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Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

 
Jon Sumida
Occasional Advisor

Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

I have a HP Proliant DL185G5 running Windows Storage Server 2003 R2.  Recently one of my drives failed and I removed it and swapped in another one that I purchased from HP as a spare. I was under the assumption that it was plug-n-play, but I noticed something today. I went into the Disk Management and I noticed I have a Disk 3 that is marked as unallocated. It's showing as 896.48GB in size. Is this the replacement drive I put in? If so, what should I be doing with it? If it's not the replacement drive, then what is it and again what should I do with it? Here's a snap shot of my disk management window:

 

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This also leads me to the question of disk space. I have 12 1TB drives in this storage server, but yet it looks like I'm only around 8TB of it. Where is the other 4TB? Sorry if this is a dumb question as I'm very new to this storage server stuff. Thanks!

5 REPLIES 5
Carlton Bickford
Occasional Advisor

Re: Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

The drives in your storage server are connected to an HP Smart Array storage controller, so before you will see a disk in Windows disk management, it has to be a "logical disk". That is, a number of physical disks are combined into a single LUN, with a specific RAID level, that can then be presented to an OS.   The storage server includes HP Array Configuration Utility. Use this to view, create, or modify your logical drives.  There is both a command line and GUI based version of the utility.

 

As to what to do with that disk? Create a Windows volume on it (likely NTFS). Right click and select "create a simple volume" then walk through the wizard. 

 

And as for why you don't see 12 TB of available storage, that is a result of RAID.  For example, a RAID 5 logical drive can be formed with 3 of your 1 TB drives, but 1 TB of space is going to be used for parity data that will be used to reconstruct the logical drive when a physical drive fails and you replace it. So you only have 2TB of storage instead of 3. You pay for that data protection with reduced capacity. The ratio is not always that bad of course. Read up on the various RAID levels and all this will become clear.

 

Finally, the HP storage server includes "Automated Storage Manager" software, that makes everything a whole lot easier. You don't even need to know about RAID levels, LUNs, etc. It will provision storage for you using best practices and even NTFS format the volumes for you and mount them.  You should see ASM as a snap-in in Windows Server Manager. There may even be a link on the desktop.

Jon Sumida
Occasional Advisor

Re: Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

Thank you for that info re: RAID. That's what I assumed it was, that clarifies things.

My server doesn't have the Automated Storage Manager snap-in. So I went ahead and created a partition and then formatted that drive. It's now drive "G:" on the server. It shows up in the ACU as Logical Drive 4, mount point G:. Is there anyway to add it to my Logical Drive 3 which is my drive E:, which is where my main storage space is?
Carlton Bickford
Occasional Advisor

Re: Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

Yes, you can add that storage to your E:\ volume instead of having a separate volume. Use ACU to delete logical drive 4. (Be sure you've got the right logical drive, and it has no data you want to keep). This will free up the physical drives so ACU can add them to logical drive 3.  Use ACU to grow logical drive 3. This might take a while, ACU will show you progress.

 

Then using Windows tools you'll want to extend your E:\ volume to use the unallocated space that will appear there. IIRC, Disk Management in Windows 2003 does not offer the option to extend the volume, but you can do it with the DiskPart "extend" command. 

Jon Sumida
Occasional Advisor

Re: Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

thank you for that advice. I will try it out soon and mark as a solution if it works.

Jon Sumida
Occasional Advisor

Re: Large unallocated disk on HP storage server

I tried to accomplish what you are saying, but couldn't find an option to grow my logical drive 3.  I started the Wizards in ACU to see if anything could assist me, but I don't see one. I can add a logical drive that takes up the unused space, but that's not what I want here. I tried the "Extend Logical Drive" option, but the unused space isn't available for logical drive 3, only 1 or 2.  I tried to "Add Logical Drive" to the array where my logical drive 3 is and it's not a selectable option.  Any ideas?

 

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