SBS2011 - Using built-in Shrink Volume. Mirroring Disks


I have 'adopted' a new client server which is not in a very good state.
They are running on a SBS2011 SP1 server that has a single disk (no RAID). Very Scary.
Unfortunately I cannot implement hardware RAID as it is post install, so I was going to implement the built-in software RAID (i.e. mirror the disks). ....Its better than nothing.....

However I have added a drive that is exactly the same model but the disk manger shows the size difference is 0.22Gb smaller???
I would imagine if I try to mirror the disks it will fail due to the size differing.

My question has two parts;

1. Is the Shrink Volume Safe to use on a partition that has the OS on it? has anyone every done this and it was successful?
I intend to shrink the volume a small amount, so it will fit on the unallocated disk (See screenshot).

2. To Mirror the disk with Disk manager would I follow the procedure below;

i. Convert the original disk (Containing the OS) to dynamic DISK 1
ii. Right hand click each partition and add mirror (Both 100Mb and 913.51Gb partitions, See screenshot)
iii. Select Unallocated Drive (Disk 0) for the destination of the mirrored partition
iv. Does it matter the unallocated disk is DISK 0?

I have attached a screenshot to help explain my paranoia....

Of course I will perform a full backup, with system state before doing anything.

Thanks in advance,
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Actually using OS built in RAID to mirror disks is much, much better than using ob-board fake-RAID controllers that are included on most mainboards. It performs a lot better, as it can read from both disks at the same time, you don't necessarily need enterprise class disks, and it is much more reliable. It also beats most real hardware RAID controllers.

Yes, resizing and then convert to dynamic, mirror should work fine. Which number the disk is shouldn't matter. If one of them fails, you just need to make sure the boot order  in the BIOS looks at one of the disks you need to boot from.

Of course it still is needless to say that making an extra backup before starting is always a good idea, then testing the disks using their manufacturer's diagnostic tools, and if they show them as OK, also run a chkdsk /f /r on all partitions to make sure the file-system doesn't have any corruptions.
VitalNetworkSolutionsAuthor Commented:
Hi Rindi,

Great thanks for the answer. So the resize volume is safe to use on a disk that hold the OS? have you used this before on SBS2011?

Kind regards,
Shrinking works without problems. You need to shrink it anyway, in order to convert a disk from basic to dynamic, you need about 7 or 8 MB unpartitioned space.

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VitalNetworkSolutionsAuthor Commented:
Fantastic. Excuse my paranoia. Thanks for your help Rindi.

Kind regards,
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'd advise a little extra caution and FULL BACKUPS first.  I'd also suggest you consider migrating them to a virtual server instead since that will give added options for backup and redundancy.

While I've converted MANY disks from Basic to Dynamic, I HAVE had the conversion corrupt disks once.  Just once... but once is enough to point out there is a risk.  

Migrating the install to a VM through a standard migration process can provide additional flexibility and benefits for the future, including a near PAINLESS and VERY FAST migration to new hardware (assuming this isn't an OEM license).
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