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ingeniiousFlag for United States of America

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Changing RAID Drives

What are some of the best approaches when changing out ALL drives or changing the RAID format?

For one instance when having six 500GB HDDs in a RAID 50 with Server2008 R2 installed and changing all 500GB drives out for 2TB drives.

Another instance I am wondering about is if you have five 1TB HDDs in a RAID5 and then want to upgrade to six 1TB HDDs in a RAID 50.  This instance has Windows 7 Pro installed, it is merely a file server.
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PowerEdgeTech
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This depends entirely on your RAID controller.  Some can convert between RAID levels on the fly, but some can't convert to/from nested RAID levels (10/50/60); most can add disks on the fly to expand the array size (5-disk RAID 5 to 7-disk RAID 5, for example); some can expand the size of the array by swapping disks for larger ones, others cannot.

If swapping 6x500GB disks for 6x2TB disks in a RAID 50, you must also consider the MBR vs. GPT question ... 2008R2 can boot to a "disk" that size ONLY if installed on the disk already converted to GPT AND installed in UEFI mode (as opposed to BIOS).

So, what server do you have?  What RAID controller do you have.  Everything depends on the specifics.
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http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/3ware9650SE-8LPML.aspx

That is the RAID card. I will call them tomorrow and ask them about it.

I was thinking along the lines of doing a bare metal recovery server backup, installing the new 2TB drives, creating the RAID50, and then restoring from the backup.
"I was thinking along the lines of doing a bare metal recovery server backup, installing the new 2TB drives, creating the RAID50, and then restoring from the backup. "

This will be the preferred method on most controllers.  I only am familiar with Dell PERC controllers, which are based on LSI, but while some things will be similar, some functions are different, so I won't conjecture too much :)
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David
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The LSI might not be able to expand an array but I know the IBM ServeRAID adapters do. I agree do a complete backup, recreate the array with the larger drives then restore data.
You are going to use server grade drives ,right?