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How to determine which RAID array is used for Windows Server drive

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I have a Windows 2003 server which has 6  RAID arrays setup as storage drives. Two of the logical drives are no longer needed. How can I identify which RAID array the drives are attached to?
Example:  Drives H: and I:  are no longer needed. I would like to break the RAIDs and use the drives to expand other arrays. I do not see a way to determine which arrays H: and I: belong so I can delete the arrays in HP ACU.
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Question by:krainey
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:khairil
ID: 36504871
Hi,

Simplest trick is to do some disk operation on that Windows, like copying big files. You can monitor the blink of the HHD LED to indicate which RAID is Windows on. - it is just a stupid idea, but works most of the time.

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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 36505236
Quite possible the logical disks are all on the same spindles in which case the LEDs would all flash, but certainly a good way if they are on different spindles. There's no easy way in that case except for hoping that logical disk 1 is hard disk 1, you can't disable a logical disk except by deleting it and with multiple logical disks on one array you couldn't be sure the controller would re-create it in the same place.

If there's spare space it's easy, grow it with the ACU and see which one grows under the OS. You could also shrink the logical disk, but only on the latest generation controllers so that's unlikely in this case plus needs money spent on a license.

If it's a whole array for a logical disk then you can just shut down and unplug the disks, then see what disappears under Windows. The controller will allow you to boot with the missing array temporarily disabled until next reboot (interim recovery mode).

Finally you can disable the cache and see which logical disk slows down during heavy writes - but only a statistical guesstimate with that one.
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Expert Comment

by:Perico De Los Palotes
ID: 36505394
Right Click on my computer (my server)
Manage
Then look for "Disk Management" under Storage Branch, click on it
make sure you are on "volume view"on the menu view
on the upper right you should see Volume and Disposition columns
Disposition is the RAID Type or Partition or whatever the volume is.

That's it!
Stanislav
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Author Comment

by:krainey
ID: 36505656
StanislavDalence:  The RAID arrays were created on the controller with the HP Array Configuration Utility (ACU), therefore the drives listed appear as individual SCSI disks in the Disk Management utility. The Disk numbers displayed do not correspond to the array numbers in HP ACU (based on disk sizes).

Khairil & Andyalder:  this is a production system. Playing a game of russian roulette by 'hoping' I pick the correct arrays to delete could be career suicide.

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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 36506490
Yeah, I know. That's why I create logical disks all a bit different in size if I mix on one array, then it's obvious.

You could always upload a few screenshots from the ACU, that'll at least tell us where you're starting from.
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Expert Comment

by:khairil
ID: 36509090
Hi kariney,

Sorry for bad suggestion. Basically, any physical drive can be set as RAID Array so it is hard to just guess which one. Windows Disk Management will display the drives in the order they are enumerated on each controller and in the order that the controller device drivers are loaded. Unless your RAID controller publish that info then you not knowing which one is loaded first.

My bad suggestion is to know at which physical disk in that makes intensive IO operation, which can be indicate by disk LED. By getting this disk then you must refer back to ACU config, so that you know which logical RAID array that the disk consist.

Unless you know something about the logical drive to want take off like size, or initialization order in Array controller. I think I cannot help you much here. Like andy said, having some more info might help you and us to give more reliable answer.
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Accepted Solution

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krainey earned 0 total points
ID: 36532028
The Disk Management utility lists the Disk Number, along with the volume name, drive letter and size.

The DiskPart utility LIST DISK command shows the disk number, and size

The Drive Numbers seem to correlate to the Raid Array sequence in HP Array Configuration Utility.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 36532477
They seem to yes, and on any normal server they do, but with a bit of disk shuffling you can sometimes make that correlation wrong. There isn't any guarantee since the ACU doesn't expose the full bus, target and LUN, nor does the ADU (at least not unless you can read the Raid Information Sector). That's where size comes in, since you don't have the option of disabling the presentation of the logical disk to the OS adjusting the size nails it dead.
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Author Closing Comment

by:krainey
ID: 36902263
There was no definitive answer given. The findings I made worked in my situation, but still had margin for error.
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