parkerdo
2 Bronze

Adding Hard Drive Space to Server and Reading It as One Drive

I have 2 Power Edge 2600 servers that are identical.  They both have 3.5 drive, cd, and tape back up.  They have the 6 1" swappable drive bays.  I am only running one server the other has never been used.  It shows 3 hard drive in My Computer: c: d: and f:.    😧 is my large driv of over 100gb, and the drive that is important to running my business. Is ththere any way to take one of the HD out of the unused server and place in the server I am using.  If possible, it there a way to make my server use the 2 drives as one continuouse 😧 drive; so when my current one is full it just keeps writing to the next drive.   Please, Help. Ronnie

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3 Replies
theflash1932
7 Thorium

Re: Adding Hard Drive Space to Server and Reading It as One Drive

Just remember one thing about having multiple hard drives in your server ... Windows only sees them as ONE disk/drive.  The individual drive letters you are seeing (C, D, F) are only partitions but Windows lists them as "drives".  Just remember that what Windows shows is NOT a representation of the individual drives in the server.

That said, you can add a drive to your server and do one of two things with it (how many drives to you currently have in the server, and in what RAID configuration??):

1. Set it up as a lone drive (separate from the others), and use it as an additional drive/partition on its own in Windows.  After doing this, you can span your 😧 drive if you want, by converting your disks to Dynamic, then creating a Span in Disk Management ... OR you can use the drive as your new/larger 😧 drive, by copying data from the old to the new.  I would recommend against converting them to Dynamic and creating a Span.

2. Add the drive to your system and "reconfigure" your current RAID array (mulitple-disk configuration) to include the new disk.  You could then use a partitioning tool to move/resize the partitions to add space to D:.  Moving/resizing while keeping data intact will generally cost you $$ to get an application that is capable of doing this on servers, like Acronis Disk Director.  You can do this using free tools, but you must first backup and delete F:, so that all your available Unpartitioned Space is immediately to the right of your 😧 drive.  You can then use DiskPart, ExtPart, GParted, or even a Windows 7/Vista or Server 2008/R2 DVD to extend the 😧 partition.

If the data that will be housed on your 😧 drive is crucial and the space of a single drive is sufficient for the foreseeable future, here is what I would do:

Add two drives to the server in a RAID 1, copy the data to it and have the new RAID 1 be your new 😧 drive.

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parkerdo
2 Bronze

Re: Adding Hard Drive Space to Server and Reading It as One Drive

Greatly appreciate your help.  I have done alot of reading and research since your post.  My server has 6 hot slots of which 5 are filled. I am presently running two 18gb drives in a RAID 1, and three 73gb drives in a RAID 5.  Is it post to add another 73gb drive to the one available hot slot that I have and then go in to my system and reconfigure the RAID 5 to make it have four 73gb drives instead of the present three that I am presently running, without buying software. If so, please give me some guidance as to how to do this in my configurement settings.

Thanks 

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theflash1932
7 Thorium

Re: Adding Hard Drive Space to Server and Reading It as One Drive

Yes, this is possible to "reconfigure" your 3-disk RAID 5 to a 4-disk RAID 5 without additional software and without wiping the current data out.  You will do this from Windows using OpenManage Server Administrator:
ftp://ftp.dell.com/sysman/OM_5.5.0_ManNode_A00.exe

Download and run to extract files, then run C:\Openmanage\windows\setup.exe.  Choose Custom install and make sure that Storage Management is installed.

Put the new drive in, and then in OpenManage, go to Storage, PERC, Virtual Disks and select Reconfigure from the dropdown menu for the RAID 5.  Complete the wizard to add the new drive to the existing RAID 5.

Once the Reconfigure completes, Windows will have an additional 68GB of Unallocated Space.  You can set up a new partition with this space, or you can extend your 😧 partition (if it is the last one before the Unpartitioned Space) using a number of free utilities:

  • Dell's ExtPart
  • Server 2008/R2/Vista/7 DVD
  • GParted or a number of free partitioning tools can also do this.
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