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Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Phoenix5
Advisor

Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Situation:
I have a Win2K SP4, DL380-G4 server with a 6400 Controller with 6x72.8Gb drives, running an Oracle 8i database with the following Arrays:

Array A:
disk 0&2 - RAID 1+0 (Basic)

Array B:
disk 1&3 - RAID 1+0 (Dynamic)

Array C:
disk 4&5 - RAID 1+0 (Dynamic)

Array B & C are stripped together to form one large volume (drive).

I would like to increase the diskspace by replacing the 72.8Gb drives with 146Gb. I would also like to avoid the offline or rebuilding the Arrays on a new server and restoring everything. I have done a similar type of expansion by adding bigger drives into an existing Array and DiskParting the volume to use the new diskspace; this works fine. In this new situation, I want to replace the existing 72.8Gb drives with 146Gb drives by the rebuilding method of RAID 1. My concerns:

1) Is it possible to swap one of the 72Gb drive with a 146Gb and have it rebuild?
2) If rebuild is possible, will Windows see the unallocated space, and can this unallocated space be DiskPart to the existing volume?
3) If step 2 is possible, can you swap out the other 72Gb on the same Array and replace it with a 146Gb and now, have the newly rebuilt 146Gb rebuild the 146Gb you just inserted?
4) Is this possible with Dynamic volume?

*screen shots attached for clarification

I'm looking for directions so any help/responses are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Phoenix~
15 REPLIES
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Hi
1) it is possible to do it
3) it is also possible
2) you will need to extend logical volume on each Array (A, B ,C) so windows can see unallocated space
4) According to this Microsoft document it is possible to extend dynamic volume using DISKPART:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

5) You will not be able to extend boot partition using DiskPart, while OS is running, it is possible however to do it, if you boot Windows from a CD, using for example ERD Commander generated bootable CD with installed drivers for your Smart Array controller.
Or you can use 3rd party tools to extend boot partition.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Hi Marek,

So what you're saying is that my concerns 1-4, they are all possible with exception of #2, I would have to extend the logical volume after it is rebuilt before Windows will let me DiskPart the unallocated space into the existing volume?

And it's understandable you can't expand the OS partition while it's active, I've never used ERD Commander before but let's say that I use it, does the controller driver have to be on the Bootable CD or can you tell it to go to the floppy drive for the driver?

Thanks for your help again!

Phoenix~
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Yes you will need to extend logical volumes using Array Configuration Utility, otherwise the you will not see additional disk capacity under Windows. ERD Commander is a commercial software by Winternals Software (www.winternals.com). The drivers for Array controller must be on a bootable CD. The CD is generated by ERD Commander install program, and you can add drivers for your controller during this process. Alternatively you can use Partition Magic for example.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Update:
*FYI: I am doing this in a TEST Server:
I have successfully hot-swap and rebuild a 146Gb drive each of the Array. The problem I have now is that I CAN NOT 'expand' the Array to see the additional space.

When I go to the Array Configuration Utility, I have 2 options to pick from when I select either of the two Arrays; which are striped dynamic volumes. The options are: Delete and More Information.
-If I select the Logical Drive within that Array, my options are: Migrate RAID/Stripe Size, Delete, and More Information'.
-If I select a physical disk within that Logical Drive, my only option is 'More Information'.

I do not have the 'Expand' option. I am not sure if it's because Array B&C are striped dynamic volumes, I know expand can be done on a an Array that has Basic volume and per Microsoft, on Dynamic volume as well. I booted from the SmartStart CD and went through the Array setup and got the same result. Also, in this test server, I am using a 6i controller instead of the Production server, which has a 6400 Controller. Per HP, the 6i Controller does support expanding.
I am thinking this can't be done?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

You don't have the expand option, the array is already expanded after both 72GB drives are replaced with 146GB drives.
The process looks like it:
1) you have 2 72GB drives in RAID-1 configuration
2) you pull out 1st 72GB HDD, plug in it's place 146GB and wait until the rebuild process finishes
3) after step 2 is completed, you pull out remaining 72GB HDD, plug in it's place second 146GB drive and wait until the rebuild process finishes
4) now after you have successfully completed step 3, run ACU, click on "Logical Drive 1" (I assume that you have only one logical drive on the array), and you should have option "Extend Size" for that logical drive.


Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Hmmm, interesting, I guess I was ahead of myself. I thought you could extend the Array with just one drive. Anyhow, after replacing both 72Gb drive, I was able to extend the Logical Drive. I have completed this on all 3 Arrays.

When I do a List Disk, I have:
Disk 0
Disk 1
Disk 2

I selected Disk 1 (which is Array B). I executed Extend on that disk and it's been running for about an hour now. I see that the two disks are lit up and is doing something but in past experience with 'Extend', this process is almost instantaneous. Is my assumption wrong or does Dynamic disk require much longer time to extend?

Thanks again for your help!
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

I don't have idea why it's taking so long - I never use dynamic volumes. Whenever I was extending basic volumes, it was always instantaneous.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

The extending process is still going, it's now about 2hrs long. I also see the other disks on Array C are lit up and busy now. Could it be that since the Dynamic disks are striped, the additional space is being applied to both disks? -explains why it's taking longer?

Thanks again.
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

I guess it is possible that it takes so long because these disks are striped. Please let me know how much this process took when it completes.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

After over 3hrs of non-activity and the drives were no longer flashing, I checked the CPU and utilization was zero, diskpart process has been zero as well for quite some time, I decided to cancel the process. It didn't look like it was doing anything. I restart the server, went back into DiskPart and everything looks the same. However, something that might be of interest why this isn't working is because there is NO VOLUME in the dynamic disk to be 'extended'. I have attached a txt file documenting my steps, which shows no actual volume for DiskPart to extend.

Thanks again for any comments.
Marek Nelec
Honored Contributor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Thanks for the information.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

I'm not sure how/where this applies since Dynamic disk can be extended but yet Microsoft says 'striped volume' can not be extended.

My conclusion:
As long as the disk are plain dynamic it can be extended. If the dynamic disk are striped, it can not be extended.

Per Microsoft that striped volume can not be extended:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/0cd59ee9-79a5-4ba7-ade2-2a8cf5e9ba901033.mspx?mfr=true
Pascal Lévesque
Occasional Visitor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

First, thanks to everyone for this one ! With the help of this topic, we have done this : Changing all 36Go drive to 72Go in our Raid 5. Swaping 1 hdd at time (take +/- 1 hour / disk).

Always using ACU, we "Expand" array from 69Gb to 138Gb (Take 10 hours).

After, we use command line (Server W2K3) DISKPART :
> List Volume (To see wich volume to expand)
> Select Volume x (x = volume #)
> Expand (Even if the documentation tell us that we need to enter "Expand x" x=MB, we only enter Expand command to make it work)
Take less than 1 seconds to process !!

We have now moved from 69Go to 138Go in less than 1 day without any restart or slowing the system for the users !
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

Pascal Lévesque,

I'm happy this thread has helped you with your drive upgrade. Take care.
Phoenix5
Advisor

Re: Need to replace smaller disk drive with bigger drives on DL380 G4

The last response from me resolve my problem.