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Rebuilding a system partition

 
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Jasp80
Occasional Advisor

Rebuilding a system partition

Hi

Have got a ML370 G3 server with Smart array 641 with Windows 2003. C drive is 8gb and made up of two 32gb disks, mirrored. The rest is partitioned onto another drive.

The system partition is running low on space and rather than use 3rd party product to extend am happy to rebuild but obviously need to do this in the shortest time as possible.

I'm after a best way to do this really. All servers have been pre-built so not sure exactly what to do or the best practice.

Any tips or pointers to good reading material would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply.

8 REPLIES
Mark Matthews
Respected Contributor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi Jasp,

Are you wanting to do this while keeping the data on the other drive intact, or not?

Your response will define our answer!

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Jasp80
Occasional Advisor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi Mark

No, the data does not need to be retained.

Thanks.

Mark Matthews
Respected Contributor
Solution

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Ok, then try the following...

Reboot with a SmartStart CD and go to "Deploy Server".

Run ACU (array config util) and delete the RAID1 logical drive, then delete the array.
Setup a new array, then a RAID1 logical drive for your C: drive to larger than it was before. (dont worry about the remainder of the space, you can sort this out once Windows is built)
You'll get various warnings re loss of data etc, but you said you dont mind losing anything.

Continue with build of Windows via SmartStart.

Doing it with SmartStart ensures the all the correct drivers etc are put onto your system for you.

The SmartStart bit will run, then ask you for your Windows CD.

Its easy of you follow the instructions.

Let us know if you need anymore help.

Thanks
Mark...

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kris rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi,

if your array is made of two 32 GB disk and there is only one logical drive created in the array with a size of 32 GB, then there is a faster way to extend the system partition if it is a 'BASIC' partition and not 'DYNAMIC' which does not require to reinstall the Windows OS
and applications again.
If there are more then one logical drives created in the array then the below scenario does not apply.



Let's assume the first RAID1 logical drive of 32 GB is divided in two partitions c:\ and d:\ The c:\ is 8 Gbyte, so the d:\ is about 24 GB then.

What you can do is:

- backup D:\
- delete the D:\ partition
- extend the C:\ disk with the remaining
free space such that it becomes 32 GB
if you want or any combination between 8
and 32 GByte tjhat you want.
- this cannot be done online, you need to
boot from a Windows PE cd i.e. which has
the diskpart utility on it.

Check this article, look at the
explanation of the command 'extend' :

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

The article is for online extending of a DATA partition, not SYSTEM, so this is why you need to do this OFF LINE when Windows is down, using a mini Windows OS like WinPE
The advantage would be that :

- no new Windows OS and applications needs
to be installed and configured again
- it is much faster then starting from
scratch and re-creating the array because
the issue is not at the array level if my
assumption is correct that there is only
one logical drive in the array (pls
confirm).
- no 3-th party tools needed, no cost.

HTH

Kris
Mark Matthews
Respected Contributor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi Kris,

I thought it wasnt possible to extend your C: drive as when Windows is built, C: goes onto a Basic Disk.
I've always thought that a disk needs to be converted to Dynamic BEFORE the partition (volume) is created in order to extend it 'on the fly' like this?
And because the disk is Basic when C: is created, this cannot be done?


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kris rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi Mark,

dynamic disks can be extended without a problem and online in disk mgmt as you say.

What we are trying to do here is to make the c:\ disk larger without re-installing the OS. This is possible probably with 3-th party tools but i have no experience with them, however using the method with 'diskpart' in a offline state (not on-the-fly) , you can safely manipulate the partitions and i.e. use the commands 'select disk' , 'select volume' and 'extend' to make a NTFS partition bigger.

One thing i forgot to say is that the partition D:\ needs to be deleted to create free, unpartitioned space right next to the end of the C:\ disk.

I've done this and it works fine on a IA64/W2K3 system about 2 years ago and it still runs fine, it is just a matter of having the WinPE boot cd for X86.
Maybe start here : http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/


regards, Kris
Jasp80
Occasional Advisor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi

Thanks for the replies guys, it is very much appreciated.

I'm intrigued by your suggestion Kris and thought the same as Mark, that without 3rd party apps you were a bit stuck.

Might give that a try and if come unstuck do what Mark has said.

Thanks again.
Mark Matthews
Respected Contributor

Re: Rebuilding a system partition

Hi Kris / Jasp,

I have definately read somewhere that extending / moving your system partition or a partition that contains a pagefile was not possible without loss of data, unless using third party apps (ie Partition Magic or similar)

Maybe different with Win2003 I suppose...

This is very handy news if you say you've done it with diskpart.exe.

Can you use the built in diskpart.exe that comes with Windows 2003?




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