Upgrading hard drives on LSI Megaraid

I have a server with an LSI Megaraid 9260-4i raid card.

Right now there's 4x 2TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 drives. We need to upgrade it to 4x 4TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 drives.

What I'm planning to do is take a backup image of the server, then shut it down, remove the 4x 2TB disks, install the 4x 4TB disks, and restore from the backup.

If something goes wrong, can we safely assume that we can stick the 4x 2TB disks back into the system in the correct order and get the old array back online? Or does removing the disks permanently destroy the array?
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Frosty555Asked:
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arnoldCommented:
Usually, the data about the array configuration is stored both on the controller and on the drives. I.e a failed controller replaced with an identical one avails the loading if the config from the drive.

You've not included the type of the RAID that the four 2TB drives are a part of.

Do you have space such that all drives can coexist?

I've not used the specific raid controller that you reference so I can not answer the concern in your question which is covered by your backup provided it works.

Usually when you go back prior to attaching the drives, you must clear the controller config, insert the drives and load the controller config from the drive.

Given you are looking to migrate to a larger set of drives the data is important such that testing should be done to confirm whether the raid configuration exists on the drives.

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rindiCommented:
The RAID metadata is stored on the disks. The location of the slot they are in shouldn't matter, so you don't even need to put them in the same slot they were originally in.
DavidPresidentCommented:
There is just one small caveat.  In the event you want to go back, clear the configuration on the controller first.  This insures it will not misinterpret the old configuration with any stale metadata.   You should also make darned sure you have latest firmware, BIOS, drivers installed BEFORE you upgrade.

If this is the constellation ES.3 SAS model then no worries, but disks  > 2 TB on SATA drives aren't supported on all configurations.   Certainly also you wont be able to boot the system unless your BIOS supports it.  

Do your homework before even attempting the upgrade  .. look into UEFI BIOS capability on your motherboard before even attempting this.

Check out the compatibility here:
http://www.lsi.com/downloads/Public/RAID%20Controllers/RAID%20Controllers%20Common%20Files/MegaRAID_Value_Feature_Interop_List_SAS2.pdf
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Shouldn't matter about UEFI since they can have more than one virtual drive on the disk group, so a small MBR virtual drive for the OS and a big GPT one for data normally works out pretty well. They probably have more than 2TB at the moment unless it's two RAID 1s.
Frosty555Author Commented:
Shoot I didn't even think about MBR vs GPT....

I misspoke, I actually have 4x Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB SAS drives, in a RAID10.

My current drive configuration is a single 2TB logical drive presented by the RAID array to the OS. The OS has it partitioned with MBR, with 1x 160GB partition, and 1x 1.66TB partition.

If we move up to 4x 2TB hard drives, I will definitely run into partition sizing issues with MBR, and it will have to be converted to GPT. That might make things a little messy....

So from what I'm hearing here, on an LSI MegaRAID card you can remove the hard drives, wipe the configuration of the RAID card (or even replace the entire RAID card with a new identical model), then stick the hard drives back in, import the RAID config off the hard drives, and your data will survive?
DavidPresidentCommented:
As long as you replace the raid card with same model and same FIRMWARE, you're ok to import an entire array.  Otherwise certainly you can re-import an array built on the same card.
arnoldCommented:
As I said, I'm not familiar with the megaraid, some other controllers like Dell uses also LSIs can load the raid from a prior version, the issue is that the OS does not have the drivers needed to work with the newer/different controller to boot.
Does your system have additional ports to which drives can be connected?

Just confirming these four drives are making the volume that includes the bootable partition.

An option could be to replace while online a drive at a time, awaiting the completion of the rbiild at the conclusion of which there will be 2TBmof analocated space
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
You don't have to convert to GPT to use the bigger disks, you can create a virtual drive on the new disk group that is exactly the same size (sub-2TB) and restore to that, then use the MegaRaid utility to create a second virtual drive. You would end up having to use the 2nd virtual drive as a different drive letter though so would have to split your data from D: over new D: and E: so it's not an ideal workaround.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Let's hope it get corrupted.
arnoldCommented:
you mean not get corrupted?
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