Server Hard Drive replacement with RAID configuration

Posted on 2012-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-09-16

I want to replace HDD in Dell PowerEdge Server running Windows Server 2008 Standard with RAID 1 card. There are total 4 hot swap able physical drives running on RAID 1 so I have 2 physical volume. HDD1 has C & E Volume and operating system is installed in C, whereas HDD2 has only D volume. I want to extend this drive with volume D as it is better to replace drives without operating system. RAID adapter is "SAS 6/iR Adapter".

Please correct me if I am wrong. I will first take an image/clone of the drive on external drive or somewhere secure. Then I will replace both physical drives from the server. Install new 2 drives with larger capacity.

Now, what shall I do? Do I configure RAID 1 again or will it be automatically be done by the Server as drives are hot swap able. If it can't be done automatically then can I do it just by Dell OpenManage Server Administrator.

At the moment OpenManage is showing 2 virtual drives RAID 1. When I will replace new drives will I see some options to configure RAID 1 again or is there any other way of RAID 1 configuration?

After RAID configuration I will simply restore clone image to new drive and it will be ready to use?

Please help me. I know I have been silly by asking these question but I never had this kind of experience and there's no one else to guide me on this. We are using only 1 server in our organisation and I don't want to take any risks being a newbie.


Question by:UmairS
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    First you should make a complete backup that you can fully trust and put it away someplace safe.
    Next you should take a full step by step notation of all of the settings in BIOS and on the RAID adapter from every single screen to make sure you can recreate those settings, which will probably be lost when you replace the drives.
    Then mark each drive with a relative location. I use a magic marker and label them 1, 2, 3, etc. in the order they are arranged in the chassis and put the same number in the slot next to where they go, for example.
    Use a hardware cloning device such as Make a clone of each drive onto new, larger capacity drives, and place the original drives in a safe place and do not use them for anything else other than to put back in the server if something goes wrong. This may take several hours depending on the capacity and speed of the drives. Label the new drives the same as the old drives.
    Next put the new drives in the system and create a new RAID array the same as the old one. Due to the fact that the operating system and data are on it, you cannot use a different method or different settings.
    Then boot the machine up, restart it if prompted, and then go into Administrative Tools, Computer Management, and click on Disk Management. Right click on each volume, one at a time, and choose Extend Volume to make the volume bigger. You should be all set from there, but you always have the old drives to put back in if you are not.
    If you need to put the old drives back in, you will also need to recreate the RAID array anyway. That will get lost as soon as you plug in different drives and boot, so take very careful notes.
    Good luck!

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank's a lot. I am sure it will help me alot in extending the drives. I will now follow your instructions.
    LVL 13

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