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

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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
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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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!
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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?
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
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Commented:
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

Author

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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Commented:
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Author

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!
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
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Commented:
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 :)
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
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Commented:
Good luck :)

Author

Commented:
Thanks. This will definitely help!
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