for example). Having said that, if you have one of the more modern RAID controllers (PERC 4/DC, 4/Di  etc), you may be in luck

I'm sorry to say that the only way you can achieve what you are trying to achieve is to backup the server, blow away the RAID array and re-create it. Which will be time consuming and a major pain.

Whilst you're about it, you should upgrade the RAID controller firmware to the latest revision (2.8) as the later firmware contains stability and usability enhancements. Make sure you upgrade the driver **before** upgrading the PERC firmware.
 http://support.ap.dell.com/apjsite/Downloads/devices.aspx?SystemID=PWE_FOS_XEO_2650&category=0&os=WNET%20&osl=EN&svg=

 
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rindiCommented:
That's the reason for my previous posting, If your disks in your raid hadn't all been replaced with bigger ones and the array itself hadn't been rebuilt yet, that would be the typical message you get, since if there still were one 75GB disk inside, that would prevent you from enlarging the array. You did replace only 1 disk at a time, and then wait until the array was OK again before you added the next disk, didn't you?
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oyashareAuthor Commented:
Yes, over the period of 2 days, i one by one replaced each drive and waited for the rebuild to finish before replacing another drive. And i do have a perc3/di.
So you are saying i am totally out of luck? there is absolutely nothing that can be done?

Omid
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
>So you are saying i am totally out of luck? there is absolutely nothing that can be done?

Yup. Sorry. Blow it away and start again. On the plus side, you won't have any fragmentation issues :-)

Its an older technology RAID controller - once the container was created then it was set in stone so to speak. If you were a disc mega-guru you might be able to get into the RAID structures written onto the discs and edit the binary by hand - but I wouldn't recommend it. Besides, it would probably be quicker to blow it away and start again...
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tfjeffCommented:
meyersd's advice is the best option
however, there is another option with the perc 3/di, but it can be problematic and I would advise against it.
You can enter the perc bios (control+A on startup) and create a new container on the unused space of the drives.  This would allow you to create a new volume, but I'm not sure about expanding a partition onto a different array, I doubt it would work.  If you take this option you need to know that there can be issues with rebuilding if a drive goes offline, mainly that it usually only rebuilds one array and the other is stuck in a degraded state.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
BTw - if you upgrade to the latest PERC BIOS - read the notes carefully! You may have to do it as a two-step process depending on the age of the existing firmware of the  card. You must also upgarde system BIOS to A15 if you upgrade to the lates PERC BIOS....
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
****Danger! Danger! Danger! Danger!

As tfjeff notes, there are known issues with multiple containers on an Adaptec RAID controller which I believe have been resolved. At least they darn well should have been by now. The problem is that you can get a container fail on one drive and a container fail on another drive - like this:

Disk 0       Disk 1     Disk 2
I******I******I********I
I FAILED I            I                I   Container 1
I            I            I                I
I******I******I********I
I            I            I FAILED     I   Container 0
I            I            I                I
I******I******I********I

I've seen this happen and it ain't pretty. If you pull Disk 0, you double-fault Container 0 (bye-bye data) and, of course, if you pull Disk 2 you double-fault Container 1 (bye-bye data again). The work around is to add a fourth disk, configure it as a hot spare let it rebuild etc etc etc. If, however, you don't have a slot for an extra disk you are in the poo.. Knee deep.

I wouldn't recommend two containers on one RAID 5 array...
 
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Which is when you usually discover that your backups have been failing for the past month...

:-)
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rindiCommented:
You could of course, provided you have enough space and the cabling necessary, reinstall your old drives and run 2 arrays parallel. Copy the data from your new array back to the old one (if necessary, as the data should still be present there), then wipe the new array and create it to use the new size. The controller you have should support 2 arrays...
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
True. And an excellent idea. Unfortunately, there are only 4 drive slots in a PE2650 and the discs are 80 pin SCA  :-(
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
>there are only 4 drive slots in a PE2650

Rubbish! 5 slots.

So, we may be able to get away with this...

If you resturned the discs back to the 73GB discs one by one then inserted two of the 300GB dics and created a RAID 0 or RAID 1 (homework required here) array then imaged (not forgetting to mark the RAID 0 array as active in Disk Admnistrator) the RAID 5 array on to the RAID 0 array then removed the RAID 5 discs then relocated the RAID 0 discs to slots 0 and 1 and boot. The controller will complain that the config has changed. OK to that. Let the server boot. Fit the 3rd 300GB disc and use Array Manager to change the RAID type from RAID 0 to RAID 5.

It should work, but I need to do some homework and check a few things first...
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Yup. According to the documetantation, it should work...

I guess that the bonus is that if it fails, you still have a good copy of the data on the 73GB discs. If you choose to go ahead with this, schedule it for a weekend because the expansion/conversion process is likely to take a fair bit of time.

Procedure:
Migrate back to the 73GB discs one by one
Once complete, insert two 300GB discs and configure as a single 300GB RAID-1 container (or 600GB RAID-0 container if you must. Either will work, although RAID-1 is safer, especially as you may be running live during the expansion process )
Copy/image the RAID-5 container onto the new container.
Set the new container as active in Disk Administrator
Power down the server.
Remove (and carefully label) the RAID 5 discs. It is vitally important as the PERC 3/Di does not support drive roaming.
Insert the pair of 300GB discs into positions 0 and 1 (3 into 0 and 4 into 1)
Power up the server
When the PERC starts it will ask you to confirm the change of config. Enter to continue.
The server should boot. Log into the OS.
Insert the third 300GB disc into slot 2
Start Array Manager or FAST (whichever tool you are using)
Use the Reconfiguration Wizard (from memory it is the same name for FAST or Array Mangler) to convert from RAID-1 to RAID-5.
Wait. Wait some more. And wait some more. I'd expect this process to take some time.
When the process is complete reboot the server and run diskpart.exe so that the OS sees the bigger partition.
Done!


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oyashareAuthor Commented:
Do you think it will be possible to move the drives to a dell pe 2850 which has perc4 and extend them there, then bring them back to the 2650?

Omid
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Maybe, maybe not..... The PERC 4 is an LSI card (which will happily read the Adaptec RAID structures) whilst the PERC 3/Di is an Adaptec and cannot deal with the LSI structures. At least, that is my understanding from a couple of years ago. You *could* try it - but it's a big risk. I'd suggest that it is not a good idea.

If you were going to try it, you could experiment with some spare discs first. I'd makes 100% sure that I had a good backup...
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oyashareAuthor Commented:
I was going to try this in a few weeks and award the points. If you can hold off for a few weeks that would be great.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Any news oyashare?
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