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Expanding disk space

Posted on 2012-08-29
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Here it is:

I have a mirror with 2 x 146gb drives.

On this disk I have, in this order:

- C:\ - 11.2GB
- D:\ - 120GB
- E:\ - 4.5GB

I have been informed that C:\ and D:\ are out of space and we need to expand them. 2 more 146GB drives have been ordered already, so thats what we have to work with.

The best move would be to use a program like server magic / partition magic? as it would negate down time etc. Can someone recommmend a good cheap program that can do this?

Failing that, and predicting that we dont have money to spend on such a program, the only other thing I can think of is to acronis the D:\ and E:\. Blow them away and extend the C:\

Create a new mirror and restore the E:\ first (its a recovery partition, and then restore the D:\, and expand it using unallocated space withint disk management.

Converting to dynamic disks wont work as these were origianlly created on a basic disk!!.

Any other thoughts or suggestions are what im after. Minimal downtime is what im aiming for.

Cheers
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Question by:Lamont77
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13 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:pradapkumar
ID: 38345058
Using Server Hardware Array Controller Utility you can add 2 more 146GB hard drives with your existing RAID 1 group. Which means the RAID configuration will be upgraded from RAID 1 to RAID 10. So, you will get (146+146) 292GB disk space in your RAID 10 array group.

Once you converted the RAID 1 to RAID 10 you will be able to see unallocatted space on RAID controller manager. Eventually you can add the unallocated diskspace to C: and D: drive respectively.

From OS end you can see unallocated space through Disk Manager. Now it is easy to upgrade the diskspace using Diskpart.exe tool.
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by:rindi
ID: 38345074
If the RAID controller is a true RAID controller and not a fakeraid controller this should work using the PartedMagic LiveCD.

http://partedmagic.com

Boot the server using that CD, then check the disk editor (an Icon on the desktop when the CD has booted). If you see only 1 HD and not 2, it has recognized the Controller properly and you can use CloneZilla (in the System menu of that CD) to make an image of your current system to a backup location.

When that is done, install the new HD's and setup the array the way you need (I suppose you will set up a RAID 10, which gives you the best redundancy and performance).

Once the new array has been setup and running, boot back into PartedMagic and again use CloneZilla to restore the backup image to the new array. There are options within CloneZilla to also make bigger new partitions, or you can do the resizing and moving later using the Partition Editor on that CD, that is easier to do but will take a little longer.

If PartedMagic doesn't properly recognize your controller and sees 2 separate HD's instead of the array's Volumes, you might also try to boot the CD into different options (there are some software raid options in the boot menu). If that doesn't work you will need a tool that isn't free. Paragon makes the such tools for Server OS's at the lowest prices compared with others, and you can even try and ask them for a trial.

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html
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by:masteripper
ID: 38345090
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38345151
You know the cheapest thing you can do that doesn't risk destroying your data or even the system?  Clean up the C: drive.

Reference: http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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by:Lamont77
ID: 38345200
pradapkumar - that wont work as you can only extend the partition to the left of unallocated space, and in this case that is the E:\, which is the only one that doesnt need expanded!

Rindi - thats a possible choice but if we are going to go down that route, I'd just use Acronis to image the disks and then restore out of order.

Leew - there is nothing else we can do to reduce space on the drive.

Masteripper - does that tool definately allow the resizing of partitions online?

Thanks for your suggestions so far.
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by:rindi
ID: 38345225
Acronis isn't free, and you would need the more expensive server versions (you can't use "normal" versions of Acronis on a server OS. The PartedMagic LiveCD is free. Of course if you already own the necessary Acronis tools, then you can use them..., but there can also be issues with those if they are older versions.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38345265
> Leew - there is nothing else we can do to reduce space on the drive.
Yep.  I hear that a lot because people THINK there is nothing else they can do.  5 out of 10 never even click the link because they dismiss me. 4 of 10, after I insist, click the link and say thank you.  1 of 10 is right.  Click the link... or ignore me.  Your call.  But it's NOT just about reducing space.  If you read the link, you'd know about junctions and other ideas.
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by:Lamont77
ID: 38345361
Leew - thanks, but there is actually nothing more we can do to reduce space. Also I dont want to free up bits and pieces, I would like there to be considerable free space to avoid having to revisit this issue in the future.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38345387
Do as you like.  But to me, that's the lazy approach.  Give it all the space you can and forget it. A properly maintained C: drive grows in utilization very slowly.  Further, there is a non-zero chance that your partition adjusting software will destroy the system.  And finally, cleaning up and managing the disk appropriately costs nothing but a little time... Resizing will take longer and be more disruptive and may cost you hundreds in software... (I REALLY hope you AT LEAST test the software you plan to use on another system first... get used to it there so you're not using it for the first time on an important server.
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by:rindi
ID: 38345413
I'd normally agree with leew here (and link to his site with similar Questions where C:\ runs out of space). But here it isn't only C:\ that has a problem, but mainly his data drive D:\. And so in this particular situation I tend to agree that additional Disk space is needed (although in my point of view you shouldn't need to resize C:\, but rather just D:\).
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by:Lamont77
ID: 38345551
Id agree with Leew too if it was for a server that was designed well and had the right amount of space allocated from the beginning. This wasnt and doesnt. but I appreciate being called lazy and being talked down to anyway!!

I am going to resize these disks and it looks like i'll have to do it using acronis unless anyone else knows of any freeware that exists to do the same.
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 38345564
As I mentioned, PartedMagic is free, and from paragon you could probably get free working trials...
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38349187
If you have ordered more drives then you can configure additional virtual drive in RAID utility and then copy F: or D: partitions there.
After that delete the copied partition from its original place and extend the C: drive to this place. IMHO the rightest approach.
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