Questions

we are upgrading a raid array and...

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we are upgrading a raid array and...

KoronaXtra
I have a server, 1 RAID 1 for the OS (c), 2 RAID 5 for data (E,F). I want to destroy E and upgrade the drives from 73GB to 300GB, simple enough, right? but when I am in the RAID manager it tells me that when I destroy E it's going to rename F to E (I hope that all makes sense). I don't want to change any drive letters as there are clients that have access to my F drive.

Ideally we would just backup the data, kill both arrays and rebuild the arrays with the drive letters we wanted. However, these particular arrays are production sensitive and the amount of data isn't conducive for a quick backup/restore.

My IT manager and I have discussed this over and we have decided to look for possible workarounds/suggestions from the TR members.

What do you think guys?
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---TK---

Let it change the drive letter just to get through the process. Once "the process" is complete go back and use "Disk Management" to change the drive letter to what ever you need it to be.

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KoronaXtra

I guess the major concern is that SQL will throw a fit with the drive letter changes. I was thinking that we could kill the services and change the drive letters, then restart the services when we had the changes complete...Ultimately it shouldn't have any effect on the DB's if we change the drive letter back before we attempt to access the DB's again...right?

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---TK---

Anything non-essential should not start including SQL... RPC services don't even start in safe mode.

So I might try: build it, let it change, upon reboot start tapping F8, boot into safe mode, and change the drive letter...

Added: Back up all your drives and data before blowing anything away just in case you have to build from the ground up. Also I have never tested what you are doing, it is pure speculation... But I'm pretty sure it should work, lol, again purely speculation!

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KoronaXtra

but that may work...

I will talk to my boss tomorrow and see what he thinks.

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OH Smeg

Disconnect the F Drive and then remove the D Array and configure the new one and then shut down and reattach the F Drive.

Destroying any Array is going to move any subsequent Drives up the Drive Chain so you have to remove them before doing anything more.

Of course if F is some sort of Array you have a problem.

Col

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KoronaXtra

it is a RAID 5 array...

I got a little excited until that last note.

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OH Smeg

But the RAID Controller may not support it.

Remove one of the Disc's in the Array that you want to enlarge and fit a New drive and allow the Controller to rebuild the Array. Then change the other drives one at a time and allow the controller to rebuild the Array again.

When the system is restarted use a Tool like GParted to enlarge the Array to maximum size of the Disc Space available.

That may work if they are the same type of Drives. Of course if they are SCSI and you are replacing them with SATA things are unlikely to work but it all depends on the RAID Controller.

OH G Parted is available for free download here if you don't already have a copy

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php

If you are using different type drives with the new size I think you'll find you are completely stuffed though.

Col

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KoronaXtra

so that shouldn't pose a problem. I'm downloading gparted now to get a look around the interface.

This should happen within the next few days.

I'll update with results.

Thanks to both of you for all your help.

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OH Smeg

We try to confuse at every opportunity.

Lets know how you get on.

Col

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KoronaXtra

gparted worked great when testing, however when it came time to resize the disk, gparted only saw the logical size (i.e. the original 140GB array) and not the actual physical size.

We are just going to backup the data, kill and rebuild each array, then copy the data back.

Bummer because with all the DB's it takes over 4 hours to backup and another 2-3 to copy off the drives, not to mention the time it will take to re-attach all the DB's...

Any other ideas before we embark on this journey??

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Churdoo

I'm not sure what you actually ended up doing, but if you followed Smeg's advice to replace the disks one-by-one allowing array rebuild between each replacement, which is also what I would have suggested, then the only step you missed is, before gparted (actually there's no reason to use gparted as DISKPART included with windows will do what you need here), but before either of these utilities will see the additional capacity you need to use the array configuration utility to extend the array -- this will resize the array/logical drive to take up the larger physical capacity now available with the larger physical disks. With most modern array controllers this is a non-destructive array operation.

What kind of server is this and/or what array controller is installed? I'm assuming by some of the other references you make that this is a Windows Server O/S, which specifically?

Soooooo,
1. Use the array configuration utility to extend the array/logical drive
2. Use DISKPART (or gparted) to expand the volume within the extended logical drive
* If any drive letters have changed, as the others have suggested, disable services and/or use safe mode and then use disk mangler to specifically reset the drive letters appropriately.

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KoronaXtra

a Dell Poweredge 1800 with a Perc 4/DC RAID controller.

Here is what we did...
1) replaced the array disks one and a time and allowed each to rebuild.
2) rebooted the server and booted into gparted the only problem is that gparted only saw the logical size. I reread Smeg's post and I pretty much followed it exactly.

I never saw anything related to using the hardware RAID manager to expand the disk, nor did I see an option in the RAID manager to expand the disk. This could be due to non-current RAID firmware/driver.

We are still looking for a better fix than destroying two RAID arrays. I will give EASEUS a look and see what functionality it offers.

Thanks for all the help!

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Churdoo

gparted, easeus, diskpart will all tell you the same thing ... the problem is in the array configuration. You should be able to extend that array, and you do have to extend the array before ANY utility will recognize the additional capacity.

If you can't find in the Dell array manager where or how to extend the array (I'm more familiar with HP servers than I am with Dell so I can't tell you without having one in front of me), then it's worth a call to Dell support for them to assist. Certainly it's worth the phone call before rebuilding 2 arrays that you shouldn't otherwise have to rebuild.

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KoronaXtra

but i think the problem is just related to out of date firmware on the RAID controller and old BIOS. I'll update when we are finished.

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CG IT

and it works for resizing, adding, deleting, on SATA, SCSI and IDE drives including RAID.

might consider trying out the demo version [doesn't actually change anything] to see if it will work in your case.

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KoronaXtra

but it gave the same picture that gparted and 'minitool partition wizard' did. it ony sees the logical size of the disk and not the whole physical disk. It's reading what the raid array says is there...

i think we have to completely rebuild the array...

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CG IT

without losing data. The RAID controller simply won't let you move around physical discs.

For the RAID 1 mirrored, best bet is to swap out and rebuild. for RAID 5, add discs to the array. EASEUS can then resize using the unused unallocated space.

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KoronaXtra

just upgrading disks to larger capacity.

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CG IT

or that you had to create a partition to see the extra capacity?

you can create a partition to see the extra capacity, then use the resize tool to resize partitions allocating the extra capacity to whatever partition you want. If your RAID 5 array has 2 or 3 partitions, you can add a drive to the raid array using the RAID array controller utilities, then partition that space. Once you parition it, you can then take the space and resize the other 2 or 3 paritions, however you want.

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KoronaXtra

the drive as it was configured in Windows. I have uploaded a screen shot.

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/361/easeus.png

I could do a reconfigure with Open Manage but it would take 14+ hours...

We will figure it out soon.

Thanks for all the help out there. Once we are complete I will update this thread.

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KoronaXtra

So basically it took bios and firmware upgrades to finish this task. I booted into GParted and resized the disks to full capacity and it only took a few seconds.

Thanks to everyone for their help.