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Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

Richard Nicholas
Occasional Visitor

Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

The situation. We have two Proliant DL380 with Integrated Smart Array Controller with 3x9.1GB 15K SCSI drives. We need to make the D: drive larger on these servers.

We cannot obtain 9.1GB drives, so we bought a 36Gb 15K drive and installed it. The option to expand the array is grayed out. (Presumably because the new drive is >10% different from the existing drives)

Is there any way of adding this larger drive to the array (I know only 9.1GB would be used).

Any other suggestions on the way forward welcomed.
5 REPLIES
e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

This is a pretty common question.
It sounds as if you are not familiar with your system because you did not provide all the information about the RAID setup for the 3 9GB drives.
To guess, I would assume you have a RAID 5 setup tying all three of your 9GB drives together. This is because you state that you have a SmartArray card and 3 drives. This is a typical setup.
To varify you would need to use the ACU software utility from your OS to look at the configuration and use of the 3 currect drives. You can also enter the BIOS setup if you reboot the server and follow the on screen instructions to enter the RAID Controller BIOS Setup Utility, ORCA.

If my assumption is correct, and it seems that it is since you have seen no change iin your array, you need to replace ALL the drives with 36GB drives. You see the controller has truncated the 36GBs to 9GBs to get it to join with the other disks and it is not until ALL the drives in the array are the same larger size, that the extra space is available for use. At that point, the extra space will appear as "Free Space" that will have to be manipulated by the OS either through partition expantion, partitioning and drive extention (connecting the 2 partitions into a single drive letter)
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Richard Nicholas
Occasional Visitor

Re: Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

Thanks,

The configuration is a RAID5. The intention was to just purchase an additional 9.1Gb for this server. Since we can't do this, our supplier informed us we had to purchase a 36Gb drive. When I asked if we could use this larger drive (albeit truncated to 9.1Gb), the answer was "yes".

However after trying to do this (and looking at the help), it appears I cannot get from
where we are at the moment to where we want to be because the new drive has >10% difference in size to the existing drives.

I appreciate that we could go forward fairly cheaply by purchasing an extra 36Gb drive and changing the drives one by one to the larger drives, however because this will mean running without parity while the RAID reconsructs itself on the larger drive, this is more risky.

It is annoying that the ACU software doesn't let you throw away some capacity and allow you to use a 36Gb to emulate a 9.1Gb. I am running v9.5 of ACU and downloaded 9.8Gb, which from looking at the online help has the same 10% restriction.
Richard Nicholas
Occasional Visitor

Re: Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

Further clarification: We currently have 3x9.1Gb and one spare slot. We intended to go to 4x9.1GB, giving 27Gb free.
Gus Kwong
Respected Contributor

Re: Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

Hi Richard,

That really depends on what Smartarray controller you are using --- for the very old type (like 3200), I understand they won't do "extension", but should still let you assign physical disks into the Array.

Can you confirm if you have managed to assign the new disk to the existing Array?

I am pretty sure I have done this in the past (like 3x9GB + 1x18GB), but then again I was using the very old version of ACU.

Gus
Learning never ends
Richard Nicholas
Occasional Visitor

Re: Windows NT4.0 - Expanding Array on Integrated Smart Array

The controller is the embedded DL380 controller.

I put in the new disk and the software recognised the disk, however the option to extend the RAID was grayed out.