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Adding space to my Poweredge 2800.  Got Questions..

Posted on 2006-10-27
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I am adding 2 drives to my server this weekend for more space.  This is a file server.  I have a raid 5 config Basic with 2 partitions.  I am running out of space on the extended partition.  Once I add my 2 new drives should I just create new volumes or extend a new partion?  I know extending the partion runs the risk of data loss.  What would you do?  It is just data so I can move it around.

Also this is my frst time doing this.  Any tips or suggestions?  Yes I have backed up my data.
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Question by:jamessa
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Expert Comment

by:crawfordits
ID: 17822857
I would add the drives and create a new partition with the unallocated space.
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jimbecher earned 2000 total points
ID: 17823919
I would extend the existing partition. It might show things down a little by having such a large volume but I think you might avoid more problems down the road by not having to keep transfering data back and fourth between volumes as the fill up ...
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by:simsjrg
ID: 17825403
Do you have a backup solution in place? If so I would suggest getting a clean full backup first. Since you say this is a fileserver rebuilding this box would require very little effort. I would suggest to just do it right the first time.

1. Get a Full Clean Backup.
2. Add the 2 new drives.
3. Blow out the current container.
4. Rebuild the container(s) including the 2 new drives.
5. Reinstall the OS, Service Packs, Updates, bring all firmware up to date.
6. Restore all data from the backup.
7. You're all set.

FYI, we have a client that we put one of these in place for. We weren't sure how much storage they were going to need to we got 2 74GB 15K drives for the OS and mirrored them. At the time we only put 3 146 10K drives in for storage. Well to make a long store short that filled up real quick and we had to replace them with 6 300GB 10K drives. This was easy enough because like you it was just a fileserver. All I had to do was backup the data, replace all the drives, rebuild the container and restore the data. The OS drives never needed to be touched.
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Author Comment

by:jamessa
ID: 17825451
Let me ask you something.  I currently have to partitions.  C and D.  I need to extend D because that is where the data is at.  By extending it using extpart, would I only run the risk of data loss on the D partition since it is the only one being extended?  If so the OS would not be touched right?

Thanks
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by:jimbecher
ID: 17825482
That is correct. The only risk involved is losing data on the second partition,
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Author Comment

by:jamessa
ID: 17825565
OK, that seams easy enough.  Would you suggest extpart.exe, diskpart.exe or software like Acronis expert partition?  Keep in mind this is my first time doing this.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:jamessa
ID: 17825694
I have another question.  I currently have 3 76 gb hds and raid 5, I am adding 2 more 76gb hds.  How long will this process take?
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by:jimbecher
ID: 17825706
I have always been partial to Partition Magic but I am not sure that it works on server partitions. I have heard good things about Acronis products in general. I have also heard Dell's extpart works well too. You might be better off with it since it is a Dell server. If you hit a snag I am sure their support department could help you out.
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by:jimbecher
ID: 17825715
Good question on the time envolved. I have a Poweredge 2400 and I know the Perc controllers go through a cleaning and scrubbing process on the new drives. 76GB isn't huge but to be on the save side I would plan on the better part of an 8 hour day to go from start to finish ...
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Author Comment

by:jamessa
ID: 17825852
I also have a 2400.  I am fine with that one.  This one is a 2800.
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by:crawfordits
ID: 17831183
I have spoke with Dell on the phone about this quite some time ago and I'm pretty sure even though they have the extpart program they don't really support it.  Besides if you run it or any other tool and your server ends up in a blue screen what option do you but to reload and restore from backup.  Just keep your fingers crossed.
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Author Comment

by:jamessa
ID: 17833779
Well I got finished and everything went very well.  The rebuild rate took about 4 hours set at 60%.  I have no issues with using extpart, it was quick.  Thanks
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