Upgrading Disk Space; Problem with Raid 2.1

  • orhlixyone
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,

Our office has a main server (Windows Server 2003) with 3 hard Drives (C, D, E) and because it's running low on disk space, I decided to get another 500 GB. My problem is, after opening the machine, I discovered that it's Raid-ed (Raid 2.1). I can't touch it at all. It won't recognize the new drive and when I remove the old drives, it still shows on the server. Now, i was tyold that I should remove the Raid but that's dangerous because it coud erase the data. Is there a way to get rid of the RAID without losing data?

All I really want is to be able to upgarde our Server's disk space.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What in the hell is RAID 2.1?

RAID is typically labeled RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-5. Considering you have 3 drives I would assume it is RAID-5 since that is the minimum amount of hard drives needed for a RAID-5.

As far as I know, there is no way you are going to be able to dump the RAID array without losing data.

Some of what you are saying doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. The server should have recognized the new 500GB drive. Did you check disk management when you had it installed? When you say you removed the drives, do you mean you pulled all three drives?

What kind of server is it? What kind of drives are currently installed? What do you see when you view disk management?
  • orhlixyone
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, i did check the disk management and the new hard Drive wasn't there.

At the time, I just removed one then turn on the server; put it back; remove another; then return the other one; then turn on the server. I didn't remove all the drives.

It's a DHCP server

Here's what I see in Disk Management:

[Volume]--[Layout]--[Type]--[File System]--[Satus]
C Partition Basic NTFS Healthy (System)
D Partition Basic NTFS Healthy
E Partition Basic NTFS Healthy
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All three partitions are on Disk 0 then? If so it is a RAID-5 setup more than likely. If you pull one drive in a RAID-5 it will not affect performance at all and all of your partitions will remain in tact. That is how RAID-5 works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID_5#RAID_5

The server is a DHCP server? Why are you running out of disk space then?

What size are all of the drives in the server? They should all be the same size.

As far as the server not seeing the new hard drive, make sure it is the right type of hard drive. Such as SATA, SCSI, SAS. Should be the same type as what is already in the server.
  • orhlixyone
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, they are all the same size and each drive is the same- SATA. Each Drive is 160.

Would it be possible since all three drives are connected to a Raid Adapter, there must be some software out there that can help me...
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Who made the server? Dell, HP, IBM? Is it a rackmount or desktop server?

Every server I have ever dealt with has a RAID management utility that you can access during bootup. Some will actually have an application you can run from the desktop for managing the RAID.

Since you haven't been able to tell me what RAID you are running I am going to run with the RAID-5 assumption. How RAID-5 works is the RAID controller will take your 3 160GB SATA drives and create one 320GB drive. Data is written to all three disks along with something called parity. The parity is what allows the array to continue to function when a hard drive fails or when you pull one out. If one hard drive fails and you replace it, the array will rebuild the data on the new drive using the parity stored on the other two drives. If two drives fail you are up the creek without a paddle.

The thing with RAID arrays is, all drives SHOULD be the same size and make. Theoretically you can add the new 500GB drive to the array but you will only be able to use 160GB of it therefore wasting 340GB.

So the question I have to you now is, you have three partitions on a 320GB drive, which partition is running out of space? Why is your DHCP server running out of space anyway? If DHCP is the only thing that server does this should not happen.

What exactly do you want to do with this new 500GB drive?
  • orhlixyone
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The partition running out of space is E. The server act as a DNS, Active X, DHCP, and people upload and download files of it. People upload their stuff on the E drive.

I just want to increase Drive E by putting the 500 GB drive in the server.
  • jflynn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here is an option,

Install your new HD (not with the RAID) use something like MaxBlast the clone all of the data to the new HD from the RAID.

The only issue here is that you don't have a backup HD now. Could you buy another HD?

(Maxblast only works if you have a Seagate or Maxtor HD installed)
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Since this is a RAID setup you can add the 500Gb drive to the array and increase E: but as I said, adding the 500GB to the array will force you to lose 340GB of space. You could just add the drive outside of the array and tell people to use the new drive for sharing files.

Here is what I would try. Put in the new drive and reboot the server. During the boot sequence you should see a message about pressing a key combo to enter the RAID config. I think on my dell servers it is ctrl+l. See if it sees the new drive. DO NOT add it to the array unless you want to lose 340GB. Just check to see if it is recognized. Exit the RAID utility and boot into Windows. Check disk management and see if the drive is listed. It may not have a drive letter so check carefully.

On a side note, i find it a really bad idea to use your DNS and DHCP server as a file server for storing shared files. It just isn't a good idea security wise. You should setup an actual file server for this and keep people off the DNS server.

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