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Best way to swap disks in a server. Complete RAID 1 replacement.

Posted on 2014-04-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hey All,

I am checking that with the tools available I am approaching this in the best way time and effort wise.

Situation is a Dell 1950  with RAID 1 2x 146GB. Working O/S and data etc... Exchange, Server 2008 R2 etc...

This server can be taken offline for an evening or weekend due to it not being production yet, once disks installed then it will be required.

I want to upgrade to RAID 1 2x 450GB.

Checking that the best method and what I have available might be to do a Server 2008 r2 backup onto a USB Drive.

Pull disks and replace with new. Build RAID 1. Then installed windows server 2008 r2 and then restore my backup from USB drive.

Any other thoughts that make this either vastly quicker or easier than the above.

I dont need to keep data, its purely to swap disks.

Many thanks in advance

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Question by:roycasella
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by:roycasella
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Sorry.. to clarify.. I dont need to keep USB DISK copy data... I am using that just to swap disks so I DONT need a permanent archive solution.

(I have probably confused matters by mentioning that :)... I basically just want to swap disks :)).

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Expert Comment

by:Radhakrishnan Rajayyan
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Hi,


I hope you have installed the RAID software on the server? if so,Please follow the steps

1) Identify drive in from the Physical View.
2. Once located select the Operations tab and select Locate Physical Drive. This should highlight the drive on the array. Make a note of this. So you  know which drive to remove
3. Still in the Operations tab select 'Make the Disk Offline'.
4. Right click on this disk and select Make Physical Drive Missing
5. Physically remove the failed drive and replace with the new one.
6. When the drive has spun up, the RAID software should show it and the array should begin to rebuild automatically. This can be confirmed by looking at Group Operations + Show Progress.

Hope this works in ur case.
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nobus earned 250 total points
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i would simply make an image of 1 drive , on the server, or pc; and put that on the new drive
since it's mirrored raid; it should rebuild the raid.
i use the paragon software for imaging; you can get the feel of it with the free B&R :
http://www.paragon-software.com/free/            
if you want more options - the disk manager is nice : https://www.paragon-software.com/
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 250 total points
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I have used Paragon software before and it works very well. I'd take a full backup using Paragon, then shut down the system, replace the drives, go into the raid setup and recreate the raid then perform a recovery using Paragon. It will allow you to expand the partition sizes and you should be in good shape.
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by:roycasella
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Thanks for replies.

Unfamiliar with Paragon

Suggestions been made to swap drives and rebuild. BUT this wont work as the drives are a different size.

RAID will reject the drive in the mirror surely. If not, then I would do this way, but believe this is impossible.

Please clarify.

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by:nobus
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yes it works - you can swap and rebuild - then extend the size
**paragon lets you also do that
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by:roycasella
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So, I can do the following:

Current drives
A - 146GB
B - 146GB

NEW drives
c- 450GB
d- 450GB

Swap drive B with D.... let it rebuild and be left with unallocated space I guess (please confirm)
Then once done.. swap drive A with D and let that rebuild.. again with unallocated space.

Then use some kind of tool within the raid manager or alternative product like paragon to extend the partition.

Should this be possible in Dell Openmanage?

Thanks in advance

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by:nobus
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why swap A and D?
you need only 1 drive - then it mirrors itself  - right?
so after the first drive is ok on the 450, use  the partition extender tool
paragon, or the Bootit-Bm (free for partition work) allows you to extend partition size
bootit-bm use
dowload the file -make the cd - boot from it
Do not install it on disk -hit cancel
select partition work - and your partition -  and click resize - choose the max available (normally proposed)
that's it
if you connect now the 2nd 450 - it should mirror to the new one
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by:roycasella
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But surely I cannot extend a partition to the smallest drive. If I have only replaced 1 disk then I will be unable to exxtend asI have the physcial restrictions of 146GB.. hence why i must have 2x 450 drives to extend.

Surely?

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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
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After you replace both drives, Yes, you should be able to extend the partition.
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by:nobus
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you extend it - with only 1 drive connected
then connect 2nd drive
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by:roycasella
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Both drives have been swapped and rebuilt.

I can see extra space in RAID manager CTRL R and open manage.

Open Manage will only let me reconfigure and use RAID 0 on remaining space.

BAR imaging, swapping disks, new VD, restore... is there any way to reconfigure the RAID 1 to get the whole space and therefore then extend in Windows?

Thanks in advance

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by:nobus
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sure - you can use probably the inbuild disk management, select disk, and properties; resize should be there
if it is not, use Bootit-BM, download it, make the cd, boot from it, but do NOT install it on disk
hit Cancel
now select partition work, your partition, and click resize
normally the correct figures are presented, but you can change them as needed

that' s it!
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
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Have you been able to lengthen the partitions so you have more room in each one?
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by:roycasella
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Hi All,

Completed. I went about it the way I suggested in the beginning as there did not appear any other way from Googling, past experience and comments.

Nothing would work until I sorted the RAID as expected. So all solutions great and will award points... BUT.. RAID needed to sort out first.. this was the only way.

Steps.

Performed Windows Bare Metal backup onto a network location on another server. 90GB.
Removed first 146GB drive.
Replaced slot with first 400GB drive
Rebuilt
Removed second 146GB drive.
Replaced slot with second 400GB drive
Rebuilt
Placed 2x 146GB drives to the side as ultimate backup as they still had data on.
Rebooted... went into CTRL+R RAID Manager.
Deleted virtual disk
Created new virtual disk and initialised (wiping all data).
Put in Win2k8r2 disk.
Chose repair computer instead of install from the disc.
Selected Windows Image from my remote location by using the network option.
Let it restore.
Then went into Windows Disk Manager and extended the volume.
Done! MUCH FASTER  then even googling a way round it... so lesson learnt is... just do it the way its meant to be done ...... the way it needs to be done!!!

Now I am completing this post on said server with 2x 400GB in RAID 1 and windows can see it all!!

Thanks everyone for helping.

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by:Tony Giangreco
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Hope the info I suggested helped!
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Author Closing Comment

by:roycasella
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Thanks.

Only way to sort this in a RAID 1 config... was to backup.. kill raid.. new drives, new raid.. restore.

Quite painless in the end.... Should have just gone with it.. but then its always good to ask the Q :)

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