Data migration from one pair of HDDs to another


We are using Dell server with the following specs

DELL™ PowerEdge™ R210 Server
PERC S100 support RAID 0,1
1 x Intel® Xeon® Quad-Core X3440, 2.53 GHz, 8M Cache, Turbo, HT
2 x 2GB DDR3-1333MHz (PC3-10600) ECC RDIMMs/UDIMMs
2 x DELL 250-GB 7.2k SATA 3.0-Gb/s Enterprise

The total HDD space is 250 GB (RAID 1) only and is now getting quite small. I'd like to swap it totally to 2 x 1TB Western Digital SATA drive.

What would be the best practice in this case please ?
I am thinking
- Copy all data on D partition to an External USB
- Ghost the current OS (on C drive) to External USB
- Replace  the 2 HDDs, create a new RAID 1
- Restore the OS from the old Ghost file
- Copy all D drive data back from USB

Any complication or experience that you guys might share please ?
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First, a word from me on my soapbox

.. the S100 absolutely will have serious problems unless you get an enterprise class SATA disk, so don't even think about getting a $100 consumer drive.  It will work great until you get some bad blocks, and the firmware for consumer disks don't have the right firmware timing and error recovery algorithms so the RAID controller will likely kill a disk if it has bad blocks.

Best practice is to ghost a bootable backup, but not to an external USB disk.  It will take less time if you can copy it to something on the network, preferably a RAID-protected share (as long as your version of ghost will work with that type of share).

Before you ghost, do a chkdsk.  There is also the checkbox to scan & repair bad blocks.  Do that.  This will protect against any unrecoverable read errors and cause the 2 disks to sync up 100%.  Also if this system hasn't been rebooted in a while then make sure you go through a cold reboot.  I would also make sure the firmware / BIOS / drivers are current and that you actually test ghost before having to run it for real on this hardware.  

Any way you can yank the CD/DVD and get the other 2 disks to plug into the same RAID controller?  Then you can ghost disk to disk, and never put your 'D' drive at risk, trusting the data to a non-RAID USB drive.
agreed that this hardware is not very resilient, as advised above.

Anyway, it depends what OS you are using. Id recommend some type of ghost/image software like Symnatec, acronis etc.
These take a working image of the drive(s) which can be copied back onto the new drive (after being raided)

Copying the drives manually is unlikely to work as many files are not included, including boot files etc.
Johnny_NguyenAuthor Commented:
I finally managed to migrate the whole thing over by
- Take one 320GB HDD out, the RAID became Degraded
- Put one 1TB in place and let them rebuild the raid
- Take the other 320GB out, make the RAID degraded again
- Put the 2nd 1TB in and let them rebuild the raid

Now i come across another issue, the RAID now seems to be only 320Gb in total although the 2HDDs are 1TB. How can I expand the logical space ?? Please help
You'll have to check the options you have for your RAID controller using your OpenManage tools. Some allow you to expand the array so it uses the complete disk-space. Normally you need to make sure the controller has a good battery. Read the manual for the server and the RAID controller to find out, and verify it with Dell.

After that you can add a further partition in diskmanagement, or use diskpart to extend your Data partition.

Or it may be possible to add another RAID array in the unused space, which you could then partition and add a further drive letter for.

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Johnny_NguyenAuthor Commented:

There is an option in System > Storage > Perc S100 > Virtual Disk > Task > Reconfigure ... (see screen capture 0.png)

- Step 1 (see 1.png), I could see the free space of 698.75GB of this RAID1, I proceeded to the next stage
- Step 2 (see 2.png): I selected the RAID 1 and it automatically filled in the full space of this RAID1 which is 930 GB
- Step 3 (see 3.png): I got to the confirmation screen but I hesitate to click Finish, will I lose everything or will I get additional space ?

Please enlighten me as I've never done this before. Your comment is well appreciated.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Imaging the OS to different hardware is generally not a good idea. Better to install the OS from scratch.
For transfering data, I like using beyond compare. It will do the copy, but also show you how much you have plus if anything was missed during the copy.
Roshan MohammedCloud Engineering OfficerCommented:
Anotehr option would be if you have western digital sata disks which are raid edition.

image level backup using the ShadowProtect® Server edition. download the 30 day strail or request to downloada 30 day trail bootable cd.

backup your server using this product.

either replace disks and then create a raid and then restore the image.

when restoring it'll allow you to create new partitions upfront to the sizes you want and then restore your image.


Did you try to manage the virtual disk using the Raid interface at the boot?

I did something like that as a test a DELL with a different PERC controller though, but maybe yours has the same feature?

I was testing of a spare server.  I had a RAID 1 mirror with a base 2008 install on it.  I swapped out larger disks like you did.  Then I tried to use that extra new space.

I had done a RAID expansion on HP Smart Array controllers before and wanted to see how the Dell controller works.

I can't remember the exact interface commands, but I was able to extend the RAID so that it used the additional free space.  Then inside of Windows it rescanned the drive and showed the extra volume space, then  I just expanded the volume with the Disk manager.

Make an image of your server first, and then you may want to see if your controller can support the RAID extension and maybe save some time.  If not you can proceed via the disk image method.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The recommendation is quite straightforward:
Backup system and data partitions.
Reconfigure the RAID and restore from backup to new configuration. Use - resize proportionally option during restore thus to allocate the new space to partitions automatically.
My favorite tool for this Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server
Johnny_NguyenAuthor Commented:
I have passed the migration stage already, i now only have question about expanding the RAID space and i wonder if my step 3 (see screenshot) would erase te entire thing or not. Please help confirming this
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
The answer is no. The data will remain intact. But take full backup of all partitions on your RAID before.
Johnny_NguyenAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your support. I've successfully expanded the capacity using OpenManage
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