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Adding Drives to a Partition

Posted on 2008-09-29
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We have a Dell PowerEdge 2950 running Windows 2003 Storage server with 4 X 500GB drives in a RAID 5 configuration.  I've added two additional 500GB drives to the RAID using the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator and can see that the additional space has been added to the array.  However, in Disk Management I see two unallocated partitions and cannot figure out how to add them the existing partition.  I thought I would need to convert the disk from Basic to Dynamic, but that option is grayed out.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:jdharm66
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by:aleghart
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Use a third-party partition management tool, such as Acronis or Paragon.

I believe the Acronis product is called Disk Director:
http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/diskdirector/

Paragon's is Partition Manager, or the Hard Drive Manager:
http://www.paragon-software.com/business/hdm-server/

I've used Paragon's software to migrate from 3x73GB RAID5 to 4x146GB RAID5.

Run backups and test them thoroughly.
You'll have to replace the drives one-by-one, letting the RAID rebuild fully.
After I was up to 3x146GB, I used the PERC BIOS utility to add the additional drive to the existing volume.
After 4x146GB, I used the partition management software to expand the volume to consume all available drive space.  (Actually, I made a small partition for some logs and other utilities. But not necessary.)

Make sure you plan a maintenance window over a weekend.  If you have any problems, you will have to wipe the array.  Re-create it with the new drives and full space allowed.  Then, format and restore your backups to the new volume.

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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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Assuming you are not trying to expand the boot or system volumes, you can use diskpart - should be built in to Server 2003.

See:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
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