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Upgrading SATA RAID 1 HDDs

By tech ·
I want to upgrade a SATA RAID 1 (mirrored) set from 160GB to 750GB. The SATA RAID controller is a Silicon Image SiI3112A, on-board, on an Intel SE7505VB2 dual-processor workstation motherboard.

Don't I just swap a fresh 750GB drive out of the box in for one of the 160GB drives, let the set rebuild, and repeat for the second?

Why would the system hang during the controller's POST, recognizing the new 750GB drive and its channel but not its capacity? The hang prevents getting to the RAID controller's setup.

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nope it doesn't rebuild like that

by Jaqui In reply to Upgrading SATA RAID 1 HDD ...

you have to put both new drives in and restore data from a backup.

if you work with just one, it will only recognize the 160 gb of the original, not the new, larger size.

and raid 1 doesn't really give you a lot of data loss protcetion.

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I thought that was with Raid 0,...not raid 1..

"raid 1 doesn't really give you a lot of data loss protection".

Raid one is a mirror raid and raid zero is a pairup raid, IE.two drives as one.
That is how i figure my raid drives.

Please post back if you have more problems or questions.

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I'm afraid that Jaqui is right about rebuilding the RAID

by OH Smeg In reply to Upgrading SATA RAID 1 HDD ...

As for the system hanging when you add different size drives to the RAID some of the SIL Controllers cause this to happen.

They look at the Drives in the RAID and if there is a difference the system will not start.

However he's wrong about the level of Data Redundancy that RAID 1 Offers unless of course he is saying that using a RAID 1 Array by itself is not real way to protect your Data. Then that statement is correct RAID 1 is slower and consumes more Drive space and is good for guarding against HDD Failures but it doesn't really offer the level of protection required to make sure that your DATA is safe. You need to have Offside Backup's to do this.

Col

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I punted.

by tech In reply to Upgrading SATA RAID 1 HDD ...

OK, I basically punted and installed the two new 750GB drives on a second controller, an old Adaptec PCI add-in SATA RAID card that recognized the two new drives immediately, instead of banging my head for days trying to get the on-board controller to work with the new drives. Everything works now, with the system partitions on the old drives/old on-board controller.

Interestingly, the OS-based RAID utility for the on-board controller(which is actually very thin on functionality) did recognize the 750GB drive when I hot-swapped it, and built the set onto it automatically. The controller's BIOS POST hung as before on a cold boot thereafter, however.

What I didn't try was updating the on-board controller's BIOS, which was outdated. Curiously, there wasn't a floppy-based flash utility and this could only be accomplished via the driver-based configuration utility under Device Manager. This presented two problems. First, the buttons and fields were greyed out and non-functional and the driver-based utility didn't appear to recognize the chip. Second, and even if this did work, the available BIOS upgrades were advertised in the associated Readme.txt files as being either for add-in cards only, or in development/experimental for on-board chips. Consequently, I was reluctant to flash the controller's BIOS with something unworkable and not be able to roll back.

Lessons learned:
- As with many backup utilities, many RAID 1 implementations neglect restore functionality.
- Adaptec's hardware appears far more robust and it has far more robust BIOS- and OS-based RAID utilities. Even the BIOS-based utility permitted cold-swapping a new drive into a RAID 1 (mirrored) set and rebuilding. Everything worked as expected.

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