Dell PowerEdge 830 - Replacing Hard Drives

Hello all,
I have a client that has a Dell PowerEdge 830.  It has two hard drives that are mirrored that are each 30 gig (yes it is an old server).  The mirroring is being run by the controller software and not Windows.
We want to upgrade these two hard drives to 250 gig hard drives and mirror them, then discard the two 30 gig hard drives.
I have the software to copy the partition over from one hard drive to the other.
Here is my question, since I have not worked with mirroring on older Dell servers.  
When I beak the mirror in the controller software, must I have the controller software format the new hard drives before I can copy the partition over?
What are the best steps in doing this?
Thanks,
Kelly W.
LVL 6
K_WilkeAsked:
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Which controller does it have?
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
That one I do not know...I did not write it down.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Well, it all depends on the controller.

Do you have remote access to the server?  If so,  you can check under SCSI/Disk Controllers in Device Manager to find out which controller it is.  Are the drives accessible in trays from the front of the server?

You would need to configure RAID on the target disk before copying the partitions, and controllers differ in how they handle broken arrays, multiple arrays, new disks, etc.
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
Well I do not have remote access to the server.
No the drives are not accessible in trays from the front of the server.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Do you know the exact size of the hard drives (or total disk/partition space)?
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
The hard drives are 30 gig in size.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
That's the total size listed in Windows or is that the advertised size on the disk itself?

The reason I ask is because if you have around 33GB of total disk space available (simply rounding down to '30'), then you have a 36GB drive, which would be a standard SCSI size (the 830 supports either SATA or SCSI), which would also help narrow down the controllers you could be using.

If the label said 30GB or the model number indicated a 30GB drive, then you would have around 28GB of total space in the OS, and that is most likely a SATA drive.
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epichero22Commented:
I would create an image of your hard drive, install the two new drives as a RAID, and copy over the image to the new HDs.  It shouldn't be difficult to pull this off using a standard external hard drive and disk imaging software, such as Acronis True Image.
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
The hard drives ar Max3036NP Ultra 320 SCSI/68-pin/LVD units
The RAID controller is MegaRAID
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The PERC 4's support multiple arrays, so if you wanted to do a direct disk-to-disk copy, you could, by configuring a third disk as a single-disk RAID 0 (or two in a RAID 1 - I believe the 830 will hold 4 disks).

You mentioned replacing these with SATA disks (250GB) ... I am not positive, but I believe that you cannot use SATA and SCSI together (it may only affect the "boot" device though), so you would need to first backup/copy to external media, as epic suggested, remove SCSI, install SATA, then restore to the SATA drive (RAID 1, if that is the plan, would need to be managed by Windows, as there is no onboard RAID for SATA).
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
I was wrong...I will be replacing with SCSI disks.
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K_WilkeAuthor Commented:
That worked beautifully.  Thank you all.
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