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How do i upgrade the hard drives on my server with minimal fuss?

Posted on 2007-10-01
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We are currently running out of space on our server in my school.
We are running windows server 2003  and have two mirrored 160gb harddrives. The main drive is partioned into c: and d: with c: holding the os and d: holding the user areas of the students (6gb left)

I have two 500gb drives to replace the two 160gb ones - i am hoping to mirror them as before.

What do i need to do? (Other than take a good backup!) Can i just suck the whole lot off the drives including active directory etc - then just drop it back onto the new mirrored 500gb drives? what probs am i likely to have? Thanks

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Question by:markysimmo
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by:chuck-williams
ID: 19994303
Use a third party utility like symantec ghost to image the hard drive. During the image it can repartition the drive to take up the additional space. Most newer versions of disk cloning software will support dynamic disks.

Once you image it I beleive it will be a basic disk again and you will have to set it as dynamic again and recreate the mirror to the additional 500GB hard drive.
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by:markysimmo
ID: 19994329
We do have ghost solution suite but i am not overly confident with it. I can suck a standard syspreped  image and blow it out using pxe, is it that simple with a server?
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by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 19994339
It may be best to Backup all DATA and rebuild the 500 gb mirrored drives. Also use Active Directory Migration tool found at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=788975b1-5849-4707-9817-8c9773c25c6c&displaylang=en
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by:chuck-williams
ID: 19994404
I wouldnt recommend sysprepping a Domain controller. I have sysprepped a terminal server before. but only because it only had end user apps on it.i

I realize now that you must be using hardware to mirror your drives,I should have asked before I assumed. I would only recommend you using ghost to move the drives if you are using windows basehat way and neverd software mirroring.

If you do have software mirrored drives then if you ghost them the worst thing that can happen is it doesnt work and you have to put the old drives back in.
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by:r-k
ID: 19994974
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x86fix earned 300 total points
ID: 19995441
I would simply pull 1 of the mirror drives.  Insert the new drive.  REbuild to the new drive.  Remove the other old drive once it has rebuilt.  Use Acronis Disk Director to extend the partition.  Add the second drive and rebuild again.  You are done and you have 2 current system backup drives.
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by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 19995764
If I recall you can use the AD migration tool after you replace one of the 160 gb drives with a 500 gb drive then build your mirror to the other 500 gb hd.
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by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 19995768
I neglected to state the 'obvious'. . . bread the mirror first then add the new hd and o the AD migration.
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by:chadduffey
chadduffey earned 200 total points
ID: 19996386
I agree with x86fix. Depending on your raid controller it should just be a matter of pulling one disk, insert new disk, let the mirror build back across, once that it done -

then pull the other disk, insert new disk and let the mirror build again.

 As long as your hardware supports it there should be no need to do anything else. also if it fails on the first one, you should have no reason to panic because you will still have the original disk to put back in.

Its a routine operation where i work.
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by:markysimmo
ID: 19996831
My boss seems to think if i do that then it will only treat the new 500gb drives as 160gb (the original size) and i won't get anywhere!
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by:x86fix
ID: 19998499
He is right that it will see it as 160Gb but that gets you 90% there.  You then extend the partition using something like Acronis Disk Director.  Extending a partiiton is simple and should take very little time.  You can do it to one drive or after you make the raid.  It doesn't matter when you do it.  If you do it to the single 500gb drive it will copy with the changes.  If you do it to the raid it makes the cahnge to both drives together.  Extending the partition size should take less than 10 minutes start to finish.
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by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 20000295
I agree with x86fix . . . using the utility to extend the partition is relatively quick. Double you pleasure with doublemint gum OH OH were am I . . . I digress . . . extend the partitions after creating the RAID and you are done.
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