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Expanding drive space on Dell server with PERC 6i RAID controller - How it worked

So not so much a question as a solution to a question I posed a bit ago.

Scenario:

Dell R710 with PERC 6/i, 8 x 300GB SAS drives
RAID 1 - drives 0 and 1 for the OS
RAID 6 - drives 2-7 for data

The first step was to replace the 300GB drives, one at a time, with 900GB drives; 600 GB would work the same.

Wait for the drive to rebuild, then replace the next, until are are replaced.

Rest of procedure follows.
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lmheimendinger
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lmheimendinger
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lmheimendingerAuthor Commented:
What I did next was to replace the PERC 6/I card with a Dell H700.  Not only does that card allow virtual drive expansion, but it also supports 6MB access.  Found a used one for around $100.  It came with battery and cables, which I urge you to make sure you get.  The card side connectors on the H700 are different than those on the PERC 6/i.

With good backups, as well as disk images, I powered down the server, opened it up, changed out the card, cables and battery and put the cover on, fired it up.

During boot, a message appeared for the H700 saying there was a foreign configuration, and I selected the option to import it.  Still, the boot failed to find bootable media.  I restarted the boot, did CTRL+R to get to the RAID BIOS, and saw that only the data virtual disk had been imported, but no sign of the OS.  But after two more boot attempts, another message appeared about importing foreign configuration, and this time both virtual disks were there.

Still no boot.  Had to set the boot to virtual disk 2 (in this case) - apparently the order in which the foreign configurations came in set the virtual disk order.  Before booting, however, by highlighting the OS virtual disk, I was able to click to expand it to the new full size of the 900GB drives.  But not the data one.

The reason turned out to be that two of the RAID 6 drives were rebuilding - re initializing - and I had to wait an hour or so for that to finish, after booting successfully into the OS.  Once that was done, re-booted, went to RAID configuration, expanded that disk, and then logged back on.

The last step was to expand the disk partitions inside Windows.  Opened computer management from server manager, then disk managed, selected each drive separately, right-click and chose expand drive.  The new empty space showed up and a few seconds later, the drives were full sized.

No data loss, a piece of cake.  Well, a bite of cookie perhaps.
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lmheimendingerAuthor Commented:
it worked
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