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Dell PowerEdge TINY OS/primary partition

Posted on 2012-12-26
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We have a Dell PowerEdge server that has a ~20GB primary partition that is 99% full and a secondary ~100GB partition that is 99% free.  You are see the problem.

What is the best way to handle this (without a reload)?  I was thinking this:

1) Clone the drive for safety

2) Backup secondary partition

3) Used GParted to resize partition

4) Copy data back to new, large, only partition

If anyone has any suggestions or a better way, please let me know!
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Question by:gta2011
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38720997
No, leave the partitioning as it is. The sizes are just fine for windows 2003 (actually C is too large).

Instead follow leew's advice in the link below to cleanout uneeded stuff from your OS partition. He's one of EE's top experts:

http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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Author Comment

by:gta2011
ID: 38721003
rindi: That is not an option.  The clients only wants one partition.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  I understand the rationale, but the client gets what the client wants.
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Expert Comment

by:JEaston
ID: 38721018
Depending on the OS you are using you may be able to resize the partition from disk management.  I believe that Windows 2008 onwards can do this.

Alternately there are a number of third party applications that can do this, but as I have not used then I could not say which ones are the best.

Regardless I would still take a full backup just in case.  Even the best software can have glitches.
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Author Comment

by:gta2011
ID: 38721020
Unfortunately we are using Windows Server 2003.
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by:JEaston
JEaston earned 166 total points
ID: 38721027
I still have some 2003 server. Fortunately during the upgrade to 2k8 the installer allows you to edit partitions.

I've never used GParted but it states that it can alter partitions without losing data therefore this should work fine.

In theory all you need to do is the following:
1. Backup. I also recommend taking a full disk image if you have somewhere you can save it to.  There is some good free disk imaging tools but be aware they can take a bit of time to run.
2. Shrink the secondary partition.
3. Increase the primary partition size.
4. Move any files on secondary partition to primary.
5. Delete secondary partition now it is emply.
6. Increase primary partition to use all the unused space.

Assume GParted works well this should cause no downtime (other than possibly the full disk I age).  Steps 2 and 3 can be skipped if there is enough room on the primary partition to move these files from the outset, but by the sounds of your problem this is not the case.
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Author Comment

by:gta2011
ID: 38721032
JEaston: That is pretty much my thought process as well.  Is there another tool you like better than GParted?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38721038
I don't agree with your point. You are the professional. It is your business to properly set up the server, and not the customer's to tell you how to best do your job.
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Author Comment

by:gta2011
ID: 38721039
rindi: It is their hardware.  I can advise best practices and give them pros/cons, but it is ultimately their decision.  We have had an IT business for over 5 years with this practice and have been very successful.
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by:JEaston
ID: 38721046
The first time I really had to repartition was during or upgrades to 2008 and the installer took care of that.  So I can't really recommend anything else.

A the end of the day, as long as you backup is solid if the portioning goes wrong you can undo it.
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 167 total points
ID: 38721169
You can do this job with Parted Magic which is free or get commercial tool such as Paragon Partition Manager 12 Server Edition and do the resize it. The second one will do backup and resize both.
I have done partitioning on server hundred times and never had a problem. But still backup ist must have. With parted magic yo will have to do the resize from boot cd and with partition manager within Windows. If you want to do it in Windows you will need to free up 500mb space on system partition to install Partition Manager. After operation is done the data can be copied back.
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andyalder earned 167 total points
ID: 38721937
D: is 99% free so you can just copy off anything on it and blow it away and then run Dell's extpart.exe - http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails?driverId=R64398

Backup c: first though or the gremlins might eat everything.
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