Moving entire drive array from Dell R510 to R520

I am wanting to physically remove a raid 1 OS Server 2012 R2 on two 300GB drives from a Dell R510 and install them into a R520 and wondering if anyone has tried something similar?  I really don't want to rebuild the OS and I don't have identical disks in the R520 to make an image and restore the image with software.  

The R510 has a PERC 6/i and the R520 has a H710 controller and I know from experience you can import foreign disk configurations from older versions of controllers to newer ones.

I know that there will probably be some hardware differences and I'm hoping that the OS is smart enough now to pickup the drivers automatically.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
you can't just take a system drive from one PC and move it to another
Yes, sometimes you can. Recently, I did it from an R610 to an R710 with NO driver updates at all. R510 an R520 are not so dissimilar that there would be huge HAL problems. Maybe a different chipset.

If the 2 RAID controllers were copatible, you could have migrated them, but Perc6 and H710 aren't.
Nobody knows this who hasn't tried it. The documentation doesn't say one way or the other, and it may just not have been listed as a possible supported upgrade path. PERC 6 to H700 CAN be done; H700 to H710 CAN be done. Maybe you can't go directly from a 6 to an H710, but you probably can. Is this type of move ideal? No. Iffy? Yes. Definitely incompatible or "impossible"? No. VD migration is supported on these controllers - there is a reason for it, and there exists only one generation of system that supports more than one generation of RAID controller, so it isn't for systems in which you can upgrade to a different supported controller. It may be best used for data volumes, rather than OS volumes, but it's not "impossible".
The controllers are profoundly different, and unfortunately, the metadata.   The data does not use same physical blocks on both controllers.  As such, it goes beyond drivers.     You're going to have to add the H710 drivers to the booted system, do a bare metal backup.   Then build a new RAID with different drives (to be safe).  Then do bare metal restore to the new system.

(Sorry, no shortcuts here)
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
You can migrate from a PERC 6 to an H700 and from an H700 to an H710, but the manual doesn't say whether or not you can go directly from the PERC 6 to the H710. Although I suspect you can, you are likely going to update a few system drivers afterwards. VD migration is "best" used for data volumes for this reason.
It's an incredibly bad idea to do this. Forget about the RAID array for a moment, you can't just take a system drive from one PC and move it to another. All the hardware is different, and it'll never boot. If you get very lucky, you might be able to manually install proper drivers, but the OS would still be pretty buggy because it was hacked together. And this whole prcocess is by far more complicated than just reinstalling the server from scratch on the new hardware.

And once you bring RAID into the mix, it basically becomes impossible. If the 2 RAID controllers were copatible, you could have migrated them, but Perc6 and H710 aren't.

If you really want to "move" the OS to the other server, you'll need to use a backup program that supports restoring to different hardware. The one I'd recommend is Acronis Backup, and you'll need to also buy the license for the Universal Restore (which is what lets you restore it to different hardware). I would strongly recommend getting new drives to put in the new server so that you can keep the old server intact if something goes wrong. But if you really insist on moving the drives, you'll need to do the following:

1. Do a full backup of the old server to an external drive
2. Verify the backup archive to make sure that it's valid.
3. Wipe both drives
4. Move them to the new server, and create a new RAID array.
5. Restore the backed up image to the new server using Universal Restore
convergintAuthor Commented:
I know that going from completely dissimilar brands lists like Dell to HP is quite iffy but was really hoping someone might have actually tried it with Dell servers.  We've popped out drives many times from one model of Dell laptops into a generation newer or older and have been successful.

It does make sense that Server 2012 would not be as forgiving as Windows 7 or 8 for recovery though.  I might just have to try and see if I can make an image for backup and pop the drives into the R520 to see what really happens.

Does anyone have an alternative suggestion for a dissimilar restore software besides Acronis?  Acronis is good but it's pretty pricey.  I've heard about EaseUS Todo Backup Server but does anyone have first hand experience of it?
@PowerEdgeTech -- you're absolutely wrong on this one. The r510 and r520 use different chipsets (Intell 5500 vs inte c610), which means that the OS will most likely not boot up at all on the new hardware.

You may be correct about migrating the perc6 to H710, but besides this being a moot point because you'll most likely have issues because of moving the OS to different hardware, you're only guessing that the migration is possible. As I said earlier, if the OP insists on doing this, the only safe way to do it would be with a backup/restore using the steps I laid out.
convergintAuthor Commented:
Giving everyone an update on my test and scenario.

In short, moving the drives from the R510 into the R520 was very successful and could NOT have been any smoother.  Honestly it took under 5 minutes to do the entire process.  I literally did the following:

1. Pulled the mirrored OS drives from R510 after a clean OS shutdown and backup.
2. Inserted the drives into the R520, turned on the server and went into the H710 RAID controller configuration, imported the foreign configuration.  This entire process took about 30 seconds.
3. Rebooted the server and saw the server windows OS logo.  Then it sat with the spinning wheel with obtaining devices for about 2 minutes.  This is where I'm assuming the OS pulls in the different drivers required.
4. Windows popped up the login prompt.  Logged in successfully and checked the device drivers and everything is perfect.  No major errors in the event log.  Only thing I had to do was to reactivate Windows as obviously it is now a different CPU.

So in short, Windows Server 2012 R2 is as robust as Windows 8 in adapting to changing hardware drivers, etc.  Now I'm almost positive if I had tried to put the drives into a server that had a completely different raid controller from a different manufacturer, I would be screwed right off the bat as it would not be able to import the foreign configuration.  I also would guess that if I had a OS of server 2003 or 2008 it probably would have failed as it would not have the H710 drivers available.

This was way better than having to backup and restore.  My original question was if anyone tried anything similar so thanks PowerEdgeTech for the input.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
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