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Hard drive on server out of space - want to upgrade it.

Posted on 2011-04-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
HI there, I have inherited a small business server 2003 to look after and the hard drive/s have become full.

The server is a HP Proliant ML350 G5 with a E200i RAID Controller.

The HDD set-up is 2 x HP 146gb x 10k RPM SAS 2.5 Hot Plug. Set-up in a RAID 1 Mirror.

The system has Ultra Back 8.2.2 and is taking system images once a week as well as a file by file backup to a USB tb hard drive..

So we purchase 2 new hard larger drives of the same type.

Being a bit of a novice, I think there are 2 approaches for me to take.

1) Recreate the RAID for the 2 new drives then use the Ultraback UBDR Gold disk to recover the backed up Image to the new hard drives then alter the new Partition sizes to suite the new array.


2) Swap one of the drives for the new larger drive then (hopefully) the RAID will rebuild itself, once completed repeat for the other drive. If the RAID does not rebuilt it's self I would have to do that manually via the BIOS. Once completed, manually resize the partitions to suite.

Is there another approach, which would I be best to look at?

Cheers Jason
Question by:MXDEWD
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 35464630
You don't indicate what driver is out of space (I assume multiple partitions).  Even if not, I would recommend just adding 2 new drives in a new array and then re-organize some of the data - for example, move the Exchange Information Stores to the new drives.  You can also review my document on boot drive size - www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp

Accepted Solution

AJS2011NZ earned 1600 total points
ID: 35464946
The most straight forward way is to use the E200 Raid Controller to rebuild the array, then expand the partitions once done. You correct, the array will rebuild with the new disks.

1) Check the RAID status and ensure the array is healthy.
2) Offline a disk and replace it with a larger disk.
3) The array will rebuild, make sure the array is healthy, then replace the second disk.
4) You don't have to wait for the array to rebuild, you can go ahead and expand the partitions.

You won't be able to resize the OS partion online, so you will need to use clonezilla or something to extend it. As with anything like this, make sure you have a backup and have tested recovering from it.

You can repuroise the other two disks and create another volume, maybe for your Exchange store.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 35465338
Actually step 1 is best one for you. Normally the backup software does allow resizing partitions during restore so your tool should give this possibility as well.
Take fresh backup - rebuild the array and restore from backup.
Make sure that during restore the new sizes for partitions are specified.
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Author Comment

ID: 35471211
Hi everyone, thanks for the comments. All practical solutions and all worth considering.

The Array has been setup with 2 Partitions. 1 For the OS and 1 for the company data. The OS partition has 20gb Spare (which I dont want to touch) and the data partition runs out from time to time.

AJS... I like the ease of your suggestion but (and I hope this does not sound too stupid), how do I: "check the raid status", "Offline a disk" and "check that the  Raid is healthy". Also, are you saying I can use Clonezilla to resize my data partition once the new hard drives are in place?

Regard Jason.

Author Comment

ID: 35471279
Sorry, also, I meant to ask. I have Acronis Disk Disk director 9.0. I assume this will install OK on SBS 2003 and be OK for managing my partition size.

Expert Comment

ID: 35471422
If you don't need to alter your OS partition, then you won't need to bother with any third party tools. DiskPart will allow you to extend the data partition once the array is extended. The limitation is only on resizing OS partitions. You will want to use the HP ACU to manage the array.



Author Closing Comment

ID: 35471875
All suggested solutions would have worked but AJS2011NZ was the easiest hence most points. I would have chosen Noxcho's option as a close second as this also was quite easy. The added benefit to have the server on brand new hard drives (it's over 3 years old now) was also considered a bonus hence completley retiring the old drives.

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