Exchange 2007 move physical database temporarily to replace the hard drives

Posted on 2012-03-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-06-18
windows 2008 server,  exchange 2007 latest service packs

i have 2 disks.

disk 1 has the store.edb on it.

disk 2 has the log files.

i want to replace the drives on disk 1 to give it more space, can i:

simply dismount the store, take the physical .edb off the file system.   delete the disk.  put in new larger physical drives and recreate the disk, then move the .edb back without any issues?

need to know asap.
Question by:jakgumbo
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Expert Comment

ID: 37783796
Are these two disks on RAID 1?
LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 1000 total points
ID: 37783800
There's a powershell cmdlet that will do this for you in the Exchange Management Shell. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd351168.aspx has information. All you would do is use the cmdlet to change the path for the Database (It moves the database for you) and then add the new drives. Once those are added, move the database back with the cmdlet. *however* You won't have any mail access during the period of the move. Any time you move the database you have to dismount it, so there isn't an easy way to do it without interrupting access.

Author Comment

ID: 37783835
origination disk is raid 10
temporary disk NOT attached to server physicall is raid 5

im basically looking to offload the database temporarily and fast so that i can pull the disks in the raid 10, replace them with larger drives, put it back to raid 10 and initialiaze, then move the database fast.
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Expert Comment

ID: 37783887
With the assumption that your database is dismounted, expanding the RAID 10 on the drive will allow the RAID to be rebuilt without moving your data out of the array.  However, this will take a long time especially when you have Exchange database in place.  This process will take a lot of time and I don't think that you want to do that.

Moving the database to another location is probably the quickest way to do it.  However, I have never done it on Exchange 2007.  The instructions acbrown2010 works for 2010 but I have never tried on 2007 so I can't tell whether it will work for you.

Author Comment

ID: 37783947
the option to expand isnt there.....im wondering the following:

turn off all exchange services and dismount the store.
use eseutil with the copy command to copy the database to outside storage.  
replace the disks, initialize new drive with same drive letter.
copy the datbase back into the same path as it was before
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 37784173
The move-databasepath cmdlet exists in both 2007 and 2010. It will do all the work for you going both ways, no need to use eseutil.

Author Comment

ID: 37784227
i dont want it to be an "exchange aware" move, i dont want it repathing the datbase, plus using the database move command is not efficient for fast moving.  

i simply want to pull the file off long enough so i can replace the disks, then put it back on.

Accepted Solution

hunart earned 1000 total points
ID: 37787287
With the RAID 1+0, replacing drives with larger capacity is possible.  However, you have to take all the precaution first before doing that.  Please following this and perhaps you have a better understanding:

1) Backup your database and logs files.  This is important and must be done prior to the move.  I can't stress this enough; you might even try to create an image along with your backup.  You can use either Acronis or Ghost or some thing similar to that.  What Exchange backup software are you using?  Make sure that you turn on the Verify option to ensure that you have a good backup copy before proceeding further.

2) I assume that your hdds are hot-swappable.  If they are not, DO NOT PROCEED.  If they are:  
      - You have 2 drives, so I would label them as A1 and B1.  The new drive would be A2 and B2.
      - Remove drive B1 and replace it with the new drive B2
      - Your control card should re-mirror your drive B2 automatically
3) Check the rebuilding process of the RAID.  I don't know what type of server you have so I can't really tell what you need but ensure that you have software RAID management/utility installed on your server so you can see the progress.  You don't want to replace the second drive until your RAID has sucessfully rebuilt the mirror.  This is important!!

4) When 3) is done, replace A1 with A2

5) After mirror is completely re-mirrored, you have to expand the size of your hdds as the system does not automatically detect the new hard drive size

6) Use your RAID Controller Management Console make the new logical drive to use the new available space.  If your RAID Controller Management Console does not have this option, you can use Dpart from your Windows OS to do this.  If you need help with this, let us know and we will help you with this.  Third party software such as Partition Magic or Partition Manager could do the job for you as well.

If you have questions, please ask before you proceed.

On the other hand, don't you have a second node set up on your environment?  That way at least you have some sort of redundancy within your Exchange and it will make life easier for you to do any sort of maintenance in the future.  If you need more info or detail, we will try to help you with this.

Good luck...

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