how to add additional disc to raid 5 dell power edge

Posted on 2009-04-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
i have a dell power edge server 2850 with vmware server esxi. so bare bone here. I would like to add two 300 gb drives to my raid 5 to give me a loarger logical drive. I want to make sure i get this right so a very well documented step by step would go a long way for me and be very appreciated.
Question by:OneStopPCHelp
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    How is your raid set up currently? how many drives? what sizes?  Will you be able to add in two drives on the same controller?

    Author Comment

    i have four 300 gb set as raid 5 for a logical drive size of just under 900 gb. I have space for two additional drives in my front hot swap. and yes the system will accept the drive. i would not have posted if this conditions were not available.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    As for as I know the only system that allows dynamic expansion of raid 5 is Infrant.  So in your situation you will have to
    1. Backup the data
    2. Add in the two new drives
    3. Rebuild the array with the two additional drives added
    4. To rebuild the array restart computer and press the key combination requested (Ctrl + I) during the boot sequence.
    5. Restore your backup

    I would suggest using an image software such as acronis True Imaging to perform your backup instead of a file backup and reinstalling your OS.

    Additional info I'm sure you know but trying to give a full answer, 300GB (10,000 rpm) Ultra320 SCSI is the type of hard drives your server takes.

    Author Comment

    300GB (10,000 rpm) Ultra320 SCSI is what i have. are u sure that is the only way? I do use acronis on all of my servers just seems to be a very long road to take
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    I found instructions on how to rebuild an array if you have the Dell Server Assistant CD.

    Confirm that the new drive is of equal or greater size than the drives that already exist in your array.
    Boot to the Dell Server Assistant CD and run the Dell Raid Array Configuration Utility in the Utilities section.
    From the Main menu, select Reconstruct.
    Select the array to be rebuilt.
    From the Reconstruct Drive menu, select the Logical Drive to which you would like to add the new drive.
    The utility should now display your new drives as Ready.
    Use the arrow keys to move to the new drives and the <Space Bar> to mark the drives you want added.
    Verify that RAID 5 is selected and then choose Reconstruct.
    A progress bar should appear showing the new drives being added to the array.

    NOTE: The process will take over an hour and a message will inform you that the array has been resized.

    Once the reconstruction has completed, reboot the system
    When the system is rebooted you will have to expand the partition with what ever utility you prefer.

    **If you dont have the DSA CD you can download an ISO from the following link:


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