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Clone SCSI RAID 5 to expand onto new volume

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February 13, 2012 1:24:35 AM

I have a Dell server with PERC controller setup with RAID 5. I added a drive as I ran out of space, but I cannot expand RAID volume onto new drive. I see posts that say I must clone current volume onto external storage, add new drive and create new expanded volume and copy image back to new volume. Problem is, I have not seen any software I can clone RAID 5, Windows Server 2003 onto external USB drive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
February 13, 2012 1:37:07 AM

couple of questions-

1. Which Dell Server
2. Where are you out of space? C: drive or other partition? (or all of them?)

I ran into a similar situation with a PowerEdge 2600. Three of the six HD slots in the cage were used with a 3-disk Raid5 and three were free. I just needed more storage on the shared drives so I put three more disks in and set up another Raid5 with a single logical disk and shared it.
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February 13, 2012 1:37:59 AM

You dont need specific software to clone raided drives. its just a volume as far as windows knows. (Norton Ghost, Acronis Drive Image & Many More)

It all depends on your raid controller, alot of high end one's will allow you to expand the arrays on the fly and it does all the work while the system is live.

others require you to delete and re-create the array (destroying data on the drives)

Calling Dell support will give you the best procedure to expand your array.
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February 13, 2012 1:44:27 AM

It is a Dell 2850 server with 3 drive RAID 5 with two volumes. The "C" drive is 12 GB with 700MB free and the "D" drive is 260 GB with 52 GB free. It is my Exchange server and Terminal Server for 6 remote users. It has a PERC 4e/Di RAID Controller and when I added the drive I did not see any options for expanding the space onto the new drive. The only option I saw that seemed appropriate was to include the drive into the array, which I did. I have been deleting temp files for past two weeks keeping space on C around 1 GB. I would really just like to have a command to expand the current space onto the new drive, but I do not see that option.
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February 13, 2012 1:57:34 AM

You won't have that option unfortunately. You can add a drive as a hot spare but that doesn't accomplish what you're trying to do. There aren't many options to expand the C drive except to move it off the server, delete the RAID and recreate it with the additional disk like you've said. Symantec makes a product called System Recovery 2010 that allows you to do a bare metal restore. You "clone" the logical disks to another location (SAN, network drive, USB Drive, etc) and then restore it to the new expanded RAID. I've used it before and it works quite well.
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February 13, 2012 2:14:45 AM

Honestly, you might want to try other, more "Enterprise" type websites. Toms is great to find out how to overclock a CPU or what Power supply to buy, but there are much better websites for Server questions. Good luck.
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February 13, 2012 4:44:45 AM

DG92656 said:
It has a PERC 4e/Di RAID Controller and when I added the drive I did not see any options for expanding the space onto the new drive. The only option I saw that seemed appropriate was to include the drive into the array, which I did. I have been deleting temp files for past two weeks keeping space on C around 1 GB. I would really just like to have a command to expand the current space onto the new drive, but I do not see that option.


That option isn't available on the PERC 4's. I've done it on PERC 6's, and I **think** the PERC 5's have that capability, but the PERC 4 is just too old to do what you want. Might be time for an newer PERC controller card, if your server supports it. (You can pick 'em up used for a few hundred on eBay, but I'm not sure I'd trust used gear for an enterprise mail system.) I certainly wouldn't be running an Exchange server off of a 2 generations old RAID controller, if I could possibly avoid it.
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