Convert RAID 0 to RAID 10 - Perc5/i

We're planning on doing a drive upgrade on our server (DELL 2950 - Perc5/i)
We currently have 4x36gb Hard Drives RAID 10
Our goal is to upgrade to 4x300gb Hard Drives RAID 10

Is this scenario possible?
1) Change the RAID 10 to RAID 0 on 2 drives
2) Swap out the other 2 drives for new ones
3) Make new drives a RAID 0 array
4) Clone the data to those 2 new drives
5) Swap out 2 remaining old drives for new ones
6) Convert RAID 0 array to RAID 10 with 4 new drives

We do NOT want to do an OS reinstall....
This seems like the best way to deal with it -- is it possible?
morudaAsked:
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chuckyhCommented:
I would do a Full verified backup. rebuild the array from scratch and restore.
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RickEpnetCommented:
I know of no way to do this.

I cannot remember but if it holds 8 drives maybe you can put in the new drives create a clone on to the new array and then boot to it. This is all theory.

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morudaAuthor Commented:
it only holds 4 drives...
so im trying to get creative to get this done without a reinstall
my other option is:
- replace one drive at a time (wait until each rebuilds before replacing next)
- expand the virtual drive
- repartition using special tools
- pray for the best...
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RickEpnetCommented:
I do not think that will work. If I am not mistaken if you pull a 36GB drive and replace it with a 300GB drive it will only use 36GB of that drive in the array. All drive have to be the same size so it take it down to the smallest of all the drives.

So when you got done you wold have the same raw space as before. There woudl be a lot of un-usable drive space. It would have nothing to do with the partition size.  
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wmeerzaCommented:
not possible, you cannot 'change' a raid array to another type. I take it you have only 4 slots to play with.
You could try ghosting it with a product like Shadowprotect (very nice, works well with bare metal restores too) then build your new array and copy it back.
Alternatively you could fail the array one disk at a time and replacing each with the larger device, let it rebuild then do the same for the other 3 and then look at extending the partition when all is rebuilt ok.
High risk either way. Why not buy another controller and create a new array and leave the os on the old array.
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wmeerzaCommented:
if you replace the 36 with 300 you will end up with the smaller size which is why you need to use the tools to extend the partition. It's possible but there is risk.
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morudaAuthor Commented:
The server will be down anyway during this procedure. I'm not so worried about failure, I will take a complete backup first...
Does the PERC 5 support expanding the RAID container?
Once the container is expanded, I will deal with repartitioning with a third-party tool
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sifueditionCommented:
I have a lot of experience with the Dell raid controllers. Unfortunately, there is no way I know of to check in advance whether you can expand this array or not. The option you are looking for can be accomplished with the Reconfigure option in Server Administrator. This is only available in that software if you have installed the Storage Management component. If you did not, you can add that from Add/Remove Programs with the disk. This function usually expects you to add drives to complete the process. I have seen times, however, when you could go into the advanced wizard and choose the same drives that are in the system but simply change the size of the array. If it will give you this option, you can let the array finish the reconfig and the array will be expanded. The catch is that this has NOTHING to do with the partitions as stated before.
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morudaAuthor Commented:
Thanks all...
I think I have the solution---
I will backup the entire system using clonezilla
pop out all 4x36gb hard drives
switch to the 300gb hard drives
recreate the array RAID 10
restore the backup with the partitions
make sure everything works
reboot and use gparted to repartition the drive to the correct size i need
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CoreyMacCommented:
A few things to check might help.  Do a chkdsk on the C: drive and see what the cluster size is.  If it was built using the Dell utilities, many times they create them with 512-byte clusters.  This is very bad for long term C:-drive performance.  The only way around that with NTFS is generally a reformat/rebuild and then a restore.

If you have the disk, a Windows Server 2008 DVD can do the same thing as GPartEd as the first part of the install.  Just quit once you extend the partition and all should be fine.

Swapping the drives one at a time would be doing the same thing as you are describing though.  Ultimately you end up the in the same place...

Backups are key though and recreating the drives from backups on the 300G should give you a safe recovery to the 36G in case something goes awry...

Good luck...  :-)
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morudaAuthor Commented:
thanks
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CoreyMacCommented:
So, how did the conversion go?
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morudaAuthor Commented:
didnt do it yet...
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