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How do I add physical drives to a LIVE PERC RAID5 on a Dell PowerEdge 6850?

Posted on 2009-02-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a live RAID5 system with a couple of free drive slots ( on a Dell PowerEdge 6850 ).  I have acquired identical drives and added them physically to the free slots.  What has to be done to add these into the available space on the RAID5?  Is it safe to do this without bringing the server down?
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Question by:IanMaguire
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Duncan Meyers earned 375 total points
ID: 23599274
>What has to be done to add these into the available space on the RAID5?  
You'll need Array Manager (old) or the newer Server Management software. You can download the server management CD from here: http://support.ap.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=au&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R146318&SystemID=PWE_6850&servicetag=&os=WNET&osl=en&deviceid=10655&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=8&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=36&fileid=204270

You may need to upgrade drivers and RAID card firmware before you can install the management software. Once you have the management tool, you can add the new drives to the existing RAID set without taking the server down (from memory, you right-click on the RAID group and select expand. The GUI hen presents you with the any suitable disks available to perform the expansion). The expansion process may take a couple of days depending on the seize of the drives and how busy the server is.

>Is it safe to do this without bringing the server down?
Absolutely. No problem at all, although you will experience a performance hit during the expansion, so I'd schedule it to start on a Friday night. It should then complete over the weekend.
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by:IanMaguire
ID: 23600301
Thank you.  Much of that is helpful.

However, the comment:
"from memory, you right-click on the RAID group and select expand. The GUI then presents you with the any suitable disks available to perform the expansion"
does not actually seem to apply in this case.  Right-click on (see attached screen image) does not produce an expand option, and it is no where apparent on the "Available Tasks" menu where one can find this expand option.
ScreenImage.doc
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 23606293
Do you have the Storage Management Service installed? These documents suggest to me that you're missing a part of the management suite: http://supportapj.dell.com/support/edocs/software/svradmin/5.5/en/UG/html/storage.htm#wp1039152 and http://supportapj.dell.com/support/edocs/software/svradmin/5.5/en/UG/html/storage.htm#wp1047309

Once you've got the software installed, you can run the Reconfigure Disk Wizard: "The Reconfigure Virtual Disk Wizard enables you to change the virtual disk configuration. Using this task, you can change the RAID level or increase the virtual disk size by adding physical disks."
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Author Closing Comment

by:IanMaguire
ID: 31546503
The advice on how / where to use the GUI in the Server Management software                  (ie  "from memory, you right-click on the RAID group and select expand. The GUI hen presents you with the any suitable disks available to perform the expansion"  was inaccurate;  the option turned out to be "Reconfigure Virtual Disk" and was not accessed via a right click.  The way to find this option within  the Server Management software was a significant part of the problem for which help was sought;  also no mention was made of the steps required within Windows to then make the new space visible to Windows.
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Author Comment

by:IanMaguire
ID: 23631308
The second expert comment [ ID:23606293Author:meyersd ] did identify the correct program option.  Thank you.
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