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Need disk reconfiguration plan for SBS2008 server

I have an SBS2008 server that is getting low on disk space on the C: partition. See attached graphic: Notice that the C: partition is getting low on space, but on the same logical disk, the D: data partition has way more space than it will ever need. I'd like to copy off the data on the D: drive to an external device, delete the D: partition, add maybe 100GB to the C: partition, then recreate D: with what's left.

Note that logical Disk1 on the graphic is actually a Dell PERC 6/i RAID5 array, with 3x500GB physical drives.

Questions:

1.

Can I add just 100GB to the C: partition? I know I've done this before, but I added the entire remaining unallocated space to C:, not just a portion of it.

2.

When I copy the data back to the recreated D: partition, will the permissions and shares be intact? Is there a method of copying the D: data off and then back on that will retain all of the security/share metadata? I do have a backup application that I could use to move the D: data back and forth if that is maybe a better way to do it.

3.

There is a shrink function in the GUI. Would that be a better option, shrink the D: partition and use the remaining space to extend the C: partition?

4.

Finally, if I do it this way, what type of partition should I make the D: partition when I recreate it? There are a couple of options as I remember.
Thanks.
disk.jpg
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tcianflone
Asked:
tcianflone
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1 Solution
 
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Your D: drive is in a virtual partition, so you are somewhat screwed!

A typical piss-poor Dell configuration sadly.

I think if you do anything with the D drive it will always be a virtual partition unless you rebuild the server properly from scratch without any Dell partitions.

Not sure what's best for you to be honest - I would be looking at a swing migration to a temporary server and then splat the server and rebuild it properly with decent size partitions and no Virtual Partitions.

Alan
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
If you use the shrink/expand that is available in the OS what happens is that
x - allocated u = unallocated
xxxxxxxxxC-drivexxxxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxxxxD-Drivexxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxC-drivexxxxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxxxxD-Drivexxuuuuuu

In order to expand the c drive what you need is
xxxxxxxxxC-drivexxxxxxxxxx|uuuuuuxxxxxxxxxxD-Drivexx
to get
xxxxxxxxxC-drivexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxxxxD-Drivexx

So if you create a new drive (logical or primary doesn't really matter as it is not a boot partition)  and then use
robocopy source destination /sec /mir  (mirrors and keeps all security descriptors)
now you can delete the D partition and expand the C partition to whatever size you want
and then create a new D partition (logical) and then copy back from your scratch drive.
robocopy source dest /sec /mir

That or use 3rd party partitioning software i.e. gparted http://gparted.sourceforge.net/
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tcianfloneAuthor Commented:
ve3ofa: Sounds like a plan. Thanks. I will be using an external 1TB USB device with NTFS format as the scratch drive. Will that work in this scenario?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Sounds like what I'd do.. I'd be wary of the partitioning software as it may not recognize your RAID array.
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tcianfloneAuthor Commented:
Yes, I was concerned about the underlying disk configuration in all of this, that's why I included that info. Sounds like what we have here should work. Will let you know how it goes.
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tcianfloneAuthor Commented:
I will be doing this work this week and will close this question when I can verify the solution.
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tcianfloneAuthor Commented:
New wrinkle; there is a Program Files folder on D: and it turns out that Exchange Server is installed there. The robocopy was failing on the active log files. I stopped the Exchange Info Store service and that seemed to get the log files copied. Also, SQL Server is installed on D: as well. So it turns out that D: is not just a data drive. What is the confidence level of being able to copy D: to an external drive, then return it to the new D: partition now that we know that there is both Exchange and SQL Server installed on D:?
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