I have an HP Proliant G4 Server in a production environment with five (5) 36.4GB drives configured in a raid 5.
I have a spare G4 sitting around with 0 drives that was given to me. Functional but with 0 HD's. In the event of a hardware failure on the production G4 (besides the HD's themselves), could I pull the 5 drives from it and move them to the spare G4 (same hardware) and reconfigure the Array to raid 5 and still keep the data in tact? Last I remember once you create a new logical drive it will delete the data (or at least become unbootable). IS there any third party application to help keeping in mind the hardware is the same.
This is the kind of thing that I'd never try based on what someone else told me. If I were you I'd try to find 3 spare drives somewhere so that you could actually create a 3-drive array and test the migration to see if it works or not.
If it works with a 70GB 3-drive RAID 5 array, I can't imagine why it wouldn't work with a 140GB 5-drive RAID 5 array. But if you're really paranoid, then try to scrounge up 5 drives to do an exact test with.
Better yet, backup that data and try it with the exact hardware that you are running now. Its not that much space to back it up. .... Edit... I just read that it is production. Hope you can take the downtime to do it. Do you know the exact model? There are a lot of different configs for those servers from what I see on HP's sight. This should be possible to do. How else could the hardware handle a backplane failure or something like that. A disk is not the only thing that can fail in a RAID system.