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

Posted on 2011-09-08
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.
Question by:krainey
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 36504871

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.

LVL 56

Assisted Solution

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.

Expert Comment

by:Perico De Los Palotes
ID: 36505394
Right Click on my computer (my server)
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!
WordPress Tutorial 1: Installation & Setup

WordPress is a very popular option for running your web site and can be used to get your content online quickly for the world to see. This guide will walk you through installing the WordPress server software and the initial setup process.


Author Comment

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.

LVL 56

Expert Comment

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.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

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.

Accepted Solution

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.
LVL 56

Expert Comment

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.

Author Closing Comment

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

Featured Post


Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article aims to explain the working of CircularLogArchiver. This tool was designed to solve the buildup of log file in cases where systems do not support circular logging or where circular logging is not enabled
The business world is becoming increasingly integrated with tech. It’s not just for a select few anymore — but what about if you have a small business? It may be easier than you think to integrate technology into your small business, and it’s likely…
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

626 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question