Replacing hard drives in a Dell PowerEdge 2900
Posted on 2014-11-18
I have an older server, a Dell PowerEdge 2900 with eight physical hard drives installed. I’m almost out of disk space, and have no more drive bays. Admittedly, I am a bit of a novice when it comes to working with servers so bear with me please. The eight physical drives are 146 Gigabytes, and I would like to replace four of them with 300 Gigabyte drives. I already have the four 300 Gigabyte drives and they are new.
The eight existing drives are configured into one logical drive. The Disk Management console in Server 2008 only sees them as one unit (Disk 0, Basic, 816 GB). I rebooted the server to have a look at the RAID utility. It comes up as PERC 5/i Integrated BIOS Configuration. It shows as having seven physical disks, and then shows an additional disk designated as a Hot Spare.
I have read that I might could pull one disk at a time and have the server rebuild the volume on the replacement drives individually. But I don’t know if it matters which disk I pull (since the RAID utility only lists one as a hot spare, and I’m not sure which physical disk that is).
I also read that the volume would only rebuild to the size of the previous drive, but that I might could use a partitioning utility to expand it, or at the very least create a second logical drive. If that is my only option for expansion (meaning I can’t get Drive-C bigger than the current 816 Gigabytes) then I would be satisfied with that if I could then create a Drive-D and store files on that volume, although I would prefer to make Drive-C larger if possible.
So, what are my options?