Disk Space, RAID Question

mmicha
mmicha used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

I have an HP ML350 G5, with a Smart Array E200i RAID Controller.

The system is running Windows 2003 R2 x64, and has two partitions.

The system partition is running low on disk space and I need to increase it.  The system has three drives currently installed.  My thought was to somehow add another drive to the system.

Has anyone done such a process?  I imagine it is a little more complex especially being the partition that is too small is the system partition.

Any help/insight!

Thanks.
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You can expand your drive capability by creating a mount on the C:\ drive using space from your other drive.
You won't be able to just add another drive without re-striping the data across all drives. Unless your RAID controller supports it, that involves backing up the data, wiping the array, then restoring the data.

One thing you may try is an open source tool like gParted (http://gparted.org/) that will allow you to re-size the partitions so that you can "borrow" space from your other volume that has space to spare. I've never had it go wrong for me (and I've used it a LOT of times), but you should always back up your data before attempting anything having to do with filesystem reorganization.

If you're new to this type of process, it always helps to try this out in a lab environment first.
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
I don't know that particular controller, but with many Smartarray controllers you can expand the array on the fly by just adding a further disk while the system is up and running. You just need to use the installed utility to set this up. For details you should probably best check your manual or get in touch with HP.

As for how to manage the system drive, check leew's link below (he's one of EE's top experts). Normally there should be absolutely not reason to increase C's size, you just have to manage it properly (delete what isn't needed, move data to other partitions etc):

http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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It is possible. Add the drive to the Proliant Array, using the Proliant array utility. Once the disk array is fully sync'd proceed to the Windows 'diskpart' utility to increase the system partition from within the OS.
http://www.partition-tool.com/resource/extend-system-partition-server-2003.htm

Note: this is a system partition, so this must be done from a bootable CD or by some other means of mounting the system partition in another OS.

There are other tools like Partition Magic  - towards the bottom of this article:
http://www.partition-magic-server.com/extend-partition/diskpart-server-2003-to-extend-partition.html

...but I haven't used those on servers.

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Commented:
The issue is the system partition is only 30 gigs, and has roughly 1.5 gb free.  As updates and such role out it has shrunk and I'm running out of ideas to find more space.

I like the plug in new drive and use HP's utility to expand...  

Then use a partition utility to resize I'm just wondering if it has any issues with systems using RAID.  I've done that stuff and used gparted before.
RAID, as long as it is hardware-assisted and not software, runs underneath your OS. So GParted and DiskPart etc won't care about it. Partition utilities work with the OS and logical drives at the OS level, ignoring RAID.

As always, backup your files before proceeding with any solution.
You can delete the softwaredistrubtion

net stop wuauserv
del /s /q C:\windows\softwaredistribution
net start wuaserv

This will buy you some space.
gParted recognizes most RAID cards (especially something main-stream as in a brand-name server) and should have no problems reorganizing the partitions.
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
30 GB for the System Partition of a 2003 server is a huge and a waste of space. Half of that would normally still be wasting space. If you follow Leew's instructions from the Link I posted you should be able to free up plenty of space.

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