How to migrate a Non-Raid OS drive to Raid1

Posted on 2008-09-29
Last Modified: 2016-10-27

I've got a Dell Poweredge 2850 running 3 Hot-swap but non-raided Ultra320 SCSI drives.  I've got new drives so I have a drive spare and would like to migrate the OS to a RAID1 Mirrored array.

THe Server has a LSI logic 1020/1030 inbuilt card.  Can I do this?  IF so how without losing my OS partition?!   I have acronis Drive image if that helps...

I'd like a answer that deals with this specific scenario please.  

Question by:jmsjms
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Assisted Solution

sandybridge earned 50 total points
ID: 22595641
See it is possible to migrate from non RAID to RAID with the use of Acronis.
In your case you mentioned that you already have 3 HDDs and you wish to add another HDD. However, RAID 1 is possible with only 2 HDDs. If you are using 4 HDDs you can create RAID 10. To create RAID 10 you can follow:
-Backup your information with Acronis or whatever imaging tool to a NAS or external USB drive (can be connected to USB or IDE, or you can even use CD/DVD-R's),.
-Mark the drive positions.
-Connect the new HDD.
-Go into the software; set up RAID.
-Use Acronis to restore from your image which was stored on NAS or external USB drive
- Reboot and re-arrange drive letters if necessary.
-Hope you will find this useful. Thanks
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Assisted Solution

ormerodrutter earned 50 total points
ID: 22596004
RAID 10 is not a standard level of RAID. RAID10 is actually a RAID1+0 (mirrored strip set).

Since you have 4 disks I recommend you either setup TWO RAID1 (one of OS and one for DATA), or configure RAID5 instead. RAID5 requires minumim 3 disks so you can either setup normal RAID5 with your 4 disks, or alternatively setup RAID5 with 3 disks and one as HOT spare.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 22603230
I've done something basically the same a couple of weeks ago....

(Assuming you're using only 1 HDD currently, 2 spare)

- Create a RAID 1 array with the 2 not-used hard disks
- Take out the Secondary drive of the RAID 1 pair (Which one is Pri/Sec should be listed in the RAID BIOS)
- Boot into a Linux live CD and dd across the entire contents of the Windows disk to the Primary RAID 1 Disk.
- You might need to edit the c:\boot.ini file in the new RAID array to match what LUN the array comes up as...
- Reboot with the secondary back in and watch it sync back up

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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 22603250
I should add the when I mention Primary / Secondary its not referring to LUN/Jumper settings, its referring to which one the RAID controller considers the "Master copy".

If you take out the Primary and dd to the Secondary, once the (same) primary is back in, the secondary will be mirrored FROM the Primary again.

(At least, this is the case for LSI 3000 series controllers)

Tell me if you don't know Linux and I'll post a how-to on dd specifically for that purpose.

Author Comment

ID: 22603677
THanks to all for your comments.  Howver, I'm looking to see if it's possible with the SCSI card that I've got.  I cant see any RAID settings options in the Dell software.  It's a LSI Logic 1020/1030 card (as noted above).

As for the drives, to clarify, I've got two drives that I can use for the O/S, the current drive and a spare drive (same capacity/model as the first)

Cheers JOhn
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

kyleb84 earned 300 total points
ID: 22610219
Well I can definitely answer one of your questions,

You will not be able to put you current drive and the spare drive in RAID 1 configuration without losing your data on the current drive.

Every raid controller takes the first (and sometimes last) few hundred bytes of the drive to put it's config info in there, like which member of the array the disk is, a unique ID, stripe size etc... Then the controller makes the OS think the drive "Starts" after all the config data the controller has put on there.

You have to backup ( and probably reinstall the OS )
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

kyleb84 earned 300 total points
ID: 22610286
Second Question:

Looking at that Controller card, it does not come with RAID capabilities.

It is a Host Adaptor only.

If your using Windows Server 2003, have a look at Shadow Volumes (Virtual backup, kinda like software RAID 1) - You could do this without having to alter

If your using Linux, Software Raid 1 will do what your after, but like mentioned above - you'll basically have to re-install (It's possible to avoid doing that but it involves some funky config)

Accepted Solution

jmsjms earned 0 total points
ID: 22649009
OK,  so I cant use hardware RAID on this Server unless I change the SCSI card.

I'll put another question up to see wether using WIndows software Mirror is a way forward.

Many thanks to all.

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