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Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

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davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

We have a ML350 server with a Raid5 setup using 4 drives (146.8GB) slots 0-3. We just purchased 3 additional 146GB drives that we wish to expand the array with. However I can't seem to expand the array. In windows diskmanagement the array shows up as a 1 basic drive (c:) at 410GB.

Now using the Array config utility after putting in 2 additional spare drives they show up as unassigned drives at slots 4 & 5. If i click on Array A i do not have an option to expand the array nor expand the logical drive. Only option I do get is to Migrate or delete logical drives.

With the new hard drives I am able to create a new Array (B) and make logical drives however again I can not expand array A's logical drives. How or why can't i expand the Array A logical drives? I appreciate all the help. Thank you

I attached images showing disk managment, and how the drives show up in the array utility.
14 REPLIES
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Array configuration screenshot
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

You must add the new drives to array A. Delete array B and leave the drives as unassigned. Then expand the array with the unused drives.
Then you'll have an empty space on array A to be able to extend the logical unit.
After this Windows will see a bigger disk with the old partition and free space.
The SMart Array controller does not modify the data or filesystem, that has to be done by the operating system.
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

That's the problem I did that. I erased Array B, left the 2 drives as unassigned. Then if i clicked on array A, theres no options to expand the local drives or the array. Only option I do get is to delete the local drive.

This is where I am stuck. How come the option is not available to expand Array A??
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

When you select the Array A, what options do you have?
Check ACU manual, page 24

http://docs.hp.com/en/9320/acu.pdf

Also check the models and size of the disks. I remember some cases where the new disks were a little smaller than the existing ones, so they could not be added to the RAID without deleting everything first.
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

When i click on the Array A i get the following options:

controller settings
migrate a logical drive
delete logical drives
clear configurations
create array
delete array
==============

thats it.. no options to expand...

However i think i might have found the problem. Can you look at the pick i attached. The person before me who setup the server put the system partion on the same drive as the array with all the apps and data. Is this the reason i can't expand? I believe that you can't expand system partions regardless basic or dynamic (my case basic).

If this is true what options are available to me? Because on the C: drive are are applications and data.

thank you again
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Hi,

Do you have the BBWC (Battery Backed Write Cache) option installed on the SmartArray 641 ?

I seem to remember reading somewhere that you need this to support array expansion...

Cheers,

Rob
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Not sure if that option is enabled. Where would i go to configure this? Do I still use the array config utility? Under controller settings there is no option for that.

Attached is a pic of the array controller settings.
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Hi,

Your picture shows that you don't have any battery packs installed, so you don't have the BBWC option.

The user guide for the 641 here:

http://bizsupport.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01127202/c01127202.pdf

on page 5-11 states, "The condition of the battery and cache should both be OK" as a condition of being able to expand an array. As you don't appear to have a battery installed, that's why you can't do the expansion.

Cheers,

Rob
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

A quick search on PartSurfer, http://partsurfer.hp.com shows that you probably need to purchase part number 351580-B21, "128MB Battery Backed Write Cache (BBWC) - For Smart Array 641 Ultra320 Controller or Smart Array 642 Ultra320 Controller - Includes memory and battery".

Cheers,

Rob
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Rob thank you very much for the information I will look into this.
However one question still lingers. If I were to purchase this additional hardware, would i still be able to expand a windows system partition?

Our current array includes the windows system partition and boot files along with apps and data, therefore I'm questioning if this will still work.

I'm thinking maybe I should make an image of the server, then create two separate logical drives, one for the windows system files, and the other for data and apps.
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Hi,

Hmmm... You can usually use the DISKPART utility to extend the Windows file systems, however a quick flick through the Microsoft support article here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

shows that this won't work on system partitions, so splitting up the system and data might be your only option.

Regardless, I would always use the BBWC option on SmartArray controllers. It will give you much better performance.

Cheers,

Rob
davidf82
Occasional Advisor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Thank you Rob for all your help,

I have read that article and other articles where some other users were able to extend even the system partition uses various techniques. I will try those (of course backing up first) and if to no avail, will just have to image everything over.

I will regardless by the bbwc. Thank you again
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Hi, although some recent Smart Array controllers like the E200 need the BBWC to be able to do RAID expansion, the Smart Array 641 does not, check it's Quickspecs:

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11563_div/11563_div.HTML

The 291966-B21 product is the 641 with only the integrated 64 MB and can do Online Capacity Expansion.

And to make it clear again, the Smart Array will NOT touch the Windows partitions, those are two indepennt problems. You need to:
1) increase the size of the array
2) increase the size of the logical drive
3) increase the size of the Windows partition

The Smart Array can only do the first two.
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Having trouble expanding our Array....not option to do it

Hi,

> the Smart Array 641 does not, check it's Quickspecs

Although not mentioned in the QuickSpecs, the user guide does specifically state that you need the battery...

Cheers,
Rob