replacing software mirrored drives with higher capacity

simes311
simes311 used Ask the Experts™
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I have  4 year old Dell Poweredge SC430 with two 80 GB SATA disks using RAID mirroring in Windows 2003 . They are configured 30GB C: for system files, 50GB D: for data. The Data partition is getting low on space and I want to increase disk capacity whilst maintaining RAID. Dell tell me I can only have two disks in the box, so I cannot add extra disks. I am thinking of replacing the two disks with higher capacity disks. My plan would be to break the mirror, put in one higher capacity disk, recreate the mirror, break the mirror again, take out the other disk, then put in the second high capacity disk. Is this is sensible plan? Any issues? The server is a basic file/print + exchange server for a small office (6 staff).
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PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I'm guessing then that you are mirroring these using Windows Disk Management?  Or do you have some sort of hardware RAID installed?
IT Consultant
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
If you are using Windows RAID solution, then what you propose should work, however once both disks are replaced, you will have a 30GB C drive, 50GB D drive, and XGB of Unallocated Space.  You can use this space to create another array, or use a tool to extend the size of D into that Unpartitioned Space  (as it is not a system partition, this is easier).
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
"another array" ... sorry, I meant another partition.
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Author

Commented:
We are using  Windows Disk Management. The D: partition is "Dynamic". Once the the drives are in will Windows Disk Management allow me to extend the existing (mirrored) D: partition?  Otherwise what "tool" would you use?
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You can use DiskPart (built into Windows command line), Dell's ExtPart, or any third-party partitioning tool, like Acronis or Partition Manager ($).
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I would recommend doing this another way.
Take backup of dynamic volumes (you can brake mirror if you want) with Drive Backup 10 Server Edition or express server which is cheaper: http://www.paragon-software.com/business/db-server-express/download.html
Then remove small drives and connect big one. Do not convert it to dynamic. You will do that later. Boot the server from WinPE Recovery CD - restore from backup. Both C: and D: drives. Allow resize proportionally while restoring.
Then boot into Windows with second big HDD connected. Convert both drives to dynamic. Rebuild mirror. As you see all is simple. No partitioning is needed. Everything is done automatically during restore.

Author

Commented:
Very helpfull. Thanks. Your solution avoids the need to purchase additional software (since I am happy to create a new partition rather extend existing).

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