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Expanding a RAID 5 Array Without Losing Data

Posted on 2009-07-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a Dell PowerEdge server with the PERC 4e/Di RAID Controller.  I have 2 disks in a RAID-1 array for the OS, plus 4 - 73 GB drives in a RAID-5 array for data.  I've added 2 additional 73 GB drives to the RAID-5 array.  Using the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator, it reconfigured the array and after several hours of rebuilding it now reports the virtual disk as ready with a capacity of 341 GB which is correct.  However, Windows (Server 2003) still reports the original capacity of 204 GB.  Do I still need to "ititialize" the new array to make all the drive space available?  I know that doing so will wipe out my existing data.

Thanks,
Rich B.
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Question by:RichJayBee
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24798782
What are you looking at within Windows that advises you the array is still 204Gb?
If you are using Disk Manager, then something is missing, if Windows Explorer, then that is the reason.
In Disk Manager, you should see the additional space, to which you can expand your last volumes into or create a new volume.
DO NOT INITIALISE THE ARRAY.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24798793
Please refer to this previous EE article for more info:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Misc/Q_21800843.html 
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 24799078
There are two operations to do when you add disks to an array ...

(1)   Expand the size of the array (the physical "container" that holds the logical "disk").     You've already done this.

(2)   Expand the partition(s) on the logical disk to use that added space.    That's what you need to do now.     There are a variety of ways to do this, but with Server 2003 and a single logical partition on the "disk", the easiest is to simply run DiskPart from a command line.    See the details here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

... just to summarize that article:

=>  Open a command window
=>  Type the following commands:
      ==>  diskpart.exe
      ==>  list volume
      ==>  select volume <volume number>
               ... where <volume number> is the volume you need to extend
      ==>  extend
               ...  you don't need any parameters -- it will extend the volume to use all remaining space
      ==>  exit

Done :-)
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Author Comment

by:RichJayBee
ID: 24799457
Thanks again for all the help.  Windows now recognizes all the available space and I didn't need to blow away the original array, backup or restore any of my original data!
Thanks again!
Rich B.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24799479
One for my Bookmarks Gary - nice answer.
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