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Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

Shabir
Occasional Visitor

Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

I have a Compaq Proliant 3000 server with three 9.1 hard drives. It is a memeber server running Windows NT 4.0 serice Packs is 6a. We are running Exchange 5.5 and the database and other applications are also installed in drive E which has not space now. We have added addtitional three more hard disks to the existing controller and expanded the array and logical volume. From the Windows Disk Management, I can see this as free space. Now I want to add this free space to the existing E drive without losing data. Please help me by telling how we can do that. I searched a lot of places on the web but there is no direct or understadable answer for me as I am not a computer expert. Somebody suggested to buy Volume Manager from Powerquest but it is too expensive. Is there a software available from HP or Compaq? Or from microsoft? Please help
5 REPLIES
Terri Harris
Honored Contributor

Re: Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

The most important point is that your options are dependent on what Microsoft NT 4.0 Server will allow you to do. The operating system does not really know there is a hardware RAID array. As far as NT is concerned, you had a single physical drive (which is actually 3 9GB drives in a logical hardware array), and now you have added one more drive (physically 3 drives but again NT sees it as one new physical drive).

So the real question is what options you have in NT 4.0 Disk Adminstrator. This is dependent on what other partitions have been created, and the type of partition for each. I would recommend posting this question in the HP Microsoft NT 4 forum:

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/categoryhome.do?categoryId=186

One thing which would be very helpful would be to save a screen capture of your NT 4 Disk Administrator screen, attach that to your posting. You can attach files up to 1MB in size.
Gene Nordahl
Valued Contributor

Re: Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

I will start this by saying make sure you have a good backup before doing this. I haven't had this fail yet, but it very well could and require a full restore of the volume. I'm also assuming you are using NTFS (don't know if this works for any other file system).

In Disk Administrator
Click on your E drive.
Then hold down the Ctrl key and select your free space.
Click on the Partition drop down menu and select Extend volume set.
Your E drive should now show Yellow and be spread across the free space.
Go to the Partition dropdown and commit changes now.
You should now get a need to reboot message.
Hit OK to reboot the system.
When the server comes back up it will want to run an AUTOCHK (CHKDSK) I can not stress this enough LET IT RUN. This causes the NTFS indices to be rebuilt and the additional capacity to be added to the volume set

We've done this on a few systems and the only problem we had is when we didn't let the chkdsk run. Even then we didn't lose data (just had to run chkdsk), but our downtime went from between 30 min and 2 hours (depending on size) to over 12 hours. We never did this on an Exchange server, but I doubt it would have an issue.

Again make sure you have a backup JIC(just in case)
e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

Is this solution above only for Windows 2000? Extending/expanding a partition is not supported by Windows NT server to my knowledge. But the SmartRAID software should be able to "Extend" your logical drive for you, into the free space as long as some conditions are meet.
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e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

If you need a manual, let us know. We will get it to you. Actually it may be available from our tech support pages at our Web site.
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Gene Nordahl
Valued Contributor

Re: Expand E drive without losing data in NT Server

Actually these are the steps only for NT4.

Attached is the screen shots of the process. Starts at step 7 (first 6 steps are extending the array, which has already been done)

With 2K it requires you to work with dynamic disks. We haven't had a need to expand out a 2K volume yet, so I haven't researched all the steps yet.