need to upgrade a raid 5 harddrive

Posted on 2006-05-22
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a dell 1750 with 3 hardrives on PERC 4/DI raid array RAID 5. It is an Exhcange 5.5 server.  We are out of room on the disks and I need to swap out at least one of the disks.  I have a 146gb drive ready to go.
What is the best way to proceed?

Server is running windows server 2000 sp4
Server Bios is up to date
Perc 4/DI firmware and drivers are up to date.
EMS is up to date.

I am running Dell Openmanage Array manager.
I have a good Backup of the Exchange databases.(public and Private)
Question by:sredmond
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    There is no point swapping out only one of the disks in a RAID 5 array as only the size of the smallest disk in the array will be used.  If you need more space you will need to either:

    1) Add additional disks to the array.  Should be same make/model/size of the others for best results.

    2) Backup the array, swap out ALL drives for larger ones, restore the data.

    3) Some controllers have features to EXPAND the array.  In this case you can swap out the existing drives one at a time for larger ones, rebuilding each as you go, then finally you can expand the array.  Note that this, if possible on your controller, might take days to complete.
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    All the disks in a raid 5 array should be of the same size, and for best performance they should be the same speed and manufacturer.

    The best way to do this, if you have the slots available, is to get a single drive with the space to hold the entire amount of data, configure it as raid 0 in the dell setup, and use a drive replication tool like ghost to copy the data to the new drive.  

    Then pull the old raid drives, being careful to mark their location.  Insert the new drives, (I suggest buying the largest fastest that you can afford) use the Dell setup to initalize them as raid 5, then use the disk replication too to copy the data back to the raid.

    Should this process fail, you still have the old drive to revert to the old operation, in case you cannot deal with a long down time...

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