Windows server: migrate D: data drive from one drive to another in the same server

Posted on 2016-09-21
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hi Experts,

Here is the setup:
Server = HP Proliant 350 G6 + SBS 2011
RAID 1 = 2 x 300GB
Drive is split into 2 logical drives: C: & D:
 C: for OS,
  D: for files & Exchange database + SQL database
Both C: & D: are running out of space
Backup Exec 2012 in use: Full daily backup to tape.

Proposed solution: Add a 2nd RAID (probably 4x146GB in RAID 10) & migrate the whole D: to the new drive; delete the old D: partition, expand the C: partition to use the freed space on the original RAID

Question: How do I go about "migrating" the D: drive from one RAID to another, keeping in mind that Exchange & SQL are in use?
  1. Should I use Backup Exec, and what would be the steps?
  2. Should I use a 3rd party tool like CloneZilla
  3. I also have a legal copy of Acronis Disk Director Server 10.0. Is this a better tool?
Question by:Alexandre Michel
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

bigeven2002 earned 250 total points
ID: 41809972
I am not too experienced in either program but doing just a clone may not work.  I believe the exchange mailbox database and logs will have to be gracefully migrated to the new drive.  First things first, be sure you have a full working backup of everything.  It probably wouldn't hurt to use Acronis to create an image of both the C and D drives.

If you really want to try the clone method, then go ahead and create the new raid 10 array with the 4 drives to prep them and restore the D drive image to that new logical drive.  The trick though is getting Windows to properly see it as the D drive, you may encounter several errors with exchange and sql though so the risk is high.

Although the methods below are much lengthier, it is probably the safer route.  If you want to wait for a second opinion, by all means.

Add the additional array and call it Drive E once Windows recognizes it.

Here are the methods I found for migrating the exchange database which are referenced from here.  You may need to stop the appropriate services first.

Method 1:

    Open Exchange Management Console
    In the console tree, navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox.
    In the result pane, on the Database Management tab, select the database you want to configure.
    In the work pane, click Move Database Path.
    In the Move Database Path wizard, under Database paths, click Move to move the database path to the default location. You can change the location for the database file path by editing the Database file path field. You can change the location for the log folder path by editing the Log folder path text field.
    View the status of the move operation. The wizard moves the database file path and the log folder path to the new location. Click Back to make configuration changes.
    On the Completion page, confirm whether the move process completed successfully. A status of Completed indicates that the wizard completed the task successfully. A status of Failed indicates that the task wasn’t completed. If the task fails, review the summary for an explanation, and then click Back to make any configuration changes.
    Click Finish to complete the Move Database Path wizard.
    If this method fails, proceed to Method 2 below.

Method 2:

    Dismount the mailbox database (*.edb)
    Manually copy the .edb to the target drive (Example: E:\Microsoft Exchange Server\Mailbox Database\)
    Changed Path location for .edb, Logs, and.chk file path in ADSIEdit To:
    msExchEDBFile = E:\Microsoft Exchange Server\Mailbox Database\Mailbox Database 0359185701.edb
    msExchESEParamLogFilePath = E:\Microsoft Exchange Server\Logs
    msExchESEParamSystemPath = E:\Microsoft Exchange Server\Logs
    (Note: On the above example, we also change the Log files to this location: E:\Microsoft Exchange Server\)
    Open the Microsoft Management Console and mount the database
    Make sure that there will be no more issues before deleting the old database

Then for SQL server, I am referencing this page for the steps below.

Several things you’ll need:

    An account with in the local administrators group
    A SQL Server instance
    SQL Server Management Studio
    SA privileges to your SQL Server

Locate the directory of your SQL Database needing moved. Which may be something like:

D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA

First, make sure there are no active users in utilizing the database.  Install SQL Management Studio if not already installed.  Open SQL Server Management Studio. Locate the database you intend to move and right click it. Select Tasks and then select Detach.  You'll see a warning if users are active and should give the option to kick them off.

Go back to that directory where the database is located. Select both the .MDF and LDF files. Cut and Paste them into the E drive, hopefully making note of that new location since you will need it.

So it may take a while to copy to its new location. Once it’s there go back in to SQL Server Management Studio. Right-Click the databases Folder, The click Attach.

Locate the new location of your database, then select the database and click OK.

Click, OK. Click OK on the next window. Hit that F5 Key to refresh the SQL window. Your database should be present.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Erik Bjers
ID: 41809990
Depending on what array controller you have and what OS is installed you should be able to simply add additional drives and extend the array.  We do this all the time on the 350 series so I am sure it is supported using the default controller

You will need to
1) Add additional drives that are the same size/ speed as the currently installed ones, you can use bigger but these will be reduced to match the size of the current disks due to the way RAID functions
2) Use HP Array Configuration Utility to expand the array
3) Expand your Data partition (not OS)
4) If your OS partition is running out of space you can move the page file to the data drive

Should be able to find instructions for all of these with a google search but if you need specific instructions I can help with live support.


Author Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41809996
Hi bigeven2002.

Thanks for the quick feedback. This is a good set of solution.

It gave me the following idea: The SBS allows for Exchange database to be moved using scripts in the SBS console.

So, then, it is just a matter of moving the SQL as per your instructions and then moving the other data files, recreating the shares, etc...

However, I am not sure which is more time consuming: imaging or the process above...?

Has anyone performed disk imaging using Acronis Disk Director Server ?

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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Erik Bjers
Erik Bjers earned 250 total points
ID: 41810000
To move SQL DBs you can detach them in SQL Management Studio, move the files to a new location, and then attach them again.

Author Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41810012
Hi Erik

Thanks for the suggestion. The RAID controller allows me to change the RAID from 1 to 5. This would allow me to easily increase the size of the D: drive.

But as I need to increase the size of the C: drive partition as well and the C: & D: drive partitions are on the same physical drive, I am a little stuck... Unless there is a way to move the D: drive partition sideways to give room for the C: drive partition expand, I don't see how I can do that. Is it possible using Microsoft tools/commands?

I think I might have to use one of these offline partition management tools , (like GParted, Ghost, etc...)

LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Erik Bjers
ID: 41810019
Please backup all your data before attempting anything!

You can boot your server using a live linux like ubunto and use gparted to move and resize partitions.  This will allow you to shift your data partition to the right freeing up more space on your OS partition.

I have done this on live servers in the past and have had 100% success rate, but be sure you backup all your data before you attempt anything

Author Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41810027

I WILL backup all before committing the deed!

Will GParted work with a HP server? Do I need Linux RAID controller drivers???

LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 41810028
Thanks for the update.  I honestly don't know which would be more time consuming.  Sometimes what seems like the quickest path will take the longest, because of the possibly bumpy road.

One would think just cloning and reimaging would be fastest but I feel that method will cause problems with drive identification, etc which would put exchange and sql into a panic.

Raid conversions with live data also scares me.  I just don't trust it to preserve the integrity.  Also, RAID-5 is not really recommended for SQL server as it will take a big performance hit with write operations.

Having the C drive and D drive on separate RAID 10 arrays would be optimal.
LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41810041
no matter what you do you will have some downtime.  I'd simply take the system offline, add the new volume, copy from D: to the new volume (e:), remove the D: partition, change the drive letter of E: to D:, and expand C:
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Erik Bjers
Erik Bjers earned 250 total points
ID: 41810046
gparted will work on the 350

There is no ideal option here and in reality any of these options will work but all have their pitfalls and all can take a significant amount of time.

Do you have any applications installed on D: or is it just data?  If it is just data then it may be easier to setup a 2nd array and migrate this data over to the new array.

You can also migrate the exchagne data

If you have applications installed on D: then you would need to uninstall/ reinstall them to move them to a new drive

This method does not require cloning and may be faster

1) Create your new array
2) Migrate your data
3) Make sure everything works
4) Delete your current D partition
5) Use disk manager to expand your OS partition to take all of your 1st array
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41810380
Nooo! Don't convert from RAID-1 to RAID-5, RAID-5 is not recommended for enterprise use at all, as modern large disks take too long to rebuild the RISK of a second drive failure during this time is unacceptably high!
RAID-1 -> RAID10 or RAID-1 -> RAID-6 is acceptable

Author Closing Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41832738
Thank you all for your suggestions -they were all very helpful had I decided o pursue that route
At the end, the client has opted to add extra drives, build a 2nd RAID and migrte some of the data to that extra drive

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