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Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003

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  #1  
Old 23-06-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003

Excuse the repost... for some reason my previous posts can't be found on the
server. Does Microsoft filter postings from users that don't use a MS NNTP
client?



I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives assembled
into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.

I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up in the
Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I can't
figure out how to add this drive to the array.

I was able to do this the last time I added a drive to the PC, but I do not
remember how.

How do you expand a RAID5 array after installing a new hard drive into the
system???


Also, a related question... How can you see how big a single partition
assigned to a RAID5 array is? How can I see what size to allocate on the new
drive to match othe existing drives in the array?

All help is appreciated!!!




Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23-06-2008
Hank Arnold (MVP)
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003

Calab wrote:
> Excuse the repost... for some reason my previous posts can't be found on the
> server. Does Microsoft filter postings from users that don't use a MS NNTP
> client?
>
>
>
> I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives assembled
> into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
>
> I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up in the
> Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I can't
> figure out how to add this drive to the array.
>
> I was able to do this the last time I added a drive to the PC, but I do not
> remember how.
>
> How do you expand a RAID5 array after installing a new hard drive into the
> system???
>
>
> Also, a related question... How can you see how big a single partition
> assigned to a RAID5 array is? How can I see what size to allocate on the new
> drive to match othe existing drives in the array?
>
> All help is appreciated!!!
>
>
>


Simple process is to back up the data, break the array, recreate it and
restore the data.

You really should consider a hardware array. Software arrays are really
not a good thing. If the OS drive corrupted and lost, the software array
is gone. It's also inherently slower (in addition to being the slowest
RAID array). Buy a decent RAID adapter and build a hardware array....

--

Regards,
Hank Arnold
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Directory Services
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26-06-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003

Seeing how the MS server is blocking posts from my choice of news client
(MesNews) I'll try this again...

"Hank Arnold (MVP)" <rasilon@aol.com> wrote in message
news:u2MzvuR1IHA.3860@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>> I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives
>> assembled into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
>>
>> I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up in
>> the Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I
>> can't figure out how to add this drive to the array.


> Simple process is to back up the data, break the array, recreate it and
> restore the data.


Where am I going to get two terabytes of space that I can quickly back my
data up to just because Windows can't handle it's own RAID system? I had no
problems adding drive space while using Debian Linux.

> You really should consider a hardware array. Software arrays are really
> not
> a good thing. If the OS drive corrupted and lost, the software array is
> gone. It's also inherently slower (in addition to being the slowest RAID
> array). Buy a decent RAID adapter and build a hardware array....


Have you priced out a PCI eight port SATA RAID controller?

Also, if the OS is trashed, format the OS drive and reconnect the array. It
works just fine. I've seen an array of software RAID drives moved from one
PC to another and Windows picked it up fine. Drives didn't even need to be
connected to the controllers in the same order.

If your hardware controller fails, you better hope that you have an exact
replacement ready, because hardware controllers aren't interchangable.


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  #4  
Old 29-06-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003


"Calab" <myspam@csd.ca> wrote in message
news:uEW2kLz1IHA.2064@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...

| "Hank Arnold (MVP)" <rasilon@aol.com> wrote in message
| news:u2MzvuR1IHA.3860@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
| >> I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives
| >> assembled into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
| >>
| >> I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up
in
| >> the Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I
| >> can't figure out how to add this drive to the array.
|
| > Simple process is to back up the data, break the array, recreate it and
| > restore the data.
|
| Where am I going to get two terabytes of space that I can quickly back my
| data up to just because Windows can't handle it's own RAID system? I had
no
| problems adding drive space while using Debian Linux.
|
| > You really should consider a hardware array. Software arrays are really
| > not
| > a good thing. If the OS drive corrupted and lost, the software array is
| > gone. It's also inherently slower (in addition to being the slowest RAID
| > array). Buy a decent RAID adapter and build a hardware array....
|
| Have you priced out a PCI eight port SATA RAID controller?
|
| Also, if the OS is trashed, format the OS drive and reconnect the array.
It
| works just fine. I've seen an array of software RAID drives moved from one
| PC to another and Windows picked it up fine. Drives didn't even need to be
| connected to the controllers in the same order.
|
| If your hardware controller fails, you better hope that you have an exact
| replacement ready, because hardware controllers aren't interchangable.

Anyone else? Is it just not possible to grow a Windows software RAID 5
array?

I also thought of another reason to use the Windows software RAID... With
different size drives you can still create partitions on the remaining bits
of the drive not used by the RAID array. For example:

Two 640gig hard drives and one 500gig hard drive.
Create a three drive RAID5 array consisting of three 500gig partitions. You
can then create 140gig partitions on the two 640gig drives (use them for
RAID1 for your OS).

With a hardware controller, don't all the drives simply get treated as the
smallest drive an the remaining space is wasted?


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  #5  
Old 01-07-2008
yutao
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003


Hi,

On a software RAID may be you can see partition table through some
partition manager software.

I found the information bellow on a website:

"A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is striped
across an array of three or more disks. Parity (a calculated value that
can be used to reconstruct data after a failure) is also striped across
the disk array. If a physical disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5
volume that was on that failed disk can be re-created from the remaining
data and the parity. A RAID-5 volume cannot be mirrored or extended."

http://www.easeus.com/resource/dynam...k-recovery.htm

Hope helpful!

Calab;8421485 Wrote:
> Excuse the repost... for some reason my previous posts can't be found on
> the
> server. Does Microsoft filter postings from users that don't use a MS
> NNTP
> client?
>
>
>
> I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives
> assembled
> into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
>
> I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up
> in the
> Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I
> can't
> figure out how to add this drive to the array.
>
> I was able to do this the last time I added a drive to the PC, but I do
> not
> remember how.
>
> How do you expand a RAID5 array after installing a new hard drive into
> the
> system???
>
>
> Also, a related question... How can you see how big a single partition
> assigned to a RAID5 array is? How can I see what size to allocate on
> the new
> drive to match othe existing drives in the array?
>
> All help is appreciated!!!



--
yutao
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-07-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003


"yutao" <yutao.3buye9@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au> wrote in message
news:yutao.3buye9@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au...
| Calab;8421485 Wrote:
| > Excuse the repost... for some reason my previous posts can't be found on
| > the
| > server. Does Microsoft filter postings from users that don't use a MS
| > NNTP
| > client?
| >
| >
| >
| > I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives
| > assembled
| > into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
| >
| > I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up
| > in the
| > Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I
| > can't
| > figure out how to add this drive to the array.
| >
| > I was able to do this the last time I added a drive to the PC, but I do
| > not
| > remember how.
| >
| > How do you expand a RAID5 array after installing a new hard drive into
| > the
| > system???
| >
| >
| > Also, a related question... How can you see how big a single partition
| > assigned to a RAID5 array is? How can I see what size to allocate on
| > the new
| > drive to match othe existing drives in the array?
| >
| > All help is appreciated!!!

| On a software RAID may be you can see partition table through some
| partition manager software.
|
| I found the information bellow on a website:
|
| "A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is striped
| across an array of three or more disks. Parity (a calculated value that
| can be used to reconstruct data after a failure) is also striped across
| the disk array. If a physical disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5
| volume that was on that failed disk can be re-created from the remaining
| data and the parity. A RAID-5 volume cannot be mirrored or extended."
|
| http://www.easeus.com/resource/dynam...k-recovery.htm
|

I have been able to do this on a Linux machine, so I know that it's possible
to do this without a hardware RAID controller.

Could I add a new drive to the array, then use software like Partition Magic
to expand the RAID partition?

I don't see any way to add a drive to the array in Disk Management. I know
about the DISKPART command line utility, but not how to use it.

Below is what I currently have in the machine. Disk7 is the newly added
500gig drive that I'd like to add to Volume0

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ---------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 56 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
Disk 2 Online 76 GB 8033 KB
Disk 3 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
Disk 4 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
Disk 5 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
Disk 6 Online 466 GB 1015 KB * *
* Disk 7 Online 466 GB 466 GB *

DISKPART> select disk 7

Disk 7 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

Partition ### Type Size Offset
------------- ---------------- ------- -------
Partition 1 Dynamic Data 466 GB 32 KB

DISKPART> select volume 0

Volume 0 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> list volume

Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
---------- --- ----------- ----- ---------- ------- --------- --------
Volume 0 D Raid5 NTFS RAID-5 1863 GB Healthy
Volume 1 TMP NTFS Stripe 504 MB Healthy
C:\Temp\
Volume 2 E Backup NTFS Partition 76 GB Healthy
Volume 3 V DVD-ROM 0 B Healthy
Volume 4 C NTFS Partition 56 GB Healthy
System
Volume 5 F Win2K3 Srv UDF DVD-ROM 2157 MB Healthy

DISKPART>



From Microsofts documentation on DISKPART
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415)

extend disk=n [size=n]

Use the extend command to extend the current simple or the extended volume
onto the specified disk. The extend command only works with NTFS volumes.

If you do not specify a size, the volume can occupy all of the free space on
the specified disk. Any existing disk focus is lost.


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-07-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003


"Calab" <myspam@csd.ca> wrote in message
news:eiuI%23k%232IHA.5060@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
|
| "yutao" <yutao.3buye9@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au> wrote in message
| news:yutao.3buye9@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au...
|| Calab;8421485 Wrote:
|| > Excuse the repost... for some reason my previous posts can't be found
on
|| > the
|| > server. Does Microsoft filter postings from users that don't use a MS
|| > NNTP
|| > client?
|| >
|| >
|| >
|| > I've got a Windows 2003 Server. I have several 500gig hard drives
|| > assembled
|| > into a software RAID5 array. This array works well.
|| >
|| > I've just installed a new 500gig hard drive into this PC. It comes up
|| > in the
|| > Disk Manager and I was able to convert it to a dynamic disk, but I
|| > can't
|| > figure out how to add this drive to the array.
|| >
|| > I was able to do this the last time I added a drive to the PC, but I do
|| > not
|| > remember how.
|| >
|| > How do you expand a RAID5 array after installing a new hard drive into
|| > the
|| > system???
|| >
|| >
|| > Also, a related question... How can you see how big a single partition
|| > assigned to a RAID5 array is? How can I see what size to allocate on
|| > the new
|| > drive to match othe existing drives in the array?
|| >
|| > All help is appreciated!!!
|
|| On a software RAID may be you can see partition table through some
|| partition manager software.
||
|| I found the information bellow on a website:
||
|| "A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is striped
|| across an array of three or more disks. Parity (a calculated value that
|| can be used to reconstruct data after a failure) is also striped across
|| the disk array. If a physical disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5
|| volume that was on that failed disk can be re-created from the remaining
|| data and the parity. A RAID-5 volume cannot be mirrored or extended."
||
|| http://www.easeus.com/resource/dynam...k-recovery.htm
||
|
| I have been able to do this on a Linux machine, so I know that it's
possible
| to do this without a hardware RAID controller.
|
| Could I add a new drive to the array, then use software like Partition
Magic
| to expand the RAID partition?
|
| I don't see any way to add a drive to the array in Disk Management. I know
| about the DISKPART command line utility, but not how to use it.
|
| Below is what I currently have in the machine. Disk7 is the newly added
| 500gig drive that I'd like to add to Volume0
|
| DISKPART> list disk
|
| Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
| -------- ---------- ------- ------- --- ---
| Disk 0 Online 56 GB 0 B
| Disk 1 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
| Disk 2 Online 76 GB 8033 KB
| Disk 3 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
| Disk 4 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
| Disk 5 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
| Disk 6 Online 466 GB 1015 KB * *
| * Disk 7 Online 466 GB 466 GB *
|
| DISKPART> select disk 7
|
| Disk 7 is now the selected disk.
|
| DISKPART> list partition
|
| Partition ### Type Size Offset
| ------------- ---------------- ------- -------
| Partition 1 Dynamic Data 466 GB 32 KB
|
| DISKPART> select volume 0
|
| Volume 0 is the selected volume.
|
| DISKPART> list volume
|
| Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
| ---------- --- ----------- ----- ---------- ------- --------- --------
| Volume 0 D Raid5 NTFS RAID-5 1863 GB Healthy
| Volume 1 TMP NTFS Stripe 504 MB Healthy
| C:\Temp\
| Volume 2 E Backup NTFS Partition 76 GB Healthy
| Volume 3 V DVD-ROM 0 B Healthy
| Volume 4 C NTFS Partition 56 GB Healthy
| System
| Volume 5 F Win2K3 Srv UDF DVD-ROM 2157 MB Healthy
|
| DISKPART>
|
|
|
| From Microsofts documentation on DISKPART
| (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415)
|
| extend disk=n [size=n]
|
| Use the extend command to extend the current simple or the extended volume
| onto the specified disk. The extend command only works with NTFS volumes.
|
| If you do not specify a size, the volume can occupy all of the free space
on
| the specified disk. Any existing disk focus is lost.

I also found this document on Microsofts website:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

My OS is not on the RAID5 partition... Only data lives there. Sounds like I
should be able to do this safely.

Am I misunderstanding something on the Microsoft website?


Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-07-2008
Calab
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Expanding a software RAID5 array in Windows 2003

I've also put a screenshot from Drive Manager for my current installation.

It's at http://members.shaw.ca/linkto/temp/DriveManager.jpg

|| I have been able to do this on a Linux machine, so I know that it's
| possible
|| to do this without a hardware RAID controller.
||
|| Could I add a new drive to the array, then use software like Partition
| Magic
|| to expand the RAID partition?
||
|| I don't see any way to add a drive to the array in Disk Management. I
know
|| about the DISKPART command line utility, but not how to use it.
||
|| Below is what I currently have in the machine. Disk7 is the newly added
|| 500gig drive that I'd like to add to Volume0
||
|| DISKPART> list disk
||
|| Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
|| -------- ---------- ------- ------- --- ---
|| Disk 0 Online 56 GB 0 B
|| Disk 1 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
|| Disk 2 Online 76 GB 8033 KB
|| Disk 3 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
|| Disk 4 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
|| Disk 5 Online 466 GB 513 KB *
|| Disk 6 Online 466 GB 1015 KB * *
|| * Disk 7 Online 466 GB 466 GB *
||
|| DISKPART> select disk 7
||
|| Disk 7 is now the selected disk.
||
|| DISKPART> list partition
||
|| Partition ### Type Size Offset
|| ------------- ---------------- ------- -------
|| Partition 1 Dynamic Data 466 GB 32 KB
||
|| DISKPART> select volume 0
||
|| Volume 0 is the selected volume.
||
|| DISKPART> list volume
||
|| Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status
Info
|| ---------- --- ----------- ----- ---------- ------- --------- --------
|| Volume 0 D Raid5 NTFS RAID-5 1863 GB Healthy
|| Volume 1 TMP NTFS Stripe 504 MB Healthy
|| C:\Temp\
|| Volume 2 E Backup NTFS Partition 76 GB Healthy
|| Volume 3 V DVD-ROM 0 B Healthy
|| Volume 4 C NTFS Partition 56 GB Healthy
|| System
|| Volume 5 F Win2K3 Srv UDF DVD-ROM 2157 MB Healthy
||
|| DISKPART>
||
||
||
|| From Microsofts documentation on DISKPART
|| (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415)
||
|| extend disk=n [size=n]
||
|| Use the extend command to extend the current simple or the extended
volume
|| onto the specified disk. The extend command only works with NTFS volumes.
||
|| If you do not specify a size, the volume can occupy all of the free space
| on
|| the specified disk. Any existing disk focus is lost.
|
| I also found this document on Microsofts website:
| http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
|
| My OS is not on the RAID5 partition... Only data lives there. Sounds like
I
| should be able to do this safely.
|
| Am I misunderstanding something on the Microsoft website?
|
|


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