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Best way to change drive storage on a raid 1 win2003

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January 23, 2010 12:43:31 PM

How to change hard drive to larger size on server 2003 raid 1.
January 24, 2010 5:00:22 AM

Quote:
Do you want to resize the partitions on RAID 1 or add a larger hard drive to RAID 1 controller?



Not resizing, I would like to replace the existing drive with a larger one. Currently under Raid1, there are two partitions on the drive: system & data. I want to duplicate the same setup to the new drives. I have access to other XP computer which has Acronis image backup if need be.
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a c 342 G Storage
January 24, 2010 4:08:05 PM

This should be straightforward if you have the right tools already. The key things you need are good RAID management software tools, and a good cloning software package.

How are you running the RAID array? If it is through the RAID controls built into your mobo and its BIOS, you probably have what you need. If it uses an add-in RAID controller card in your PCI slots, I would expect you have or can get the RAID tools needed. If you are using the software RAID system included with Windows, I don't know what tools they provide but they should be available. In all cases, the secret is to find the instruction manual for the RAID controller and its software tools. If you're using the built-in mobo RAID system the instructions may be included in the mobo manual, or they may be a separate manual you can download. Go to either the mobo manufacturer's website, or the website of the maker of the main chipset on your mobo to find it.

You also need cloning software. Acronis True Image is really good and maybe you can install it on your RAID machine. If not, you can get a free customized version of it by download from Seagate (they call it Disk Wizard) or WD (Acronis True Image WD Edition). HOWEVER, each of these free packages will make a clone ONLY TO a hard made by the supplier. So you can use Disk Wizard ONLY to make a clone TO a drive made by Seagate - they don't care which old drive you are copying FROM. So, wherever you buy your two new drives from, look for their free cloning software download, too, and its instruction manual.

The overall sequence I suggest should really be done in your machine that has the RAID drives in it. Moving them to another machine could just add complications. The sequence depends on the character of RAID1 arrays - you have two identical copies of the same thing on the two members of the array.

1. Download and install the cloning software package on the RAID machine.

2. Use the RAID management software tools to break the array apart into two separate drives. After this step you have two identical individual drives, each with usable copies of the original RAID data. Shut down the machine, remove one of those drives to keep externally as a good and complete backup so far. Now mount the two new drives in the machine, configure as SEPARATE drives but you do NOT need to Partition or Format them because these steps will be done for you anyway. Boot the machine from the old single drive that used to be half of the RAID1 array.

3. Run the cloning software to clone both Partitions on the old drive to ONE of the ones. In doing so, pay attention to Partition sizes. By default the software may offer to create the two Partitions on the new drive in PROPORTION to their sizes on the old one, and that may not be what you want. If your new drive is five times bigger than the old one, I doubt you need your System Partition to be five times bigger. So manually set the Partition sizes, with the new System Partition not much bigger that the old one, and the new DATA Partition all the rest of the new drive's space. Of course, you will have it make the new System Partition bootable.

5. For the next couple of steps I'm going to write as if you were using built-in RAID controllers on the mobo. If that is not the case, adapt the concepts and use the correct procedures according to the instructions for your system. When the cloning is done, shut down. Remove the remaining old drive unit, perhaps reconnect SATA data cables so the new drives are using the same mobo pinout connectors as the original RAID drives were. Reboot and go directly into BIOS Setup to ensure that the two new drives are configured correctly, but still do NOT configure them as RAID drives. Ensure the one you have prepared so far (with its clone copies) is the boot drive. Save and Exit and let ti boot up. Just make sure everything is working nicely, but you still will NOT be able to see the second new drive - it has not been prepared.

6. Reboot and go directly into BIOS Setup and configure the two drives as RAID units in the SATA port configuration. Save and exit. As the POST screens come up there will be a prompt to press particular key(s) to enter the RAID setup screens. Do that. Choose the procedure to Create a RAID1 array by Adding a second drive to an existing single drive full of data. The system will take care of Partitioning and Formatting the second drive and copying all data over to create the mirror image of the first drive on the second. When it is done I expect it will reboot your machine and it should come up with the entire process complete and your new RAID1 array working exactly as you want.

If this all works as planned, you have two separate old drives on the desk, each with perfect copies of the old system that could be used as backups to run from if anything goes wrong. But if it's all good, you can decide what to do with those units later.
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January 24, 2010 11:01:40 PM

Paperdoc said:
This should be straightforward if you have the right tools already. The key things you need are good RAID management software tools, and a good cloning software package.

How are you running the RAID array? If it is through the RAID controls built into your mobo and its BIOS, you probably have what you need. If it uses an add-in RAID controller card in your PCI slots, I would expect you have or can get the RAID tools needed. If you are using the software RAID system included with Windows, I don't know what tools they provide but they should be available. In all cases, the secret is to find the instruction manual for the RAID controller and its software tools. If you're using the built-in mobo RAID system the instructions may be included in the mobo manual, or they may be a separate manual you can download. Go to either the mobo manufacturer's website, or the website of the maker of the main chipset on your mobo to find it.

You also need cloning software. Acronis True Image is really good and maybe you can install it on your RAID machine. If not, you can get a free customized version of it by download from Seagate (they call it Disk Wizard) or WD (Acronis True Image WD Edition). HOWEVER, each of these free packages will make a clone ONLY TO a hard made by the supplier. So you can use Disk Wizard ONLY to make a clone TO a drive made by Seagate - they don't care which old drive you are copying FROM. So, wherever you buy your two new drives from, look for their free cloning software download, too, and its instruction manual.

The overall sequence I suggest should really be done in your machine that has the RAID drives in it. Moving them to another machine could just add complications. The sequence depends on the character of RAID1 arrays - you have two identical copies of the same thing on the two members of the array.

1. Download and install the cloning software package on the RAID machine.

2. Use the RAID management software tools to break the array apart into two separate drives. After this step you have two identical individual drives, each with usable copies of the original RAID data. Shut down the machine, remove one of those drives to keep externally as a good and complete backup so far. Now mount the two new drives in the machine, configure as SEPARATE drives but you do NOT need to Partition or Format them because these steps will be done for you anyway. Boot the machine from the old single drive that used to be half of the RAID1 array.

3. Run the cloning software to clone both Partitions on the old drive to ONE of the ones. In doing so, pay attention to Partition sizes. By default the software may offer to create the two Partitions on the new drive in PROPORTION to their sizes on the old one, and that may not be what you want. If your new drive is five times bigger than the old one, I doubt you need your System Partition to be five times bigger. So manually set the Partition sizes, with the new System Partition not much bigger that the old one, and the new DATA Partition all the rest of the new drive's space. Of course, you will have it make the new System Partition bootable.

5. For the next couple of steps I'm going to write as if you were using built-in RAID controllers on the mobo. If that is not the case, adapt the concepts and use the correct procedures according to the instructions for your system. When the cloning is done, shut down. Remove the remaining old drive unit, perhaps reconnect SATA data cables so the new drives are using the same mobo pinout connectors as the original RAID drives were. Reboot and go directly into BIOS Setup to ensure that the two new drives are configured correctly, but still do NOT configure them as RAID drives. Ensure the one you have prepared so far (with its clone copies) is the boot drive. Save and Exit and let ti boot up. Just make sure everything is working nicely, but you still will NOT be able to see the second new drive - it has not been prepared.

6. Reboot and go directly into BIOS Setup and configure the two drives as RAID units in the SATA port configuration. Save and exit. As the POST screens come up there will be a prompt to press particular key(s) to enter the RAID setup screens. Do that. Choose the procedure to Create a RAID1 array by Adding a second drive to an existing single drive full of data. The system will take care of Partitioning and Formatting the second drive and copying all data over to create the mirror image of the first drive on the second. When it is done I expect it will reboot your machine and it should come up with the entire process complete and your new RAID1 array working exactly as you want.

If this all works as planned, you have two separate old drives on the desk, each with perfect copies of the old system that could be used as backups to run from if anything goes wrong. But if it's all good, you can decide what to do with those units later.



Thanks for the detail procedures, your reply is well written and concise. I will try it on the Dell server with the Perc SCSI Raid controller. As to my cloning software, the Acronis True Image is non-server version, so it will only work if the drive is taken out and imaged on a Windows XP machine. If the HDD mfr has their own like Disk Wizard for Seagate and you indicated that it will work directly on the Server w/ WK3 then I will use that instead.

In summary, your explanation is the best I've read and it really help shed a light on how it is done properly. Thanks, thumbs up.
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a c 342 G Storage
January 25, 2010 10:33:16 AM

Since you have a SCSI RAID controller, do you have the manual for that system that details how to use the software tools that came with it? I'm presuming you have such tools, or can download them from Dell or Perc. The key tools I presumed you would have are a way to break up a RAID1 into separate drives (usually used when a RAID1 drive fails and you have to separate the array so you can replace the faulty one), and a way to Create an array by adding an empty new disk and copying to it (usually used in the second phase of repairing a failed array - when you have the new HDD unit in place and are rebuilding the RAID1).

It is possible there is an even more direct route for this, but I do not know whether this is included in Acronis True Image. Conceivably one could clone an entire RAID1 array (two disks) to another RAID1 array if they both were in the same machine AND if Acronis is prepared to take on that task.

In your case, I was not aware that Acronis will refuse to operate under a Win Server OS. If the free download version only works like that, too, I guess doing the cloning in an XP machine will work. The only thing I can suggest there is that the cloning software should be mounted on that machine's C: drive, and both the old and new drives should be installed as additional drives temporarily. Don't try to boot from the old drive from the server. Within the cloning software you always have to specify the Source and Destination drives, so I don't see why you could not do what you plan. Just be sure the Destination is the New drive!

By the way, I don't know whose HDD's you are buying. If it is not Seagate or WD, check their website and see what they do offer for cloning support. Most have something to help their customers move to their disk units.
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February 4, 2010 1:15:56 AM

Best answer selected by nsdy2k.
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