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Adding additional Hard Drive to a RAID 5 array using Dell Open Manage

We have been able to add an additional hard drive to the RAID array using Dell Open Manage, but Windows recognizes the drive as being unallocated.  Therefore, we are unable to save anything to this drive.  We do not want to add the drive as its own logical drive, we would prefer to expand the capacity of the D: with this drive.  I think we may need to first format the partition, but we are not sure.  What steps need to be taken in order for us to accomplish these goals?  Also our C: drive seems to be running low on space, are there any additional files that may be removed to free up some space; i.e windows update uninstall files.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a bunch.    
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scgchicago
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scgchicago
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TheTechManCommented:
This is complex and multi-part, so it should be two questions.  That said, You'll have to run the Dell RAID utility from the BiOS screen, then add the new volume to the existing Virtual Disk.  Make sure it's the same size, or you'll lose the extra space.  If it doesn't directly allow you add the drive because you've never had RAID before, it gets much harder.  You'll need to image the disk (Acronis or Ghost is good for that) to a USB drive or network drive, then go into the BiOS utility, destroy the existing disk confiuration, establish the new configuration within the Dell RAID utility, then restore the Acronis or Ghost image to the RAID.

Regarding free space, show hidden files, then in the Windows directory, you can delete the hidden folders named $NTUninstallKB######.  See this link:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Hotfix_backup.htm

Let me know how it goes, or if you're interested in working on this further, let me know that and I may be able to help you remotely.

Good luck!
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Easiest way to add a disk to an existing RAID 5 to make it bigger is from the OS using the OpenManage Server Administrator software.  You will need to go to Storage, PERC, Virtual Disks, and choose Reconfigure from the dropdown menu.

After reconfiguring your 3-disk RAID 5 to a 4-disk RAID 5, you will have Unallocated Space in Windows Disk Management again, but this time, it will be seen on the same "disk" as the other partitions.  Extending your data partition at this point is easy (system partitions in 2003 are not so easy), for which you can use a number of free utilities, including Windows DiskPart.

What system and controller are you using?
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Sorry ... I misread ... looks like you've already added this space, correct?  If so, then you can start with the second paragraph.  

Like I said, it is fairly easy and free to extend your data partition, but if you want to add space to your C: drive, you will need to either backup and delete your data partition, extend C: using Dell's ExtPart, GParted, or even a Server 2008/Vista/7 DVD, then restore the data to the new, smaller data partition.  In order to resize the partitions while keeping data intact, you will need special partitioning software, which is usually not free and can be rather expensive.

As far as cleaning up your C: drive, take a look at EE leew's article about cleaning up and managing your C: drive:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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scgchicagoAuthor Commented:
PowerEdgeTech - I did the exact steps you mentioned in the first paragraph over the weekend. Here is a graphic of what resulted:
 Expanded the array in Dell OpenManage
Once that step was complete, I noticed what you described in Windows Disk Management. Here's a snip of the Disk Manager and the unallocated space:
 Disk Manager with the unallocated space
So Windows DiskPart will solve the problem now and give me the added space to the data drive? Or do I need to do something in the BIOS like TheTechMan mentioned? What's strange is that the way OpenManage seemed to describe in their online help, after the rebuild was complete, a reboot would allow Windows to see the newly created array.

We're running Windows 2003 Server Standard with a Dell Perc 4si controller.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
No, this can all be done through Windows - with all due respect to TM, the "BIOS" steps he outlined don't match up to any Dell hardware functions (and definitely not software functions) - actually, it did not make any sense to me (sorry).

Most times (but not always, for some reason unknown to me) in 2003, a reboot is required after a reconfigure's new space will be seen by Windows.  You can obviously see it now, so whether you rebooted or not makes little difference.

You can simply create a new partition using that Unpartitioned Space by right-clicking on it.  However, if you need that space to be used to make C: and/or D: larger, then:

If you only need/want to make D: bigger, you can use DiskPart to extend D: to use that Unpartitioned Space.

If you need to use that space to make BOTH C: and D: bigger then you need to make a choice between two options:

Less Convenient/Free:  You can use Dell's ExtPart, GParted, and a 2008/Vista/7 DVD to extend C:, but you must first backup/delete D:, extend C:, recreate a new D: drive with the remaining space, then restore the data to D:.  The reason for this is that these utilities can extend the system partition (where DiskPart cannot), but only into adjacent Unpartitioned Space.

Convenient/Expensive:  In order to resize the partitions while keeping data intact (meaning you won't have to backup/delete/restore), you will need to purchase partitioning software that is capable of doing that for server OS's (like Acronis Disk Director).
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scgchicagoAuthor Commented:
PowerEdgeTech: yes, I just want to extend D. I'll try your suggestion of using DiskPart. Besides a backup or image prior to using DiskPart, is they anything I need to consider before using it?

I'll also check out your link to clean up the space on the C: drive. Thanks for all your help!
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Not if you are familiar with the Diskpart commands (diskpart to open, then ? ... if not).

If you need a reference for the extend command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

In 2008 this gets easier, as you can simply right-click the partition and choose Extend from the context menu, rather than using the Diskpart command-line :)
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Good luck :)
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scgchicagoAuthor Commented:
Thanks. This will definitely help!
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