Migrate drives on Dell PowerEdge sc440 SAS 5/iR using Partition Manager 10

Hello all,

I need some help migrating a RAID array (mirrored) on a Dell PowerEdge SE 440 to new, larger drives. I have a Dell server with a Dell SAS 5/iR RAID card connected to 2 SATA drives providing RAID 1. The card only has connectors for 2 SATA drives and both are in use for the RAID 1.

I have purchased 2 new SATA drives (larger size) and need to migrate from the smaller to the larger drives. I have Partition Manager v10 installed. The system is on Drive C and the data on drive D. The drives ( C and D) are partitions of the RAID drive, not actually different physical drives. Both show in Device Manager as Disk 0, with C and D being separate partitions.

All physical drives are functioning fine and the only problem is that we are out of space and need to move to a larger drive.

System Specs:

Dell SC440
Windows Server Standard 2003 R2 Service Pack 2
Dell SATA RAID SAS 5/iR Raid controller
2 Physical SATA Drives, RAID 1 (Mirror)
2 Logical Drives C: and D:
Paragon Partition Manager v 10.0

Can someone help me move the system and data to larger drives using Partition Manager 10. I have an external USB drive big enough if it helps.

Thanks,
Edd Ferrell
eddie-fAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
It will depend on how Partition Manager works ... I've never used it, so I can't tell you what you will see.  Generally, however:

1. Perform a backup or partition copy/clone with Parition Manager to your destination (USB?).
2. Remove smaller drives.
3. Insert larger drives.
4. Boot to CTRL-C and configure a new RAID 1 (Integrated Mirror in the utility).
5. Restore C:, then adjust partition size (unless PM's restore can create/restore to a larger partition).
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Partition Manager will not help you do this.  The only thing you can do is backup, remove smaller drives, insert larger drives, restore.  If you replace the disks one at a time, the ARRAY (not the partitions) will remain the same size with no way of expanding it to include the new/available space.  The SAS 5/iR only supports ONE virtual disk (array), so you cannot create a second array with that space (as is possible with other controllers).  

The only thing you could do, short of a backup/restore, would be to replace the SAS 5/iR with a PERC 5/i.  Once you are running on the PERC 5/i, then you could 1) expand the RAID1 to a RAID 5 by adding another disk or two (and THEN use Partition Manager to extend your partition), 2) create a second array/RAID 1 across the disks using the newly available space after replacing the disks one at a time, or 3) create a second RAID 1 with the new disks and either use it as additional storage space (like for D: data) or clone/migrate/copy the data directly from the smaller RAID 1 to the larger RAID 1.
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eddie-fAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply,

I was thinking I could make a backup of the partitions to an external USB drive, then install the new drives and create a RAID array that has the 2 partitions, then restore the backup to these partitions.

Is this, or something like this, not possible?

When you say...

 "The only thing you can do is backup, remove smaller drives, insert larger drives, restore."

This is what I want to do!

I THINK I have done this before with Partition Manager but maybe it wasn't with this controller.

I'm just worried about restoring the system (OS) drive to the new drive. The data drive (D:) is pretty easy.

Thanks for the help and any further advice.
Edd
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
I was thinking I could make a backup of the partitions to an external USB drive, then install the new drives and create a RAID array that has the 2 partitions, then restore the backup to these partitions.
This should be fine ... I thought you thought it would be able to expand the RAID size (many people think this) after replacing the disks one at at time ... sorry :)

As long as the controller is supported/seen by Partition Manager (if it can do cloning/backup operations), then you should be ok creating the new RAID and restoring to it.
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eddie-fAuthor Commented:
Great! Thanks.

Can you tell me how, in steps, to do this? It does seem that Partition Manager can See the RAID dirve.
Thanks,
Edd
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eddie-fAuthor Commented:
Thanks PowerEdgeTech,
Your suggestions are right and are generally what I thought I would need to do. A few of the more specific questions I have are related to Partition Manager.

There is a "Backup" and a "Copy" function in the Windows version of PM. Which one should I use?

There is the version of PM that I installed (within Windows) and also a generic boot CD version that comes with the program. Should I be attemting this from the boot CD or the Windows program?

Within the Windows program you can create a rescue/boot CD that may be more specific to the individual machine. Should I use this or the generic Boot CD?

Thanks for the help and if anyone has specific knowledge of Partition Manager please chime in.

Thanks,
Edd
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Hopefully someone will have some input related to Partition Manager, since you did include the section on Backup/Restore software ... otherwise, you might consider asking the question on PM's forums.
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eddie-fAuthor Commented:
Thanks PowerEdge Tech,

Your answer was right on. I needed a little more help with the Partition Manager software but your steps were correct.

Some opinions for future readers:
Install Partition Manager on the machine, but then make a Rescue CD from WITHIN the software to include all necessary drivers. I would recommend doing all of the partition changes from OUTSIDE of Windows using the Rescue CD you create from the windows installation. It seems to work better when you use the program from the boot CD.

Also, I needed to install a single SATA drive on one of the non-RAID SATA controllers to complete the process. The external USB drive was a little "iffy" when trying to copy the data to it.

From Partition Manager (booting to the rescue CD) I first copied the entire disk to the separate SATA disk, which included both logical disk (C and D).

Then I disconnected the old (smaller) drives and connected the larger replacement drives to the RAID controller.

Use the RAID utility (CNTL-C at boot time) to create the RAID from the new drives.

Next, boot to the CD again and copy the disks from the temporary individual SATA drive to the new larger drive (RAID Array).

I'm no expert and there is surely a cleaner way to do it but this worked for me.

Thanks for the help.

Edd
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Glad it worked out for you ... take care!
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