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How do I replace the system drives on a W2K Server, Proliant 7000, Compaq 3100ES Array Raid 0+1?

Posted on 2009-02-19
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I have a Proliant 7000 Server running W2K Server.  I have just upgraded to 8GB Ram (system max, W2k only recognizes 4GB max) and added 2 more hard drives for a full rack of 18 (9.1 GB) drives.

I have two ultimate goals:
1) Replace (2) 9.1GB system drives with (2) larger 18.2GB drives to support an OS upgrade.
2) Get Windows to recognize the 2 additional drives I added and also the 1 other drive I installed to replace a failed drive.

So far I have:

1) Added the additional ram of which 4GB is recognized by W2K.
2) Added 3 new (non_system, data only) drives to the rack and expanded the array (2 new drives added, 1 failed drive replaced).  The replacement drive was installed but windows is not recognizing it yet.  I thought maybe a reboot would clear that up.
3) Purchased (2) 18.2GB drives to use as replacements for the 9.1GB system drives.

Configuration:

All hard drives in the server are Windows basic
Systems drives  - (2) 9.1GB drives (Array A) 0+1, (1) Logical Drive (Windows Basic Disk configuration) No software mirroring, Windows sees both of these drives as drive C with about 9GB of total space of which 4.68 GB is currently free.  I have already moved the paging file and the spooler to other drives to free space.  There are a couple of other things I could do to free a little more space but I prefer to just use the new drives I got.

2 additional data drives are in Array D (4 disks in the array, 1 Logical Drive)
Replacement drive in Array C (4 disks, 1 logical drive) which was already configured for 4 disks so I only installed the drive, I did not change the array configuration.


I would appreciate any instructions for how to get these things accomplished.  I'm not too worried about the data drives but when I have to start messing with the system drives I prefer to take some care.

Thanks so much,  Mary

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Question by:mlhem
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by:rindi
ID: 23690457
Since you will be installing a new OS there is no need to worry about upgrading system drives. Just start from scratch.

Also, windows wouldn't see a drive that replaced a failed raid drive, rather it would have to be the raid utility that just rebuilds the array to include the new disk. Depending on the utility for your controller you have to tell it to use that new disk to rebuild the array with. The rebuild itself then will take some time. For windows that would not make any difference.

In order to be able use the complete 8GB RAM you'd either need a 64bit OS, or at least windows 2003 enterprise server.
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Author Comment

by:mlhem
ID: 23729327
So are you suggesting that I replace both of the system drives at once and do a clean installation?  I had planned to replace one of the 9Gb drives with an 18Gb and then rebuild the array.  Then replace the other drive with the second 18Gb drive and rebuild it again.  Once both of the new drives were installed and the server was running again with W2K server I would then install Win2003 Server as an upgrade.  Is that a possibility?  
Also, I am not sure what has to be done to rebuild the arrays.  Do I need to convert them to dynamic disks prior to the rebuild?  Right now all the drives in the system are configured as basic.
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by:rindi
ID: 23732151
Yes, I suggest building the server with the new OS from scratch. Usually the upgrade procedure from win2k server to win2k3 server would be to setup the new server while the old one is still running, and then move the AD roles and data to the new server, and after that demote the old server and remove it from the system. Upgrading the OS directly isn't recommended.

Don't use dynamic disks, as that can cause issues with 3rd party tools.
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Author Comment

by:mlhem
ID: 23736053
My original plan was to buy a new server and do just as you suggested (start from scratch).  That is no longer an option for me but we do need a performance improvement so thought I would try to do the best I could with what I have.  
What if I just replace the two system drives with the new ones and install the new OS on those?  If something bad happens I can always just put the old drives back in and run from those.
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by:rindi
ID: 23736246
That's no problem at all.
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by:mlhem
ID: 23744600
I have one more question.  Can you describe the procedure for extending  a partition in the W2K Server Disk Management utility?  I have used the Compaq array utility to expand the array on a data drive.  I can use it to extend the logical drive to include the new drives also.  However, I'm not sure that I can get W2k to then recognize the extra space.  I think it would probably want me to create an extended partition in which case it would add another drive letter.  I would like to use the same drive letter and just make the size of the drive larger.  Can W2K do that or will I need to use a third-party disk manager?

Thanks so much for your help. :)
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by:rindi
ID: 23744748
I don't think you can do that from the diskmanagement tool. It may be possible through the command line utility "dispart", but I prefer 3rd party tools like gparted (included on many livecd's) or bootit-ng.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gparted
http://terabyteunlimited.com/
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Author Comment

by:mlhem
ID: 24041656
Sorry, for not keeping up with this question.  I've been gone for a while.  Can you tell me what will happen when I pull the system drives from my server, replace them with the new drives and install W2K3?  If something bad happens will I be able to just plug my old drives back in and go?
Thanks, Mary
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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 24042144
That should not be a problem at all.
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by:mlhem
ID: 31548980
Thanks for being so patient and helpful.  :)
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