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Resizing System Partition with PERC 6/i

cipher42
cipher42 asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've inherited a Dell server that is running out of space on C:. I'd like to quickly and painlessly resize the C drive with partitioning software. However, the fact that there is a RAID card in the equation is causing me some troubles. I've resized plenty of desktops in my time, but never a server with hardware RAID.

Can anyone recommend software that is GUARANTEED to work with the Dell PERC 6/i? Hopefully someone has resized the system partition with this RAID card before! :)

Of course, proper backups are available but I'd be more comfortable with a tried and true solution to save the headache of the restore....

Thanks in advance!
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DavidPresident
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
The perc isn't presenting partitions.  It presents two different logical devices.  It is as if you have 2 disk drives, and no raid controller, where one is C and the other is D, and you are trying to "resize" C.   You can't.

Backup using acronis or ghost. then blow away the configuration, build it the new way, then restore.  
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
How can you tell that without looking at the RAID config or in disk management?
DavidPresident
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Just playing the odds .. because if it wasn't configured that way, then it wouldn't be "causing some troubles" for a sysadmin who is obviously more than capable of resizing partitions.

Author

Commented:
I understand that RAID presents a logical device, I'm just unsure what role the RAID card will play in partition resizing; as it is possible to resize partitions in single hard drive setups. (ie a Desktop machine with one physical drive.)

Theoretically the RAID card should be a mute point in this scenario and I should be able to resize the partition with no problem, but if that's the case and the RAID controller is simply presenting disk drives, then why does windows need special drivers to install on the logical devices that are setup on the RAID card?

Note:  I don't think there are any partition resizing tools that run in windows, I'm just using Windows as an example of something that is using special drivers, when theoretically it shouldn't need them.
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Commented:
Windows needs a special driver to talk to the controller for speed really, it could use INT13H which most RAID controllers support, indeed you've probably installed Windows without the correct driver in the past and seen it copy everything to the disk, reboot and then complain nothing's there. (We've all done that in the past too). During the copy phase from the Windows DVD it's using the basic INT13H BIOS extension.

There are partitioning tools that run while Windows is running, although most are offline CDs. Windows itself has diskpart that extends volumes online (not C: though in win2003), and 2008 exposes shrink and grow in the disk manager GUI.

Any chance of a screenshot from disk manager?

Author

Commented:
Ask and you shall receive:

 Disk Mgt Screenshot
The goal is to steal from E: and give to C: as its contiguous space.  Its not currently empty, but I can move everything out of it if need be.
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Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
Paragon Partition Manager will certainly work - http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/906/t/19339319.aspx. Just about every other tool will work too, even boot-it NG - http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_24940645.html.

Of course you should backup first, always a necessary precaution when shuffling data about.
noxchoIT Product Manager
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Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I have done it with Paragon Partition Manager many times. You will need to shrink D: partition then shrink extended partition thus to take space out of Extended partition and finally assign it to C: partition.