Upgrading disk size on windows 2003 sbs

Posted on 2011-10-25
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I need to increase disk space (both C and D drive) on a Dell PE 2800.  Currently has mirrored 72 GB drives.

I’ve reviewed different solutions on EE but haven’t come across the process  I’m thinking of using.

These are the steps and I would like to get some expert feedback and comments.

Backup system
Replace 1st drive with larger 140GB drive.
Wait for mirror to rebuild it. Rebuild will only use same size as original drive.
Replace 2nd drive with larger 140GB drive.
Wait for mirror to rebuild it.
Set aside the original drives as my fall back plan.
Use TeraByte BootIt Utilities to expand the C and the D drive using the unallocated space on the new drives.

Has anyone used this method and had success?

Have I overlooked anything?

Do the TeraByte utilizes work as described?

Is there a better disk expansion utility to use?
Question by:dalva
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Not sure what a terabyte utility is but I have always been told RAID will be the size of the smallest disk even after rebuilding.
    Rather than rely on a 3rd party utility i would backup the data, insert new drives and re-install.  that should take less time and have a better chance of being viable.
    My two cents
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Whether Bootit-BM works depends on whether it can properly handle the RAID controller as such.

    If it doesn't recognize the Drives on the controller as a single drive you'll have to use another tool. You can try the PartedMagic LiveCD which includes a Partitions Editor. If that doesn't work you'll have to go for a commercial product like Paragon.

    In my point of view it would be simpler to use one of the tools mentioned already (bootit-BM, CloneZilla which is inlcuded on the PartedMagic LiveCD, or one of the paragon products) to make an image of both partitions, then replace both drives and build a new array with them, and restore the images. That would be faster as you don't have to wait for each new drive to resync, then resize D:, move D: to get free space after C:, and then resize C:
    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    Swapping each disk in turn is a supported method on some RAID controllers but not on Dell PERCs. Adding a disk or two to the current container is supported though if you've got spare disk bays.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    It's beginning to appear the better method is to create images of both drives as rindi suggests.  My concern is will the actual mechanics of the proces work.

    Has anyone actually performed an image dump and restore to a server with RAID?

    I see the process following these steps:

    Create image of each drive to external usb drive.
    Replace original drives with larger drives (two since it is using RAID 1)
    Reconfigure the RAID to use the larger drives.

    At this point do the drives require formatting?

    Copy image from external usb drive to new drives.
    Are RAID drivers required in order to copy image from external usb drive?
    Will the image software need to be RAID aware?

    I don't want to touch the production server until I understand the process from start to finish.

    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    You don't create an image of each drive, you image the logical disk as seen by the OS or image the partitions. Imaging software can probably cope with the controller using Int13h BIOS extensions  (it treats it as a simple dumb disk).
    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    As said above, you don't image each physical drive, but rather your logical partitions as seen in Windows as C and D. If you boot the server using the PartedMagic LiveCD, and then start the mount icon (it should be the first icaon after the "Start" - Like button in the taskbar, It should show you a list of partitions it can mount. If it sees 2 such partitions as sda1 and sda2, and there aren't 2 further partitions like sdb1 and sdb2, then it probably recognizes the controller properly and you can then use CloneZilla to make images of those 2 partitions to a USB drive.

    If it also sdb... partitions those would be other drives, which would mean it doesn't recognize the controller as a RAID controller. Then you need a commercial product like that of Paragon I mentioned earlier. With the WinPE based bootCD of that tool you can add the drivers for the controller if it doesn't properly see it, and then you can use that to make images of your partitions to the USB disk.

    Once you have the images, shut the server down and remove the two HD's and store them safely. You can then install the new disks and setup the RAID, then boot to the imaging utility to restore the images to the Array. With Paragon you can say how you want to resize the partitions so the restored partitions already have the correct size.
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the input.  I'll be using the image method and new drives.  I'll try to add a comment afterwards to report on the outcome.

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