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Server 2003 Boot Hard Drive Partition Expansion

Hi..  I have a client that has Windows Server 2003 Enterprise (not the DC, but a member server which houses the Users Home folders) and is running out of space..  their configuration is.. (3) SCSI drives set in RAID 5.  They have added (2) extra disk drives to this array, but not yet integrated..  Their is only one partition in this current arrangement which holds the OS and the DATA folders.

My question is.. when I go to disk manager I see the added drive space available (not yet allocated) - What is the best method for me expand my drive to use this extra space - with the LEAST :) probability of "bombing" the OS and having to reinstall?  -  I have thought of several options, but my main concern is that the Users Home folders get this extra space.

I have thought of -  Partition Resizing, Expanding (would have to convert from basic to dynamic, i think, but didn't want to risk trashing the OS), - Mount Points, etc..  

Thanks for your help... any and all.   -Bill L.
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William Larkin
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William Larkin
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tomlinjwCommented:
you should be able to use diskpart.exe to extend the volume onto the newly added space.  The following link explains how:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
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J0shJ0shCommented:
Have you considered disk imaging the server with something like acronis or shadow protect and then resizing drives and then restoring the image?  It's sort of an expensive route to go if you were not already planning on buying it, but both offer 30 day trials so if you don't drag your feet you can do it cheaply, though I am not 100% certain the trials offer boot disks or support your scsi hardware so do your homework before you start.

There are lots of other ways to do it but this one provides a peace of mind backup as well.  
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davorinCommented:
There are a lot of tools like partition magic, that can expand partitions without any problems - but as always have a valid backup for precaution.
What about creating another partition reserved only user data (home folders) and move data there?
In this way you separate OS and DATA folders.
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VBDotNetCoderCommented:
I think RAID is not software (Windows) and it is hardware RAID.
So when you added the 2 new disks and joined them to the RAID5 configuration, it'll rebuild and convert 3 disk RAID5 system to a 5 disk RAID5 system.

After that, you can see the additional free space using disk management snap-in.

At this point you must use a partition resizing software like Acronis Disk Director Server, Paragon Partition Manager (Acronis is the best) to expand/extend the old partition so it'll cover all the space on new configuration.

Be sure you backed up all the data before doing this. I did this a lot of times without problems but an electricity went-off problem might kill everything so backup everything and be careful. Use a UPS if possible.

Your mount points, shares...everything will remain as they were, nothing will change...

Please let me know if I misunderstood your configuration ... ?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
IMHO you have two options:
1)Create second partition of this free unallocated space and store files there. Requires no additional software or manipulations.
2)Get a copy of partitioning tool a)free Parted Magic 4.0 www.partedmagic.com which works from boot CD and allocate space to C b)get commercial tool such as Paragon Partition Manager 11 Server Edition www.partition-manager.com and use it to allocate space to C: while working in Windows without any harm to data.
Both are possible and as easy to accomplish as possible. So it is up to you to decide which way to select.
Paragon is the best in my opinion in resizing tools and has good and log story of successful resizes. It can also help you backup the existing configuration before resize, then if needed it lets you migrate the OS to new hardware if your server gets burnt sometimes in future. All in one product.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thank you ALL so much.. I am reviewing your responses.. I really appreciate each one!
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Sorry for ignoring this call moderator.
I recommend splitting points between J0shJ0sh (100), davorin (100), VBDotNetCoder (100) and accept noxcho (200) for the following reason: various working solutions were recommended. The author needs to use third party tool for resize (diskpart will not work with system volume).
In comment ID: 33492239 were given links to software pages.
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William LarkinAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.. Sorry I did not close this question promptly.. I do not ask many, and sometimes forget to finalize the proecess.
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