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Adding drives to existing raid5?  How to expand partition space?

Posted on 2006-07-21
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We have an IBM xseries server running a 3 drive raid5 config with a raid5i controller.  These drives are 36.4 SCSI U320

We currently have two partitions set up in Windows 2003 SBS, the exhcnage parition which has 48gb and the C: partition with has 19GB  

Both partitions, mainly C:  are running out of space, currently there is 20gb free on D: (which is exchange) and 4gb free on c:  which is the system.

They are not dynamic, I have purchased three new drives of the exact same kind.  How do I add them to the existing array and add more space to both partitions successfully?

Can parition magic do this?  We have version 6 of serveraid manager installed.

Thanks!

Sean
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Question by:justchillin954
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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 17154576
Of course I won't stress that a good, working backup is compulsory!

If your raid controller is up to it (check the manual, as I don't know much on IBM servers), you should be able to use the array management utility to expand the array "on the fly". Look for an "Expand Array" function. If it works like compaq's smartarray controllers, you just add the new drives to the existing array and it should get expanded.

After that has finished, you should see the unassigned diskspace within diskmanagement.

Partitionmagic doesn't work on server OS's. I'm not sure if the builtin command prompt tool "diskpart" of windows works on non dynamic disks, but you can try it. Enter Diskpart /? to get a list of the syntax. If it doesn't work, try the following tools:

There is Acronis diskdirector suite which works on servers, or, probably a lot cheaper is bootit-ng.

http://acronis.com
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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by:justchillin954
ID: 17159867
I have joined the drives to the array and I see the unallocated space, now what is the easiest way to add the space my partitions.
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by:rindi
ID: 17159887
I'd use bootit-ng I mentioned above....
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by:pgm554
ID: 17161887
You can use diskpart.exe


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
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by:rindi
ID: 17162091
I did mention dispart in my original post, and I don't think it works for the system and booting (C) partitions.
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by:justchillin954
ID: 17163826
I purchased Bootit NG, and loaded it onto the machine.  It created a partition just for itself so now my partition menu looks like this:

System c:  which contains windows 2k3 server SBS
Exchange D:  Which has our exchange server
--Free Space of 70gb--
Bootit Partion 8mb

I tried just resizing the c: volume because that is the one in desperate need of space.  However Bootit would not recognize the free space available for this partition.  

When I tried it with d: the free space was available.  

I looked at the directions in the PDF provided and it mentions "sliding"  the partion so that it is adjacent with the free space?  How safe is this?  I really don't want to mess this up and attempt a restore from my backups.  

How does this sliding work?  can I effectivley do this with my system volume?  There was a big warning that said I could lose everything when I looked at the slide feature?  Should I try Acronis Disk Director Suite instead?  Does it work with 2003 server, it doesnt mention servers in its product description?

Thanks
Sean
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 17164921
The way that these products work is ,that in order to expand the partition, it needs to move everything on you D: volume to the adjacent new space on your system.
Most partition software works like this.

As for how safe it is,ANY software can screw up and render your data unuable.
I think this is a CYA on their part to tell you to back up (not just once,but twice AND verify it)

I had an NT 4 system that I used VM on and it hammered my system.(locked it up)
I had known good backups and they saved my but.
So you have been warned.
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