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How to increase RAID 1 volume size? (Dell, Win, Intel RAID )

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November 20, 2008 2:03:50 PM

Hi All,

I have been looking for an answer to this question and have seen different and sometimes partly contradictory answers to similar questions, asked here or on other forums. Apologies for posting this topic again ...

Setup: Dell 9150 System, with Intel RAID controller on motherboard.
This system supports 2 SATA disks at most.
Windows came pre-installed with the system, Windows XP disk was not included.
Two SATA hard disks configured as a RAID 1 volume, as described in this manual: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim9150/e...
(section "Migrating to a RAID Level 1 Configuration" on page 34).
For historical reasons, one HD has a 250 GB capacity and the other has a capacity of 500 GB.
The RAID system appears under Windows as a local disk with 250 GB capacity, as I expected.


What I want to achieve:Replace the 250 GB disk with a new 500 GB disk and end up with a RAID 1 system with 500 GB capacity.

I have thought out several ways to achieve this, and need your advise if they are viable and safe.

Option 1/b]
1. Remove the smallest (250 GB) hard disk (as a measure of precaution, to have a backup to fall back to) and boot the system from the largest disk. A message that the system is degraded might be displayed, as expected.
2. Invoke the Intel RAID Option ROM Utility and break (delete) the RAID 1 volume. I have read that this is safe and that the warning text that all data will become lost does not apply to RAID 1. Can anyone confirm this is true?
3. Resume boot sequence to have the RAID deletion take effect.
4. Turn off the system. Add the new 500 GB disk. Re-boot and log in to Windows.
5. In Windows, format and partition the new disk (say, "D:"). Extend the partition of "C:" to the largest possible size (check that it does not exceed size of "D:"). Question: Does Windows support this or do I need to acquire some SW that allows me to extend disk partitions?
6. Reboot the system. In BIOS setup, enable (or enforce) RAID usage.
7. In Windows: Programs→ Intel(R) Application Accelerator→ Intel Matrix Storage Manager. Create a RAID 1 volume, with "C:" as source and "D:" as member.
8. Wait for the Intel Matrix Storage Manager to mirror the disks
-- Done --

Option 2 (involving a Ghost image)
Option 2.a
1. Acquire suitable ghost image SW e.g. Norton Ghost 14 or other. Suggestions about which SW does the job best are welcome, I have read both good and bad things...
2. Remove the 250 GB disk and replace with the new 500 GB disk. (The system supports 2 SATA disks only)
3. Boot (from the only remaining disk in the RAID) and log into Windows
4. Format and partition the new 500 GB disk, "D:"
5. Create a Ghost image of "C:", using "D:" to store the image. Question: Can you do this from a RAID volume?
6. Reboot to "rescue/recover" and have the Ghost image restored on "C:"
7. Use Intel Matrix Storage Manager to migrate C: into a RAID volume

Option 2b
1. Acquire suitable ghost image SW e.g. Norton Ghost
2. Remove the smallest (250 GB) hard disk
3. Delete the RAID
4. Install the new HD, format and partition "D:"
5. Ghost "C:" to "D:"
6. Reboot and restore the Ghost image on "C:"
7. Use Intel Matrix Storage Manager to migrate C: into a RAID volume

Option 2c
1. Acquire suitable ghost image SW, eg Norton Ghost
2. Acquire external HD (connected via USB) of sufficient capacity
3. Ghost the RAID volume to external HD
4. Replace the 250 GB disk with the new 500 GB, format the new disk
5. Restore the Ghost image to any of the 500 GB disks
6. Use Intel Matrix Storage Manager to migrate C: into a RAID volume


Any responses with feedback which is the way to go, or not to go would be greatly appreciated.

Tord


January 14, 2009 12:11:53 PM

Did you ever find the optimum solution for your situation?

Thanks -- Tony
January 14, 2009 8:19:51 PM

Tony,

I never got any reply on my request on this forum but this is what I did:

1. Removed the smallest (250 GB) hard disk (as a measure of precaution, to have a backup to fall back to) and boot the system from the largest disk. A message that the system is degraded was displayed, as expected.

2. Invoked the Intel RAID Option ROM Utility and broke (deleted) the RAID 1 volume. Ignored the non-vallid warning that all data will become lost.

3. In Windows I now see two partitions of 250 Gb each, of which one is empty as expected. You are now stuck since Windows won't let you modify the size, or merge the partitions. I made a Ghost image on a new 500 Gb disk but the thing is that you cannot restore the Ghost image on the HD having 2 partitions of 250 GB....

4. I have ended up with a system with
- One HD with 2x250 GB partitions
- One HD with a 500 GB partition
As a result of this I decided to ditch the RAID 1 system and use Ghost as backup.
August 1, 2012 6:36:59 AM

Quote:
1. Removed the smallest (250 GB) hard disk (as a measure of precaution, to have a backup to fall back to) and boot the system from the largest disk. A message that the system is degraded was displayed, as expected.

2. Invoked the Intel RAID Option ROM Utility and broke (deleted) the RAID 1 volume. Ignored the non-vallid warning that all data will become lost.


Using Win 7 X64 I followed these steps by booting from an ESEAUS partition manager boot CD and expanded the boot partition to the full size of the disk.

Booted up Windows ok so added new disk and created a mirror from the expanded disk. Worked fine. :) 
!