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Upgrading disk drives in a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi,

I need to upgrade disks in a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server.  The server is currently a RAID1 (hardware RAID) of 2 X 36GB SATA Drives.  I need to replace the disks with 2 x 146GB SATA disks.  I need to do this with out re-installing the OS and a minimum possible down time as it is a clitical sort of server.  Dell's website was not very helpful.  My question is: can I replace each of the drives with a bigger drive, recreate the array each time - end up with two bigger drives only half used - and then expand the logical disk to cover all the new disk space?  I can do that in hp servers.  But don't know in Dell.  Any help is appriciated.  Sorry to go on!
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Question by:sbrihan
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Quetzal earned 63 total points
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by:sbrihan
ID: 24845588
Thank you Quetzal,

I used the method described in these approaches on hp servers.  Those give you the option to "extend a logical drive" which can be used to ADD A NEW LOGICAL DRIVE or EXPANDING THE RAID ARRAY depending the type of controller in use.  If I add a logical drive, then I add the new drive as a new disk.  If I expand the RAID array, then I expand the partition using some partition utilities  and have one large volume.  Dell seem to have a different terminology for handling RAID arrays and drives in them.  I could not find the exact options/commands from the system management utility.  But thank you, I will have to just start it and follow the prompts with trial and error.  I will make a good backup any way.

Thanks.
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by:drewha1969
drewha1969 earned 62 total points
ID: 24850156
Do you want to keep the old drives in the array or replace them?  You could use imaging software to replace the old drives.

Add the new drives and create a separate array.  
Image the old array to the new array.
Remove the old drives or keep them as extra storage.

You can use a product like Acronis True Image (make sure it has the drivers for the RAID array or use a free one like ImageXML.

I have imaged a Dell server with hardware raid using the Ultimate Boot CD 4 Win and the ImageXML utility.
http://www.ubcd4win.com/

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Author Comment

by:sbrihan
ID: 24883280
My apologies for delayed response!

Thank you drewha1969.  I do not need the old drives and the plan is to replace them with new bigger drives.  I will use imaging software and checkout the Ultimate Boot CD 4 Win and the ImageXML utility you mentioned.  Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sbrihan
ID: 31603052
Thanks you for the solutions provided.  I thought they are all viable, but before I finish going through them, the customer changed their mind and wanted to keep original drives as well.  So i ended up using the new drives as additional drives.
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