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Raid 1 Partition Extension

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August 30, 2009 12:32:02 AM

My computer originally contained a single 160G hard drive. My ASUS P4 MB had a RAID controller. I added two 320G SATA drives and set them up in RAID 1 configuration and cloned my original 160G drive. Everything is great except my RAID array thinks it is 160G, versus the 320G that the drives are capable of. Using Windows Computer Management, I see the RAID drive c: with 160G, but it does not show the additional space anywhere. I need to either expand drive C;, or create a new drive to reclaim the lost 160G space. I haven't found anything that works yet. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Larry...
a c 357 G Storage
August 30, 2009 5:25:09 AM

Do you still have the 160 GB drive? If so, a simpler solution may be to re-do the cloning twice, oddly enough. First, clone your current C: drive (the RAID1 array) back to the old 160 GB unit. Then use cloning software again to clone back to your RAID array, but with two important changes. First one is to be sure to delete all data on the RAID1 array so it has no left-over Partition taking up space. Then when you make the clone and establish the Primary Partition on the RAID1 array, be sure to tell the software to use ALL of the destination drive's space, and NOT to simply make an exact duplicate of the 160 GB unit.
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August 30, 2009 2:21:05 PM

Thanks Paperdoc. I do still have the 160G drive and it is presently running as drive E:. I'll give your suggestion a try. I just can't remember how I did the cloning in the first place. It was over a year ago. Do you have any suggestion on how to do the cloning?

Thanks, Larry...
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a c 357 G Storage
August 31, 2009 3:05:42 PM

First task will be to save all of the data on the E: drive somewhere, because it all will be destroyed in the cloning operations I propose. I'd try to be cautious and make TWO backup copies, then VERIFY each one to be sure you can get your data back at the end.

Depending on who made your three drives, you probably can get free software for this. In fact, maybe you have it, since you did the job once before. From their website, Seagate will let you download a free utility package, Seagate Disk Wizard, that you install on your computer to use. It appears to be a customized verison of Acronis True Image. Usually it will make a clone TO only a Seagate drive (they don't care which old drive you have, only that you are moving to one of their drives as your new replacement). Similarly, WD will give you Acronis True Image WD Edition. Other HDD makers may have similar tools available.

So to clone back to your old 160 GB unit, choose the cloning tool for that drive as Destination. You'll have to ensure it deletes the old Partition on it to make way for the clone. You will have to check that it makes the clone to use the full capacity of that drive, and does not try for something bigger, but I doubt that will come up at all.

Now, to clone once more to the RAID1 array from thew 160 GB, there's a detail I'm not sure of. If you were just cloning to a sinlge 320 GB drive, you would simply choose the cloning software for that destination drive and run it. Then you'd make sure that, as it starts, it deletes all existing partitions and creates a new bootable partition that uses the entire drive space, then clones to that. But you are doing this with a RAID1 array. I do not know whether the cloning software can do this deletion of Partition and creation of new full-size Partition if the Destination is a RAID1 array. Maybe it can - after all, in many ways such an array appears simply to be one HDD, but manipulating Partitions is not common file access work.

If the cloning utility cannot do this job the easy way, there's another way to do it. Having made the first clone to the 160 GB unit, you then use the RAID software utilities to BREAK the RAID1 array into separate hard drives again. Each will have an identical copy of the other, and each will operate independently. You can use Disk Manager to delete any and all Partitions on each of the separate 320 GB units. Then you make the clone to ONE of these new empty 320 GB units, making sure it uses all of the 320 GB for the boot volume, and it is a bootable disk.

As the final step, you use the RAID software again to create a new RAID1 array in which the newly-cloned unit is the original disk containing data, and the empty one is being added to it to create the RAID1 array. Doing that creates the array and then copies everything from original to partner disk, thus establishing the mirror system. Once that's done the new array should be able to take back its original function as the boot device, only with its full capacity.

AFTER you are sure this new array is working as required, last step is to use Disk Manager again to delete all Partitions on the 160 GB unit, establish a new empty Primary Partition on it, format it, and set it up as a new empty E: drive. Then restore to it all the data in your backup.
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September 1, 2009 3:41:30 AM

Thanks again Paperdoc. A very thorough reply and great guidance. I'll tackle the job in a few days when I have plenty of time so as to not rush, and I find all the original disks that came with the drives. I'll let you know how it works out!

Larry...
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