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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

By jr_hearty ·
I have a proliant dl380 running RAID 5 with three disks on a Smart Array 5300 Controller. I am adding a 4th drive to the array. I read that the best way to add a drive to a RAID array is to format the system, add the drive, rebuild the array with the drive, and restore the original system from backup.

I don't have very much confidence in my tape backup and I just read that Norton Ghost doesn't support restoring an image to a RAID array.

I am wondering what the best way proceed is. I don't want to lose any permissions to files and printers.

The server is Win2k, is a member server in an NT 4.0 domain, and also serves as a print queue.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by sgt_shultz In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

i would like to hear what others have to say about this...but...i think it is time for you to become confident about your tape backups...as i believe the backup and restore is the way you are going to have to go. if you a big enuf hard drive you could put it in the system and copy to that...using robocopy (on NT resource disk) or the like can preserve the file permissions...that is a bite about ghost and RAID...for me, RAID is like the 'girl with the curl' when it is good it is very very good and when it is bad it is horrid. while you are in the middle of all this, why not practice 'failed RAID drive' so you are clear on what it takes to replace a failed drive (you might be surprised to find out you need the same drive size/model as the failed drive and need to keep spares on hand...) you really really need to get a backup system you can rely on/be confident in...good luck hope this helps a little.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by jr_hearty In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

Thanks for your suggestions.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by bart777 In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

Since this is a Win2K server I would just run a windows backup to another network share and then proceed with rebuilding the array. Once that's done you could restore the original config to the server and be up and running in a couple of hours at most. (Depending on the backup/restore time) We use this same procedure for all of our servers. Works great.

Good Luck

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by jr_hearty In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

Thank you. I appreciate your response

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by John Rea In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

There is no easy way around this but to rebuild the RAID array. Here are a few comments that might help to reduce your RISK of downtime /dataloss.

o) I like to have an online copy just in case. Map any critical network shares from any other computer that has sufficient diskspace & SCOPY ( in the resource kit, to maintain security & ACLs ) the files to it.

o) Perform a backup & test restore a few files. You should be doing this anyway if you are not happy with the backups, to build confidience / experience.

o) If you are worried about the data/services being offered then you should seriously look at being able to restore your backups. Backup Exec have an Intelligent Disaster Recovery (IDR) that I have used sucessfully. It still takes a bit of practice & confidence.

o) Make sure you have more than one backup of the server & make sure they are backed up with VERIFY. Its a good habit to WRITE PROTECT the backup tape you are about to restore.

o) Good practice is to be able to backup the server & restore to another computer. If it is exactly the same it is a lot easier, but if not you may just have to worry about the ethernet & HDD controller drivers. This is brilliant if you expect lots of downtime during reconfig or to be able to work on business recovery

o) Its always a good Idea to have a seperate system partition/disk array to a data disk array. You can minimise the abount of data to be horsed about.

0) If you are adding the extra disk for addational storage, why not add two & mirror them ( or three & raid 5 them) , you can then use this extra diskspace without any backup/restore. It will cost a bit more but if you can fit it it may permit you to defer the rebuild of the raid for a while.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by jr_hearty In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

Thanks John. I appreciate your input. We definitely have to practice doing full restores. I appreciate your input.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by Monice In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

I am a Compaq ASE. The Smart Array 5300 Controller has the Online Capacity Expansion. I am assuming that your server has hotplug HDD's. If so just plug the new one into an empty slot, go to the Compaq Array Configuration Utility and expand your existing array to include the new drive. The array expansion may slow server performance down, but will be done with server online and accessable to your users. If you need more assistance let me know.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by Monice In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

YOU DON'T HAVE TO REBUILD YOUR ARRAY!

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by jr_hearty In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

I believe the problem is with Microsoft. They were supposed to fix the problem with Service Pack 2. But I am afraid to trust what they say with a production server.

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Adding a Disk to a RAID Array

by colin In reply to Adding a Disk to a RAID A ...

If your Raid controller has a battery backed up cache you can just add a drive and expand the arrey, if not can you beg, borrow or steal one to do the expansion and then change back.

Or get a reliable backup device and software and do a disaster recovery, both arcserve and backup exec make this a minor headache.

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