I don't know if this is possible but I have 4 80GB drives in a Raid 5 Array. I know if I replace one drive with a 250GB that it will only use 80GB. If I did one at a time(rebuilding them), and having replace all of the drives to 250GB will they change from 80GB to 250GB. Will this work and will I have a chance of data lost?
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No unfortunately you will still be stuck with drives that have been “downgraded” to 80GB partitions. It may be possible to rebuild your drive array if you have an expensive raid controller, but chances are quite slim. I take it these are SATA drives on a SATA RAID controller that can only take 4 drives?

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earl_ITAuthor Commented:
PEEXLE you are correct 4 80GB Hard Drives on a Rocket Raid Controller (only 4 drives allowed). Another words I would have to start all over and rebuild the server.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Not familiar with the RocketRAID, but on many you have three option in this kind of scenario ...

1)  Rebuild the server.
2)  Use some utility for the RAID controller to "extend" the array when extra disk space is present.
3)  Create a second array with the extra space, then create a new partition with it.
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Yes, that will be the best course of action. You could look in to using a tool like Symantec Ghost to take an image of your server and dump it back to the new RAID Array, BUT your biggest problem will be to get Ghost to see the drive array in the first place.

I am sure you will spend many hours trying to image your server when a server rebuild could take you less time.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I have to agree with PowerEdgeTech.

I'm not familiar with RocketRAID controllers, but MANY GOOD RAID controllers permit dynamic expansion of the array. Replacing one drive at a time until all are replaced, then using the management software or RAID controller BIOS to "extend" the RAID volume onto the unused space.  This is NOT UNCOMMON (but also not guaranteed to be an option).  

It's important to understand, just because you extend the RAID volume you DO NOT typically extend the partition(s).  In most cases, you view the disk in Disk Management and it shows a chunk of unallocated space following the old partition.  In general, I'm NOT A FAN of extending partitions, so I will instead create a new partition and adjust where I store the data.


I'll add I don't know what PEEXLE is talking about - if you know how to use an imaging tool, it is DEFINITELY faster to image a system than to rebuild.  With all the updates you have to do to secure it following install... or prep the CD/DVD prior to install... imaging is definitely the faster way.
If I understand correctly you can create a new RAID 5 partition with the extra space.  Once that is done, you can create folders within the old RAID partition and point them to the new RAID partition.  In effect you are expanding your capacity via the back door.
RocketRAID is a low-cost controller without the features or performance frequently found in server-class hardware.  The fastest way of migrating to a larger array is creating an image and restoring it after setting up a new configuration with larger drives.  This has the added advantage that you have two backups as a result: the original disks, and the new image.
earl_ITAuthor Commented:
What's a good Image Software that I could use?
I use Acronis, which has some very nice features and can handle RAID setups.
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