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How to clone hard drives (RAID-1 to RAID-1) in PowerEdge 1950?

Posted on 2010-08-31
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Hello,

I would to clone RAID-1 to newly created another RAID-1 in Dell PowerEdge 1950 server. Currently I have 2 73GB SAS hard drives installed and configured as RAID-1. Windows Server 2003 is installed on this RAID-1.

Due to lack of space, I added 2 146GB SAS hard drives and created a RAID-1 array using Dell OpenManage PowerEdge Administrator tool.

Further information:
Dell PowerEdge 1950 Server
Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Standard Edition (as a Terminal Server)
73GB SAS HDD (RAID-1 config)
SAS 6/iR integrated controller

Q:
1.) How can I clone 73GB hard drive into 146GB hard drive (i.e., RAID-1 to another RAID-1)?
2.) What type of software is best suitable to PowerEdge 1950 server?
3.) Can I do it when server in online? i.e., on the fly disk clone?

Any quick help would be greatly appreciated?
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Question by:SrinathS
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by:pwindell
ID: 33569729
If you already added the Disks then it is too late.

1. Clone the existing partition to an image file stored off the machine (network location, USB Drive, whatever).  RAID Type is irrelevant other than RAID1 wastes the most space.

2.  Replace the drives.  Wipe out and re-setup the RAID with the new Drives

3. Apply the saved Image to the new (now larger) partition.

The same Thing can be done with just  Windows Backup..

1. Do a complete Full System State Backup to File or Tape stored off the machine

2.  Replace the drives.  Wipe out and re-setup the RAID with the new Drives

3. Install a new "basic" copy of the OS so that Windows Backup is available to do the restore.

4. Use Windows Backup and do a full restore using the previously created backup.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33569871
@pwindell,

Still the server is running on old 73GB hard drives. We have 4 hard drive slots in total. 2 slots are already used (2 x 73GB as RAID-1 config.)

Basically I need to replace the existing 2 x 73GB hard drives with 2 x 146GB hard drives. To accomplish this, I added 2 x 146GB hard drives and created another RAID-1.

Now I'm looking for on the fly disk cloning software, but the newly added hard drives are not appearing in Windows at. May be I need to restart the server. Do you know any bootable RAID-1 cloning tools?

Thanks.
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33569885
that poweredge will support on the fly raid re-striping, if you wanted to change it to raid5...

of course you lose one drive's worth of space... being ((total physical drives) * (capacity one)) - (capacity one)

but if you just want to clone, casperXP will do fine for you.  i know it says XP but it works on xp, 2003, 7 , vista, etc

http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

it does it on the fly - afterwards, just change the bootable container to be the new one

this does nothing to the source container except copy it, so very non-destructive

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by:bryon44035v3
bryon44035v3 earned 150 total points
ID: 33569909
you're going to do this at the windows level not at the raid level... windows, and the cloning software, will not know or care about raid, containers, drives, etc... all they care about is the logical drives they see (c: d: e: etc)

let the raid controller handle which one boots - and handle the actual raid striping, windows doesn't do this, nor should it
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by:pwindell
ID: 33569941
What Bryon said......
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by:SrinathS
ID: 33570045
So do I need to delete the newely created RAID-1 inorder to clone hard drive?
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by:bryon44035v3
bryon44035v3 earned 150 total points
ID: 33570128
Probably not... if it is visible in windows disk management, you're good.  It does not need a drive letter

I assume you're not doing raid1 to raid5 due to mismatched drives, so, that's fine
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by:pwindell
pwindell earned 125 total points
ID: 33570237
So do I need to delete the newely created RAID-1 inorder to clone hard drive?
Well that depends....
Does it mean you have TWO logical Drives on one RAID Controller??
If so then,...maybe.   Did you want a new "drive" like a D Drive or something?,..or did you just want the "C" Drive to be bigger?  If you wanted just a "C" Drive , and wanted it "bigger",...then yes,..you have to delete the old logical drive.
You backup (clone, whatever) the orignal partition (logical drive)
Wipe out the logical drive (this means there is now none ("0") logical drives).  There is no OS,..the machine cannot boot up
Now install the new physical drives and create a NEW logical drive.  So now you have ONE logical drive on the one RAID Controller,...just like you did originally,...only now it is larger.
Restore the OS back to machine from the backup (clone whatever)
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33570304
The new drive is displayed in Windows. I attached the screenshot. I just initialized the disk and currently I didn't created a partition on this disk. Correct me I am going in wrong direction:

Step1: Create a new partition in the newly initialized hard drive. Set the size to maximum available.
Step2: Using backup/restore or disk cloning software, clone the 73GB hard drive into 146GB hard drive.
Step3: Boot from newly created hard drive (by changing the bootable RAID.)
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by:pwindell
ID: 33570324
Maybe Bryon could naswer this,...but it could be possible that the Controller in the Dell (probably a Perc Controller?) can handle it by just replacing one small drive with one new bigger drive,...one at a time,...let it finish rebuilding (could take most of a day).  Then after the second one is replaced maybe the Firmware could "grow" the pratition to accomidate the additional space or some other software utility  (maybe www.easeus.com's Partition Master) can do that?
http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
 
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33570341
@bryon44035v3,
The screenshot is attached.

@pwindell,
I've two Virtual Disks on SAS 6/iR Integrated Controller in RAID-1 configuration. I just want to replace existing 73GB hard drive(s) with new 146GB hard drives.
3.JPG
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by:pwindell
ID: 33570374
Step1: Create a new partition in the newly initialized hard drive. Set the size to maximum available.
Step2: Using backup/restore or disk cloning software, clone the 73GB hard drive into 146GB hard drive.
Step3: Boot from newly created hard drive (by changing the bootable RAID.)

Maybe,...you'll just have to try.
I would never have tried to approach it that way.
Make sure you have a good solid full Backup first before you try in case you destroy everything in the process.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33570536
"Step2: Using backup/restore or disk cloning software, clone the 73GB hard drive into 146GB hard drive." - Again can I do it on the fly without restart and booting into the server using any backup ISO?

Thanks to all for your quick comments.
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by:pwindell
pwindell earned 125 total points
ID: 33570574
No. There is no way you can do that "on the fly",...no way you will do it without rebooting.
 
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33571417
Sorry, was/am on a plane.

After windows initialized the disk, before you made it a formatted drive, that's when to run casperXP to clone, disk to disk not drive to drive
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noxcho earned 175 total points
ID: 33571875
You can clone the HDD on fly without reboot but you will need to restart the server to boot from new clone.
Download trial version of Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server Edition: www.drive-backup.com and clone two partitions to new HDD. Or backup the partitions to external HDD and restore it to new drive. This will 100% complete without reboot of the server. Then all you need is to select second HDD as first boot device during next restart.
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by:justadad
justadad earned 50 total points
ID: 33575924
Doing it offline is the easiest and fastest.  For that size of disks the downtime should be less than 1 hour...possibly only 30 minutes.

I have done this several times including one earlier this week...though most of the time lately has been to drives that were in another server instead of directly attached.

I use the linux live cd called System Rescue CD http://sysresccd.org usually.  For this you can do a simple dd to do the cloning and then use gparted to do the partition resize for the NTFS partition to expand on the larger RAID-1.  I have recently heard about a cd called clonezilla which I am likely going to use on a server in the next 2 hours to transfer from one server to another one as we are doing a hardware shuffle at the office. (Same Dell server model, but to larger HDDs and faster processors)

Basically with the System Rescue CD you want to go into the graphical window by typing wizard after it boots.  Then you run the program called gparted to get the names of the disks.  Assuming that your drives come up as sda for the 73GB Raid-1 array and sdb for the 146GB Raid-1 array the dd command line should be in a terminal window
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=4MB

When that is done have gparted rescan the drives then execute the resizing of the main partition.

Then shutdown the server by typing in the terminal windows
shutdown -h now

Next you will need to remove the 73GB drives from the system and tell the RAID controller that they are gone.  Then you should be able to boot into the 146GB drive array. During the boot, CHKDSK will run due to the resizing. Don't stop that, let it run. Assuming that it works, you will need to restart after Windows loads and it finishes configuring the new HDDs.
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by:SrinathS
ID: 33579447
Thanks to all for your comments. I've scheduled this on coming Saturday. I will update this question on entire Saturday! I hope experts will be available on entire day! :)
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33580015
we're always available :)

just make a post here, it goes to (most of) us by email as soon as you do
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33586190
@noxcho:
You can clone the HDD on fly without reboot but you will need to restart the server to boot from new clone.
Download trial version of Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server Edition: www.drive-backup.com and clone two partitions to new HDD. Or backup the partitions to external HDD and restore it to new drive. This will 100% complete without reboot of the server. Then all you need is to select second HDD as first boot device during next restart.

Currently I placed 2 x 146GB SAS hot-plug hard drives into remaining two slots. And then created a Virtual Disk (RAID-1) using Dell OpenManage PowerEdge Administration tool. The new hard drive is appearing in Windows Disk Management. Then I initialized the drive but didn't created any partition.

Do I need to create a partition before clone the drive using Drive Backup software? Thanks.
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by:justadad
ID: 33586201
No the clone will create the partition for you.
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by:justadad
justadad earned 50 total points
ID: 33586210
I meant to say
No the cloning process will create the partition for you.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 175 total points
ID: 33586512
No need in partitioning the empty disk. The cloning process will create first partitioning table and then copy data to the target drive thus creating mirror of the drive. Make sure you disable Autoresize and Remove Free blocks checkboxes in wizard.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33592080
I installed trial version Drive Backup 10 Server edition. I'm stuck at the options window and I attached the screenshot. Can you please let me know the options that I need to select or deselect? Thanks to all!
4.JPG
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33592654
casperXP would have been done by now :)
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by:noxcho
ID: 33594885
Ok, here I am. Let us copy it in two steps. First select Copy Partition - point it to EISA partition and proceed with copy. Apply changes.
When copy of EISA is done - perform the same operation with system partition - but on step 4 drag the end of system partition and move it across the free space so to allocate the space to copy of C: drive. Proceed and apply changes.
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by:pwindell
ID: 33596552
bryon44035v3:
casperXP would have been done by now :)

I would have been done now using even just NT Backup :-)
...and been on the better things like sleeping at my desk :-)
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 175 total points
ID: 33596624
NTbackup will not do sector per sector clone to let you boot from second RAID array. NTbackup is file level copy tool.
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by:pwindell
pwindell earned 125 total points
ID: 33596779
It doesn't have to.  You can do it by doing a bare minimal install of the OS and then Restoring over the top of  with the Full System State Backup after installing the new drives and re-creating the RAID.   A OS install will complete in about 20 minutes from the time you put the Disk in the tray if the hardware is fairly fast.
Actually create an image with Ghost would be my first choice, a traditional Backup would be a second choice.  But the method of backing up was not the main issue for me.  My main issue all the way back at the begging of the thread to putting the new drive in the machine while the old drives were still there,...should not have been done.  Now the server is going to end up with the system drive (C:) on the 3rd and 4th drive sitting in slots 2 & 3 instead of being the 1st & 2nd drives sitting in slots 0 &1.   That is going to mess with the minds of anyone who has to deal with this thing in the future,...I don't think my Obsessive Compusiuve Disover could ever handle that :-)
What should have been done,...as I expressed at the very beginning was:
1. Do a full backup.  (Imaging, traditional, whatever,..pick one)
2. Remove the old drive and delete the RAID1 Array
3. Insert the new drives (in the original slot 0 &1 they came out of) and create a new RAID1 Array
4. Do a Full Restore. (Imaging, traditional, whatever)
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by:noxcho
ID: 33596810
yes, this is one of the methods that should work. But author wanted to minimize the downtime. In other words - clone the existing config while in Windows. Restart from the copy.
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by:pwindell
ID: 33596895
Except for rare occasions I don't accept that a small amount of down time is unexceptable.  If one has to do it in the middle of the night than that just comes with the job.  My focus is always on the future and asking "what will I have when I am done?"  To me it is always better to deal with the pain of making it a better job when finished then seeking immediate gratification.
But of course I am not there, I don't know all the details of the situation, and I guess a guy can "never say never",...but someone would have to work really really really hard to convince me to do it the way it is being done.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603387
Hello Experts,
I just copied the 73GB hard drive to 146GB hard drive using Drive Backup Server Edition. However it only created the 73GB partition. There is still another 73GB of space is unallocated. How can I resize the partition to fully utilize the entire drive?
I tried to use demo verion of Partition Manager Server edition, but it didn't has full functionality. Ca anyone let me know the free (trial, but fully functional) tools to resize the partition?
Note that the new RAID1 array is created with size 146GB, so resizeing the partition will solve the issue. Any further help would be greately appreciated. Thanks.
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33603394
you can do this with diskpart, built-in to windows
http://download.cnet.com/Temp-File-Cleaner/3000-2094_4-10628816.html

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by:bryon44035v3
bryon44035v3 earned 150 total points
ID: 33603404
ok so my copy/paste is real slow on airport wifi:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
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by:noxcho
ID: 33603447
Hmm, did you get the Autoresize option during copy? I did copy the 40GB drive to 80GB drive on Windows 2003 Ent yesterday and it did allow me changing the size of system partition during copy process. I used Copy Partition option of Drive Backup. If you don't want to play with Diskpart simply recopy the partition again.
Quote: - perform the same operation with system partition - but on step 4 drag the end of system partition and move it across the free space so to allocate the space to copy of C: drive. Proceed and apply changes. - Did you follow these steps?
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by:bryon44035v3
bryon44035v3 earned 150 total points
ID: 33603460
Copying just the partition won't be bootable
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by:SrinathS
ID: 33603461
Done. Restarting the server. One last question: How can I configure RAID boot? i.e., How can I boot into newly created RAID-1 in Dell PowerEdge 1950?
In the server startup, I've an option to select CTRL+C to enter into SAS Boot Configuration utility. Is it the right place to configure default RAID volume?
Thanks!
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33603464
Yep you're sas manager will let you choose which container to boot from
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603524
I entered into SAS configuration menu. The new drive (146GB) is already set as active and then I boot into server normally. In the computer management, the drive status is: Healthy (Active). I attached the screen-shot.
I think I'm done! :)
(How can I deactivate the old RAID-1? Just remove the hard drives will be fine? or Do I need to delete the RAID-1 from OpenManage PowerEdge Administrator tool?)
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603531
Disk Management Screen-shot attached.

5.JPG
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603583
It's look like the data is sync between both RAID-1! When I save the screenshot into My Documents, it appeared in both drives (in my document folders.)
?
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603618
Oops! Never mind, I made a mistake. Still the 73GB RAID-1 is set as default boot. I will login into SAS configuration tool to very it.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603692
Hmm! I come to know that there is no option availabe in SAS 6/iR controller to choose Virtual Disk boot order. The only option for me is remove the Hard drives (73GB) from slots (Virtual Disk 1). If something goes wrong, can I boot into these old Virtual Disk once I reinsert the disks into slots?
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 175 total points
ID: 33603713
Can you create Boot CD with Drive Backup 10? Run it - select Tools - Recovery Media Builder.
Boot the server from this drive - Safe Mode - Drive Backup.
There you need to hide current C: and EISA partitions on small drive.
Set the big system partition as active and try to boot from it.
Another way would be removing two smaller drives from RAID temporarily and letting the system boot from bigger ones.
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Author Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33603780
The first method didn't solved the issue. So I removed old 73GB hard drives from slot 0 and 1 and leaved the new 146GB hard drives in slot 3 and 4. After that I started the server. Now the server is loading normally and the drive letter is changed from E to default C. Now all programs are working normally. Everything seems to be good.
The only thing is: In the server startup, it keep displaying an error message saying that the SAS BIOS can't find the Virtual Disk hard drive(S) and displays [NACTIVE/MISSING]. But after few seconds, it's automatically boot into new hard drives.
I think I need to delete the Virtual Disk 1 to resolve this error. I will do it after few days, to make sure the new setup is working normally.
Anyway thanks to all experts who helped me a lot and guiding me in each and every step. I appreciate everyone. Total of 500 points is not sufficient for this thread, so I will carefully assign the points shortly.
Have a nice weekend!
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by:bryon44035v3
ID: 33605130
sorry i didnt get to participate in the last few hours, was traveling again

removing the old drives was the obvious answer to the last part - but now your controller is still looking for the old drives, you just need to tell it they're not there anymore :)

do be very careful when deleting disks from the controller, don't want to delete the wrong one (the new one) and have to start all over :)

your removed drives (old one) is now a good backup - you can put them into any like-system and boot to them
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Author Closing Comment

by:SrinathS
ID: 33605270
Thanks to all experts who helped me a lot and guiding me in each and every step. I appreciate everyone. I carefully assigned the points.
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