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Removing a drive from a RAID 5 controller that has not been assigned a logical drive

Posted on 2006-11-24
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I inherited a RAID 5 system that had (in anticiapation of a space problem) 2 drives added to the array making 5 drives in total.  The new drives are currently listed as unused space and has not been assigned a logical drive.
My problem is that the anticipated space problem does not exist and I want to remove one of these drives and make use of it elsewhere.  If I just remove the drive the system acts as if there was a drive failure and the only option seems to be to replace it.  I am using the HP Array Configuration Utility to see the drives.  There is also a HP Array Configuration Utility CLI tool available - but I do not see anything in there regarding removing physical drives.
Anybody have any information that could help?
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Question by:sganci
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by:Pete Long
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Reboot the server - when the RAID Card Fires up (It's name is ALWAYS listed in red) Press F8 - select View Logical Drive this will show you what drives are used where - if the array has spare drives added to it they will be listed on the right hand side of the page in the lower half of the screen.

To remove the spares simply navigate to the box with the cross in it (using the TAB Key) then remove the cross using the SPACE key

REMEMBER to press F8 before you leave the ACU or the settings WONT be saved - reboot - job done
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by:sganci
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Thanks for the speedy response - Unfortunately the 2 drives are not listed as spares.  They are listed under assigned physical drives.  When I look at the HP Configuration utility they are listed as unassigned space under the logical view.  Is there any way to mark them as spares so they can then be removed?  Again they never had a logical drive assigned so they are sitting in the array but not being utilized.  
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Pete Long earned 500 total points
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Ah - the key here is "Unassigned" Space - that means the drives are ALLREADY added to the array, but the volume was never expanded to include the space - thats why removing a drive causes the array to fail :(

In your case I would back up the server - pop in the latest smartstart disk - select system erase of the disks - reboot run smartstart > deploy server > reinstall windows > then restore tha data
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by:sganci
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Thanks PeteLong - I was afraid this would be the answer.  Since I don't really trust our backup process (on my list of things to check into) I guess I am stuck with both drives being part of this server.  One last question.  I want to add half of the space (1 drive) to the current logical drive and the other half as a new logical drive (d).
First is this possible?
Second can you explain how to "expand" the current logical drive to include the additional space (preferrably half of the additional space)
Thanks again for your comments.
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by:Pete Long
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>>Second can you explain how to "expand" the current logical

Depends on whats on the volume - if its the system volume you are knackered (if its 2003) on a 20o0 server you can extend the drive with Volume Manager

If its just a data volume you can use Diskpart or a third party tool like Volume Manager

>>I want to add half of the space

You can add half the space to a volume but NOT to an array
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by:sganci
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Could I ask you to break it down a little more for me.  Looking at the different numbers I am having a problem reconciling what I see with what I thought I knew about RAID 5 - which is that you need a minimum of 3 drives, all drives need to be of equal size, the raid stripe uses space equalling 1 drive size over the course of the total drives.  So if I had 3 drives then 2 would equal available space 1 would be used by RAID Fault Tolerance.  If I had 5 drives then 4 would equal available space and 1 would be used by RAID Fault Tolerance, etc...

Looking in Disk Management I show:
    Disk 0 - Basic - 101.74 GB Online
    C Drive (C:) 67.82 GB NTFS / Healthy (System)
    33.92 GB Unallocated
Equalling 101.74 gb

Looking in the HP Array Configuration Utility I show:
    1 array controller
    1 Parallel scsi array

Under Physical View I show qty 5 of 36.4 gb parallel scsi drives
Equalling 182 gb

Under Logical View I show:
     Logical Drive 1 (104183 MB RAID 5)
     Unused Space 43410 MB
Equalling 147,593 gb

Logical View Total: 147,593 mb
Physical View Total: 182 gb
Disk Managment Total: 101.74 gb

Can you explain the differences?

Thanks


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