Can we upgrade RAID5 disks using Storage Management on ROM (SMOR)?

Posted on 2007-11-28
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a Dell Poweredge 2300 with an Adaptec scsi raid 2110s card and 4 Maxtor U320 36Gb drives for a total of about 100G usable space. I've been told some raid controllers will allow you to replace each drive, one at a time with larger drives. When the last drive is replaced, use the configuration utility to increase the array size to fill the new space. Is this possible with this card? I've been looking around and can't find any info on the SMOR. I looked here:

any ideas?
Question by:RickNCN
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Author Comment

ID: 20368277
Oh, and a related question - I believe this is a U160 controller. I'm currently using U320 drives (4 maxtor 36G  and one standalone 147gb IBM) Is there a max sixe of hard drive this controller can handle or doesn't it matter? Can I throw the biggest capacity at it, 300gb+ ?
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Accepted Solution

wmeerza earned 500 total points
ID: 20370204
What you propose is possible but be carefull. Ensure you have good backups before starting.
You obviously have a raid5 array, is it the operating system as well?
Adaptec controllers do allow you to replace a drive with larger size but make sure you let it rebuild before the next drive is replaced (i don't think there is an issue with the larger size drives you want to use).
Once the final disk has been rebuilt you will need to reboot, and check that SMOR sees the new size.
You will then need to use windows disk administrator to either create a new partition or extend the volume set. This is probably the most dangerous part but I have seen it work fine.
I take it that you don't have an option to backup data, rebuild array and restore?

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Expert Comment

ID: 20370207
Forgot to mention, a good option is for you to call Dell support and run it past them to verify.
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Author Comment

ID: 20370655
Well, I'm not using Windows. We have a Slackware install so a GUI storage management  program is (I think) out of the question for Slack. I think they have one for - maybe- SUSE and some UNIX flavor.

So, my question then, from what you say is: Can that resizing be done in the SMOR? And, yes, I forgot to explicitly state I have RAID 5 but you are correct.  You confirm what I was told by a friend that we should be able to replace one disk at a time, waiting for rebuild between each, but when they're all replaced, my friend thought the management console would let us enlarge the array - or partition.

I just could *not* find anything on Adaptec's website describing the SMOR at all! I'm not impressed with their website.
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Expert Comment

ID: 20370899
Adaptecs site is bad, but I have checked the documentation for storage manager. There is no facility in SMOR to resize. The gui lets you expand an array by adding disks but the instructions seem to apply to windows only. I can only make an assumption that after replacing all disks that on the next reboot SMOR would read the configuration and display the new details of the array. You would then need a disk management tool to make the operating system recognize the extra space and manage the partitions.
It sounds like a bit of a risk to take a stab at all that working based on assumption.
here is the website for the manual:
I have a different model adaptec card but it looks like SMOR or the on-line gui versions seem to work in an identical way.

Author Comment

ID: 20370985
I looked through the user guide, thanks. I'd agree with your assesment. What other options do I have? This is a Slackware install. I didn't install it, but am maintaining it. I think it has the normal swap partition and data partition. I'm not good enough with Linux to backup the config files and reload Slackware on a newly rebuilt array. I wish there were some way to approach it like I would an XP install where I'd 'ghost' it to a new hdd.
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Expert Comment

ID: 20371124
i'm not sure I can be of much more help not really knowing slackware. Are you familiar with slackwares disk partioning and management tools? The initial process of changing the drives to larger and letting them build would be the same, it really comes down to the operating system specific management of the array.
I just had a look for resizing software and this link may be of help (you may already know about it)
It seems to be able to handle multiple formats and the website has full instructions.
Let me know what you think.

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