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jensdehaese

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Replace disks, howto copy permissions

I have a server with a raid (5) configuration on which I have a shortage of diskspace.

I currently have 3 300GB disks and I want to replace them by 3 600GB disks.

I know I can't just swap disks. I need to backup all the data and create a new raid array with the new disks.
But how about permissions. It's used as a fileserver with lots of permissions set and I don't want to loose them or recreate them manually.
Is there a way to backup those? Some software I can use or something build-in Windows?
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Lee W, MVP
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jensdehaese

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Since it's a lot of data (500GB), what are the changes this goes wrong while copying.
If you copy some files in Windows and there is an error you have to start over or check which files are allreayd coppied. Will I have this problem with for example robocopy?

From the manual: Robocopy will fail to copy open files. - But it doesn't tell how it handles this error.
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If you were using a program such as Acronis True Image to backup all of the data, then when you restore it, there is an option to restore the security permissions on the files and folders.
I can afford the downtime. If I do it during a weekend there will be no complaints from users.
I thought about addings disks, and expanding, but I think most controllers don't support this.
When was the last time you TESTED your backups?  What would you do if the disks FAILED entirely?  Why not treat this as that kind of situation?  Restore the data as if the disks failed entirely.  Or do you just TRUST your backups are always working and you'll know what to do to actually restore if and when it's needed?

(By the way, Robocopy has options to log the copy and to retry (I would suggest DISABLING retry because retries, in my experience RARELY work when they are "tried" immediately following failure.  If a copy program retried AT THE END of a copy, that would be more useful, but I know of no such tool).
The windows backup program will allow you to backup the data and restore to another disk and retail permissions.

You can also use the File Server Migration Tool  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d00e3eae-930a-42b0-b595-66f462f5d87b&displaylang=en
What type of server do you have and what type of RAID controller is installed?

With the right controller, one that gives you hot-swap drives, I would backup the entire server, then pull one drive and replace it with a new one, then let that rebuild and repeat until all drives are replaced and rebuilt, then use the controller software to expand the array.

You can then make use of the extra space.
I do backups and restore them sometimes, but never fully. I just restore some files. Never thought of it, but it's a possible solution.

The server is an IBM System X3650 7979KHG with an IBM ServeRAID-8k SAS RAID controller.
It would be a nice solution to just expand the raid after replacing all disks. And as far as I can see it supports expanding the array.
The server supports Hot Plug Power Supplies, Hard Disks and Fans, so pulling a drive and replacing it (after a rock-solid backup) should be fine.

I can't find suitable details (via my iPhone) about drive expansion, but would be surprised if it cannot handle this.  Worst case, you can create an extra drive or two in the free space and move data across to the new drive.
You can shutdown the server and pull out all the drives and pop in the new disks.
If it fails just replace the server with the old disks