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Add unpartioned to old partion.

Posted on 2006-11-02
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Changed hard drives for a RAID10 array.  New drives are double the storage capacity.  The array is 4 Maxtor Atlas V SCSI and an Adaptec 2120S Card.  The Computer is running Windows 2003 Server Ent.  the array is for a data drive and accessed by domain user for variuos data bases, documents, etc.  It is not the OS/Program files drive.  The drives are in and the array expanded.  So far so good.  The question is how do I get the unpartioned space to be part of the exsisting data drive? I don't want a new drive letter as this will cause confusion.  I want domauin users to see the same as they do now but with more room.
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Question by:BillTant
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by:garycase
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"... The question is how do I get the unpartioned space to be part of the exsisting data drive?" ==>  It depends.  IF you are truly talking about "unpartitioned" space, it's easy.  BUT remember there's a difference between the size of your ARRAY and the size of the LOGICAL DRIVE that you've created with that array.   If the DRIVE hasn't been increased in size, there ISN'T any "unpartitioned space" on the drive.   You need to go into your RAID management software and see if it allows dynamically increasing the size of the logical drive ... if it does, do that first ==> and THEN you'll have unpartitioned space in that drive that you can use.

IF you either have, or can (as I just noted) create some unpartitioned space, then you simply need to do this to resize the partition you're using:  Download the free demo copy of Boot-It NG (from http://www.bootitng.com/bootitng.html); create a bootable floppy or CD; and then do this:  (a) Boot from the floppy/CD ... and at the first prompt select CANCEL  (you do NOT want to install it on the drive);  (b)  Then select OK, and then click on Partition Work;  (c) at this point you should see your current logical drive's partition structure in the center of the screen.  Note:  Since you apparently have more than one drive, you have to select the appropriate drive here to see what you need => notice the "HD0", "HD1", "CDz" buttons on the left ==> just select the correct hard drive for your array.   Once you've done that, the partition structure should show your current partition followed by the free space.   Just highlight your current array ... then click on RESIZE (on the right) ... and you can safely resize the partition to the maximum size.

If your controller does not allow you to resize the logical drive, then you need to (a) copy all of the data to another location (backup drive; large network store; etc.);  (b)  delete the current array; and (c) recreate an array that uses the entire size of the drives and create a single logical drive on the array; and then (d) restore all of your data.
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by:BillTant
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Thanks gary but I ran into a problem with your solution.
In Computer Management> Disk Management it shows Disk1,Basic,273.5GB,Online.  The two section shown are #1- Primary partition, Data (E:),136.90 GB NTFS,Healthy and #2-No label, 136.6 GB, Unallocated.  I presume the second section is unparittioned.  Do I need to make this an extended partition?

I downloaded BootIt NG and it boots fine but when I go in to maintenance mode it only shows HD0 and CDz.  I can tell from the size and partitions HD0 is the OS drive.  It doesn't show a HD1.?  Shouldn't atleast the primary partition show?

Any suggstions?

Thanks
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by:garycase
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No ... IF Boot-It could "see" the array, it would should it just fine ==> it would show up as HD1 and would display the complete current partition structure (the 136.9GB partition followed by 136.6GB of free space).   It would be a very quick operation to simply "Resize" the 1st partition to use the free space that follows it.

... HOWEVER ,  obviously Boot-It does NOT "see" the RAID array.   End of story.  ... Boot-It's simply not going to work here.   Boot-It accesses the hard drives through the BIOS => so a RAID controller with a BIOS extension that allows the drives to be "seen" via BIOS calls will work fine (done it many times) ==> but apparently yours does not work that way.   So Boot-It simply doesn't "see" the "disk" (the RAID array) ... and thus can't perform its magic on it :-)

There MAY be a setting in the BIOS (or the RAID adapter's BIOS) that allows the "drive" to be seen.   If not, then Boot-It is simply not going to work here [a shame -> it is SO easy].

I don't know if the current version of Partition Magic could "see" your "drive" or not ... but I don't recommend it in any case (I've seen too many cases where it messed up).     Unless you find a BIOS setting that allows Boot-It to see the drive, I would use the backup => destroy and recreate the array => restore the data method.

Another alternative might be to simply create another partition in the unallocated space; and instead of mapping it to a drive letter, map it to a folder on your existing data drive.   Anything stored in that folder would then be in the other partition.   But the backup/destroy/create/restore process will eliminate any concerns about relative space allocation that the folder-mapping might cause.
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Disorganise earned 500 total points
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you could also create a concatenated drive.  assuming you already made the drives dynamic, simply right click (in disk management) the drive you want to increase (E presumably) and select extend..
Since the underlying disks are hardware RAIDed, the performance shouldn't be affected very much, if at all.  Effectively what you're doing is creating a new partition and assigning the same drive letter to it and the old partion
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by:manicsquirrel
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I would use Acronis TrueImage and clone the your existing drive onto a spare drive.  Verify the image.  Then clone the spare drive back to the original, but this time adjust the partition size to use the entire drive.
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by:Disorganise
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Why go to the effort of creating and image and copying it back?  It would be far less risky to use the diskdirector product to simply grow the volume  http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/diskdirector/

I've used the home version and found it good - no support for dynamic disks though.

Symantec also have storgae manager which does the same thing and our Unix guys swear by it: http://www.symantec.com/enterprise/products/overview.jsp?pcid=1020&pvid=31_1

There's a free version for windows (called basic) about to be released too - limited to 4 file systems.
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by:manicsquirrel
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The only reason I would go through the trouble I described is because you could do it from an acronis boot cd for $49 dollars (or the trial version) instead of $499 for disk director.  However, I see disk director has a free trial as well.
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