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Increasing the size of a RAID 5 array?

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March 5, 2008 6:30:49 AM

Hi,

I have a Highpoint RocketRaid 2310 with 4x Seagate 320GB HDDs in a RAID 5 configuration. This array is used for storage only.

Thing is... I'm running low on diskspace and was wondering if it's possible to increase the size of the array by swapping the disks for larger ones?

I've come up with two solutions, of which I'm not sure if the latter would work.

1. Copy all the data from the existing array to someplace else. Switch all four disks at once and reinitialize the array. Then copy back the data.

2. Swap one disk at a time and rebuild the array in between. I know this will take forever and I'm not sure if the controller will recognize the added disk space, 4*(500GB-320GB), if I don't reinitialize the array after all four disks are swapped.

Now, I don't have extra disk space for option 1 and I'm unsure if option 2 would work. Anyone have any ideas, a third option?
a b G Storage
March 5, 2008 11:57:50 AM

Maybe create a backup using the built in windows backup utility or some other rather than just copying. it should compress the file size a little. I would back up the data. Fiddle with your array and then restore. It's just safer that way.
March 5, 2008 1:03:17 PM

I wouldn't touch it without SOME kind of backup, that's for sure.

Both your methods will work, although #1 is a cleaner solution. For solution #2, you'll end up making another array out of the unused disk space on the increased capacity drives, then setting up a drive span of the two arrays. It will only be a logical span (since it's really 2 arrays on the same drive set), and it will make a lot of us sad that you didn't use method #1...but well, it works.
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March 5, 2008 1:41:14 PM

Option 2 will work. Replace each drive one at a time and rebuild the array each time. Once all 4 drives are larger, perform an Online Capacity Expansion (OCE - see your controller card manual) to expand the logical array, then use the Windows DISKPART utility to expand your partition.

Have a backup before you start. :) 
a b G Storage
March 5, 2008 1:47:18 PM

I still like Option #1. As Mford said, it's cleaner.
March 6, 2008 6:37:15 AM

Thanks for the info.

I'll go for Option #1. Just have to figure out where I dump the data meanwhile. Fortunately this doesn't have to happen today. =)
a b G Storage
March 6, 2008 3:33:41 PM

you could always borrow a drive from someone maybe. So you have a raid 5 but not off-system backup? Maybe it's time for an external 1TB backup solution.
a b G Storage
March 6, 2008 3:34:09 PM

by the way may i ask what you are doing with a raid 5 of 4 320GB drives? that's alot of space.
!