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Upgrading hard drives in Dell PowerEdge 1600SC

Posted on 2007-07-25
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I have a Dell PowerEdge 1600SC with 5 36GB U320 SCSI hot-swap drives.  We've just upgraded to a different server, and I'd like to expand the hard drive space in this server and re-deploy it as a large shared RAID hard drive - without reinstallling the OS.  

Unfortunately, I don't have access to any docs on how this server was set up.  I can guess at this: the two top drives contain the OS and are mirrored (RAID 1), the three bottom drives are RAID 5.  Does that sound like a reasonable guess?

My plan would be this:
1. remove the bottom 3 drives (we have already copied all that data onto the new server).  See if it still boots Win2000AS.
2. replace the bottom 3 drives with bigger U320 SCSI drives.
3. Configure and format the new drives "somehow" (probably pressing a key while booting the PERC?)

Should I go ahead with that plan?  Do you have any tips?  Any recommendations for bigger U320 drives?
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Question by:ExhibitorPublications
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chuckyh earned 375 total points
ID: 19567690
You should be able to go into the PERC setup menus when you first boot up the server. You should be able to see the raid configuration there.
If it is setup the way you think it is, then you can replace the bottom 3 with bigger drives and build a new raid5 array.
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by:ezaton
ezaton earned 375 total points
ID: 19569182
If it's only a single large Raid5 array, you can replace disk after disk, letting the system rebuild the array before you move to the next disk. The result would be an array occupying 4x36GB size, on disks with capacity (real data, without counting the "wasted" space) of 4xbigger drives. Then, using the perc tools, you can expend the array to occupy all the data, and then you can extend or rebuild your desired partitions.
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by:ExhibitorPublications
ID: 19576100
Thanks - good tips - I will split the points.
I checked the price on 300GB U320 drives, said "you've gotta be kidding", and decided to add a SATA RAID controller and huge cheap drives instead.  Any recommends on a good SATA RAID card?
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Expert Comment

by:ezaton
ID: 19576177
I have had a good experience with 3ware controllers. Good performance too.
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