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upgrade hard drive for windows 2003 server

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I inherited a dell poweredge server 830 running ms windows server 2003 SBS.
1. it only has 1 hard drive
2. four partitions
3. C: drive is 90% full and it has 10GB with 1.2GB available
4. using backup assist to backup data on an external hard drive
5. current hard drive capacity is 250gb

questions:
1. want to put in mirror drives; two 500gb sata 10k
2. what is the best way to do it?
3. could I use Ghost?

Thanks for your help.

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Question by:goodfinder
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11 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 22735861
Well you can just add drives for additional space no one says that you have to reload or image the machine to use more disks
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Assisted Solution

by:CrashDummy_MS
CrashDummy_MS earned 300 total points
ID: 22736019
Yes on the Ghost, definitely.

Are you using a hardware RAID controller or mirroring the disks in Windows. If hardware, go ahead and connect the drives and create the mirror. If it is mirrored in Windows, just connect one of the drives.

Boot to your Ghost CD and choose the option to copy disk to disk. Resize the partitions as needed (giving your C drive enough space), and wait for it to copy. Turn it off and remove the 250GB drive.

If you had the hardware RAID, you should be able to just boot right into Windows and be done. If you do Windows mirroring, you'll need to connect the 2nd drive, boot into Windows, go to computer management, disk management and set the disks to dynamic and mirror them.


You could also just resize the current partitions using something like GParted (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/) but you'll be better off with the mirrored drives.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:mikeleebrla
ID: 22736023
peralesa is correct, but it depends on the RAID controller(s) on the server and how you want the RAID(s) confiured.

In the end do you want to server to ONLY have the two mirrored 500GB SATA drives or what?



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Author Comment

by:goodfinder
ID: 22736198
sorry experts, some corrections:

1. it has  one 160gb sata and one 80gb sata
2. no mirror
3. built-in controller has raid, 0, 1, or 5
4. 160gb drive has Projects (D:), 20gb;  Library (E:), 40gb; Documents (F:), 40gb; 50gb unallocated
5. 80gb drive has (C:) 12gb,  Data(I:) 63 gb
6. using sata
7. it is running windows server 2003 for sbs sp2
8. is it ok to put in Two 750gb; seagate 7200rpm barracuda st3750640as running raid 1
9. we want to increase each partitions
10. we have 3gb of ram, dell poweredge 830

existing ones are seagate st3160023as and st380013as

thanks again. :)
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Author Comment

by:goodfinder
ID: 22736305
We have ghost 2003.
I am new to the server business and array, but I thought ghosting it from 160 & 80 to one 750gb then put in the second drive, set it to dynamic and mirror should not be too difficult.  
Expert, if you could give me a step by step, it would really make my day.  

Thanks 700 billion.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:aleghart
aleghart earned 100 total points
ID: 22736506
If this were physical disks, you would create a mirror from the 160 to the 500.
After building, break the 160 off.
Replace with another 500.
Let it rebuild.
When 2 x 500 are in sync, use partition manager to grow beyond the 160gb partition size.

This offers the greatest amount of server up-time.  Performance may be degraded during the mirroring and re-building processes.  But, degraded is better than down.

Using Ghost or Acronis may take only a few hours, and fewer steps, but best run during a maintenance window, so data is not changing during the backup.
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LVL 46

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 100 total points
ID: 22738895
Hello goodfinder,
I would suggest using Partition Manager 9.0 or Hard Disk Manager 2008 from Paragon.
Connect two drives as RAID. Then use Partition Manager or HDM to clone the partitions one by one to new drive. Use Resize option during copy operation. It will create copies on new drive with wanted size. Change drive letters so your D: E: F: and I: would be on new drive and restart server from RAID. Quick and reliable process.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 22740244
Both options that aleghart and noxcho suggested would work, i would opt for aleghart option of mirror one existing disk to a new disk, then break mirrors.
but most important in all of this, Create FULL backups of everything before you do any of these things.
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Author Comment

by:goodfinder
ID: 22741886
Hi experts:
We have 2 physical drives that need to be moved to a new 750gb drive first.  
1. we are going to do it on a weekend, so downtime is ok
2. I did cloning with workstations many times, but not with server so I may ask some not-so-intelligent questions.
3. I only use ghost in the past.
4. why and how do I connect the new 750gb and old 80gb(c: volume) as Raid (for ghost, I boot up with floppy and clone one partition at a time; then turn off the server, disconnect the 80gb and connect the old 160gb and clone the rest of the partitions.  then disconnect the old drive and connect the 2nd 750gb and let it rebuild as a mirror drive.  (that is the process that I assume)
5. I am new to the server; so excuse my requests.
6. how do i turn on the raid-1 after all the cloning using partition manager 9.0 which I never use before.
7. is partition manager 9.0 better than ghost 2003 that we own?
8. I am willing to get the partition manager 9.0 if it perform better for server.
9. that is my first server cloning and thanks for your patient and walk-thru with a beginner.  :)
10. I know all of you did it before and it will be a great help, if you could walk me thru so I feel confident to do it as if working with the experts.  

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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
CrashDummy_MS earned 300 total points
ID: 22742540
Your process in step 4 sounds fine if you only have 2 SATA ports, if you have more than 2 then connect all 3 drives at the same time for less rebooting and unplugging.

Ghost should do just fine for you. When you go through the operation "copy partition to partition" you should be able to pick a partition from the old drive, then on the next screen you can choose how big to make it on the new drive.

After ghosting to the new 750GB drive is done, connect the other 750, power up the server and get into the RAID card's setup. Depending on RAID card it could be different things: control S, control E, etc. We don't know the card you have so it's hard to say exactly what to do to get the mirror set up after that.
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Author Closing Comment

by:goodfinder
ID: 31506935
ghosting partitions has some issues. boot failed; I will try other partition software for server
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