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Alexandre MichelFlag for Australia

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

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?
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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.

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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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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...)

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

I WILL backup all before committing the deed!

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

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.
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:
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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
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