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Adding drives to a RAID 5

Posted on 2006-07-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a server with 4 drives in a RAID 5 array. The hardware is:  (4) 36 GB Seagate SCSI drives and an Adaptec 2000S controller.  I'm running Windows 2000 Server SP4.   I want to add (2) 36 GB hard drives to the RAID 5.  After replacing one of the drives that had failed, I installed the 5th hard drive.  I used the Adaptec Storage Manager to configure the new drive.  It shows as part of the raid.  When I go into Disk Management (in Windows).  I see the C drive (102.53 GB) and right next to it, I see an Unallocated 34.20 GB.  I wasn't excited about Extending the original C drive to the new drive because it seems as if that would be controlled by software rather than hardware.  But, I tried it anyways and I got this message, "The selected volume was originally created on a basic disk and cannot be extended.  Only volumes originally created on dynamic disks can be extended."  I'm not sure what the best path to take from here.  I've heard techs say that they've used Ghost and imaged the RAID 5; completely rebuilt the RAID and then reimage the drives.  Then I've heard Symantec say that they don't recommend or support it (probably trying to cover themselves).  I've searched around the Internet for a DOS driver for my Adaptec 2000S and can only find a Windows 98 driver.  So, I don't even know if the Ghost method will work for me if I can't get a DOS driver.  What is the best way to make this work?  Thanks!
Question by:Matt Kendall
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 1500 total points
ID: 17154908
For this type of job you wouldn't use ghost, but rather a partitioning tool similar to partitionmagic, only that doesn't work on server OS's.

Symantec used to have volumemanager which worked up to win2k server, but I don't think that is sold nor maintained anymore. So the main message is to dump symantec and use better products from a better manufacturer.

One good product for which there are server versions is acronis diskdirector suite or, a lot cheaper, bootit-ng.


Of course it is still absolutely compulsory to make a good, working backup before you commence, as even with quality products like the ones I mentioned, things can go wrong.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17160411
You can still buy Volume Manager,but it ain't cheap ($724).

If you deal with W2K a lot,it is a great product,but if your're just going to use it once,I would suggest Symantec Live State Recovery.

It does the Ghost image thing on servers(including HW RAID).

Great for DR ,and one of the perks, is that you can import the images into Vmware ,for a quck no muss ,no fuss,DR recovery plan.

About the same price as Acronis
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 17160514
I wouldn't get volumemanager, as it is a dead end for the price. It doesn't work for servers above win2k server. If any time in the future you are going to upgrade to win2k3, you have a product you can't use anymore. I'd use bootit-ng, as it is very priceworthy and works on all m$ OS's, and a lot of others too.

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Expert Comment

ID: 17160914
The responses above are not the way you should go.
Get the correct answer from Adaptec here:

If the link fails, look for Answer #9560
You will need Storage Manager Pro found here:

Here is the article/answer:
 What is the proper procedure for expanding an array?
  What is the proper procedure for expanding an array with Storage Manager Pro?

This information applies to the following Product(s):

- Adaptec SCSI RAID 2000S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2005S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2010S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2100S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2120S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2110S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2200S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3200S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3210S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3400S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 3410S, Adaptec SCSI RAID 5400S

This information applies to the following Operating System(s):

- Windows Server 2003
- Windows 2000
- Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows 2000 Server
- Windows 2000 Advanced Server
- Windows 2000 Datacenter
- Windows NT 4.0
  CAUTION! To assure the safety of the data, please run a complete backup and verify prior to beginning the following procedure. When changing any configuration or adapter card there is always a danger of data loss.

Note: You cannot reduce the capacity of an existing array; you can only expand it. To reduce capacity, you must create a new array and copy the data from the old array using your operating system’s copy function. You can then delete the old array. See Deleting an Array on page 3-7.

You can only add drives to a stripe set (RAID 0) or RAID 5 set on systems running Windows NT/2000 using the NTFS file system.

Any added drives must have sufficient free space for Storage Manager Pro to create a properly sized partition for the array. Drives that do not have any free space are not displayed in the Available Drives list in the Reconfigure Array dialog box.

After you expand the size of the array, you must also use Disk Administrator to make the additional space available to users.

To add drives:
1) In the System Browser window, select the array whose drives
you want to change.
2) Click Reconfigure.
The Reconfigure Array dialog box appears. The Selected
Drives list shows the current drives for the array.
3) Select the drives you want to add:
– To add drives, select one or more in the Available Drives
list and click Add Drive. The drives you selected move to
the Selected Drives list and display a yellow asterisk
showing that they are new drives for this array. See
Understanding the Selected Drive Icons on page 2-8.

– To add all available drives, click Add All Drives.
– To select more than one drive, hold the Ctrl key and click
each drive.
– See the Array Information section of the dialog box for
information about how much space will be used on each


CAUTION! If you are adding drives to a RAID 5 set, your data will not be redundant until the array expansion is completed and the array is back to a fault tolerant condition.

CAUTION! After the array has been expanded, the OS will also need to either partition the additional space as a seperate volume or, if a single volume is desired then, you must also use Disk Administrator to make the additional space available, during the Volume expansion there is no fault tolerance and if anything goes wrong, all data will be lost.  

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 17161018
He's already succesfully expanded the array, according to what is said in the Question. Now he's just trying to extend his existing partitions with the new space that the array now has.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17161855
Volume Manager becomes redundent on W2K3 because you can use diskpart.exe and therefore you really don't need the expansion capabilities of VM,so kind of a dead market for both.

But with that being said,I have used VM and it is a great product.(Let's see how long it takes before Symantec screws up the old PowerQuest line).

Author Comment

by:Matt Kendall
ID: 17164107
Wow, thanks for the info guys!  Rindi, if I use Bootit-ng, do I need to have the driver for the Adaptec 2000S card or does it not need drivers?  Jobshopr, I think that Rindi is right.  I have already used Adaptec's Storage Manager to add the drive to the RAID.  I can see the drive when I go into Windows' Disk Manager but I just can't extend the drive in Disk Manager.  I am actually adding 2 more drives to the RAID.  Do you know how Acronis True Image Enterprise Server 9.1 compares to Bootit-ng and others?  I was looking into Acronis True Image Enterprise Server 9.1 to help me out with this and it's about $699 but I think it may help me out in the future too.  I checked out Bootit-ng on http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/ and it looked good and the price being only $35 is much cheaper than Acronis.  That's when I ask, "Is there a catch?"  Since it's so cheap, I should just try it and it will just cost me a little bit of time if it doesn't work out.  Any other thoughts before I get going on this on Tuesday?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 17165695
No, I don't think that you'll need the driver for the adaptec. I'm not 100% sure though, you'd just have to try.

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