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Converting RAID 1 to RAID 5 without losing my data

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
Hi there!


We have a machine (Proliant DL380/G2) with 2 x 36GB SCSI - RAID 1 mode (hardware); running on Windows 2003 server.
Now, we want to use 4 x 36GB SCSI in RAID 5 mode.

I don't want to lose data.  Is there a way to convert/reconfigurate my RAID without formating, reinstalling and configurating all the software?

Thanks in advantage!


Alex


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Question by:alexgcm
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by:pweegar
ID: 17908872
It may be possible, depending on your hardware. Do a search on this site for: convert raid1 raid5.  There is a bunch of posts covering this topic
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by:andyalder
ID: 17909739
Do you have a battery backed write cache enabler? This is an option so may not be present on your particular DL380/G2. You can confirm by looking at the current setup in the ACU and selecting the logical drive on the array and seeing if you can change the read/write ratio. Tell us the current R/W ratio.
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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 17914375
"... without formating, reinstalling and configurating all the software? " => On-line RAID mode changes are always a bit risky, even if your controller supports it.   But you can easily avoid the need to re-install and re-configure by simply doing this:  (1)  Make a current image of your system (to an external drive or to another internal drive that's not part of the RAID array);  (2)  Delete your RAID-1 array;  (3)  Add any disks you'll be using ... and create the RAID-5 array;  (4)  Restore the image to the new array.

Any good imaging program that "sees" the array (since it's a hardware array most should) will work fine.   I prefer Boot-It NG (www.bootitng.com), which has a free demo that should work fine for what you need.  The interface is a bit "geeky" ... but it's a very well focused program that is direct and to-the-task.

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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 17914391
HP don't consider it risky with that particular RAID controller so long as the BBWCE is fitted.
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by:alexgcm
ID: 17917191
I will do what garycase suggested.

Thank you!
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by:andyalder
ID: 17917248
On a server that is designed to convert from RAID 1 to RAID 5 on the fly?
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by:garycase
ID: 17917392
You're welcome.    ... as to whether that's unnecessary when the controller supports an on-the-fly conversion ==> I would still ALWAYS be sure you have a complete backup.   A safe alternative to what I suggested would be to do step #1 (create the image) ... and then try the on-the-fly conversion.   Then if anything goes awry you can simply do steps 2, 3, and 4 :-)
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by:andyalder
ID: 17917447
Of course you should have a complete backup, but surely anyone who owns a rackmounted server takes a backup every day anyway?
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