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Convert basic Disk to Dynamic WITH OS partition already on it???

Is there ANY way to convert a Basic disk that already has an OS partion on it to a Dynamic disk???  It is a single RAID 5 virtual disk.  Maybe a 3rd party tool?
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CFrasnelly
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CFrasnelly
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1 Solution
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
OS disks can ONLY be software RAID 1.  If you have an OS disk with RAID 5, it's hardware RAID.

The ONLY reason I can think of that would make any sense for making an OS disk DYNAMIC is to Mirror it. In general, it's not advised to create dynamic disks as they can be harder to recover data from.

Could you provide more detail on what and why you are trying to do this?
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CFrasnellyAuthor Commented:
I want to be able to utilize the full disk... currently the 3.5TB unallocated is not usable. Disk Layout
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CFrasnellyAuthor Commented:
It is hardware RAID.
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Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
Yes, you can convert a disk with OS partition from Basic to Dynamic.

However, I don’t think that this will solve your problem since it has already been partitioned with MBR. So, even with a dynamic disk you will have the 2TB limit per partition.

The best solution for you will be to repartition your disk array on the hardware RAID level: you could create two volumes: one small for the OS and one huge for the data. They will be seen by the OS as two independent disks and you could convert the data volume to GPT disk removing the 2TB limit of MBR. This, unfortunately, requires complete reinstallation of the OS.

Here some information on Basic and Dynamic Disks: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa363785%28v=vs.85%29.aspx
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Basic and Dynamic Disks cannot access space about 2TB or so.  You must make the disk a GPT disk.  You cannot boot GPT disks UNLESS your server uses x64 version of Windows AND supports EFI instead of BIOS.

Check your RAID controller as you can PROBABLY reconfigure (though a re-install will almost certainly be necessary) so that you can have two RAID containers that appear to the OS as separate disks - make one 2TB or less specifically for the OS, and make the other as large as you want.  GPT disks CAN be used for data storage on BIOS based and x86 systems, they just can't be booted to.
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CFrasnellyAuthor Commented:
I don't see an EFI setting in the Dell Perc 6i controller?  It is running 2008 R2 64 bit server.
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Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
You don’t need to look for EFI even if it is supported.

As I suggested in my post, you need to reconfigure the RAID array on the controller and create at least two volumes: one small for the OS that will stay in MBR and second one that will be configured as GPT latter. Your OS will boot from the MBR disk. You CANNOT convert your current partition from MBR to GPT; hence you cannot keep the current installation of Windows. It needs to be reinstalled after reconfiguring the RAID array.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It's not in the PERC BIOS, it would be the Dell Server BIOS
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CFrasnellyAuthor Commented:
I don't see a way to configure 1 RAID 5 drive with two virtual drives... is that not possible?  If not, I'm guessing I'll just have to create the two virtual drives and lose a little space on the OS RAID.
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Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
I don’t remember the exact terminology used in PERC controllers but basically yes, you need to create two drives/volumes on SCSI level. They will appear as two different disks in Windows so give the OS volume enough space to grow over the years – you know – updates, temp files, etc.  
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CFrasnellyAuthor Commented:
It's a bummer but you have to create to virtual disks in the PERC controller.
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