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Cloning SATA Drives in SCSI Array

Posted on 2009-04-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a Dell PowerEdge 1800 Server (running Windows Server 2003) with two Western Digital SATA drives. I believe they are running in RAID (with one drive mirroring the other). Unfortunately the drives are only 80 Gigs each and they are just about full, so I plan to replace them with two 320 Gig SATA drives that I am about to purchase.

I am thinking of using Clonezilla, which I have used before but only to clone single IDE drives, never in a RAID scenario.

I am wondering if I should clone the drives to an single IDE drive in an external enclosure first, then remove the 2 internal SATA drives and install the 2 new drives and then clone back from the external drive back to the 2 new drives?

I am not sure if this makes sense or not. I guess the other option would be install the 2 new drives in the 2 free drive bays inside the server, connect them to SATA controller card, and clone directly from the old drives to the new. But my concern is that then I will have to mess with the RAID BIOS setup program (which scares me somewhat) so that I have 2 pairs of SCSI HDDs operating independently from each other.

My other question is whether Clonezilla will allow me to clone to the 2 new drives at once OR will I have to run the cloning procedure twice (first on one HDD & then on the other)?

If there is another program (other than Clonezilla) that would be better suited to my situation, please make suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:anuneznyc
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11 Comments
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 24109683
Clonezilla or any other cloning software is just a tool to copy your image with current set up and drivers. You can clone your image to a USB drive or any capable external drives. However, the restore process is what it's all about. If you use a clone image that does not come with generic controller drivers (most likely happens to the open source), you will run in a driver issue during or after the restore. If the BSOD happens after a sucessful restore, you can do Windows Repair install with F5 option to add controller driver to the new image. This will fix the blue screen.

... guess the other option would be install the 2 new drives in the 2 free drive bays ...
This is not recommended since you have to build RAID on those drives to be able to utilize the space....'

Try to clone it then run Windows Repair install with F5 when it prompt to input SCSI or third party drivers....

K
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
StefanKittel earned 200 total points
ID: 24110284
Hello,

it's not so complicated.

To be sure because your title is wrong. Your Server having two sata-drives running in raid 1 attached to a raid controller. Be sure they do.
-turn off
-disconnect the old ones !!!
-connect the new ones
-create an array using yours controllers bios
-connect one old (so you have one in backup)
-clone the old to the new drives
-disconnect the old drive

! Don't try to boot your OS until now

Don't bother its a raid or none. You'll only see the logical arrays. Never the real drives.

Everything should be fine.
You need no new drivers because you have no new controller, only drives.

Stefan
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 24110537
Thanks Guys. Stefan, you're right, I got my acronyms mixed up and screwed up the title of my question. Meant to say "Cloning SATA Drives in RAID Array." I hope you're right in saying that it's not so complicated. I will follow your instructions. I just came back with two new 500Gig SATA HDDs.

Do I have to create an array using the controllers bios after I connect the new drives. Since I'm taking SATA cables 0 & 1 out of the old drives and plugging them into the new drives, can't I just keep the configuration the same?? Or do I have to tell the controller's BIOS that these are larger drives (500 Gigs vs. 80 Gigs)??
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:lnkevin
lnkevin earned 200 total points
ID: 24110652
I was misunderstood with the tittle, indeed. That's right! if you just backup and restore on the same hardware, you don't need Repair Install option. Your Clonezilla can just pickup the image from the current system (don't be confused with one or two disks in RAID because, overall, you only have one logical disk to be imaged) and restore to other disk (after you have done with array configuration). You don't even need to do bare metal restore since the HW is the same. Clone your current system to your external USB drive and restore it from there.

K
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 24110708
can't I just keep the configuration the same??

You sure can. However, sometime, the array will not recognize the new drives, you can perform a drive scan and bring the new drives online or you can distroy the old array and create a new one if it takes shorter time.

K
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:sifuedition
sifuedition earned 100 total points
ID: 24111914
If you are using a controller that was purchased from Dell with this machine then it will be the CERC 6 channel sata raid controller.  That controller is capable of supporting four drives.  Why not install the two new drives in whatever raid configuration you want.  Leave the existing drives in place.  Now, configure the space as desired in windows and move any data that needs to be moved.  Why remove the original drives at all?  Why deal with a cloning process that is going to be untested, unsupported and all around "iffy" when you don't need to?  It may work but what is the cost if it doesn't?  Make SURE you have backups before you start ANY of this.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:StefanKittel
ID: 24111964
Hello,

you told the drive have are 80GB drives. So I assume they are about 3years old. I suggest allways to change harddrives in server to be replaced after 3 years to avaoid failures. You have Raid to protect you, but still a risk. Anyway the new drives will be much faster.

I hope you get the RE (Raid Edition) series which is designed to run 24x7.

Stefan
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 24112359
Sifuedition,
You are correct..this server does contain a CERC 6 channel sata raid controller. I agree w/ you about leaving the original pair of 80G HDDs in place. However, I still need to clone over to the new HDDs b/c the original drive pair was divided into 2 partitions. A C: partition that is just 12 Gigs (and has ONLY 130 Megs free) and a D: partition that is about 65 Gigs and has 5 gigs free. So I do need to clone all that data over the new larger pair of drives regardless.

StefanKittel,
Yes the new drives are Seagate Barracudas which run at 7200rpm, so they will be faster. I don't know if they are Raid Edition or not?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:StefanKittel
ID: 24113853
Moin,

the Barracudas ES Family is for Server use. Have a look here: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/servers/barracuda_es/
That does not mean "normal" drives can't stand it, but the Raid-Edition drives have been testet and certified for. They costs about 10$ more than normal drives (not too much I think).

Stefan
0
 

Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 24138817
OK. Was able to restore backup image back on to new drives. However, the boot sector didn't seem to make it over, but I booted up my trusty EBCDWin CD to run the Test utility under Partion Utilities to rebuild the MBR and then all was well.

Thank you very much Guys, for the input & help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 31568640
Thanks.
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