1 Copper

Switching bootable arrays on PERC 5i in a PE2950

I have a  question about adding 2 new drives as a raid 1 array to a PERC 5i controller with an existing raid 5 array and being able to switch which array is bootable (raid 1 array or raid 5 array) and then back, without destroying data on the existing raid 5 array.  Server = PE2950 Gen III, PERC 5/i Raid Controller, 3 SAS drives in Raid 5, 1 SAS drive as Hot Spare (in slots 0,1,2,&3). OS is Windows Server 2003 SP2/ SQL Server 2000. I am needing to upgrade this Server to Windows Server 2008 64bit and SQL Server 2008 during off hours and boot back to the existing operating system and sql during regular business hours.. My ultimate goal is to have the new OS on 2 new SAS drives in a Raid 1 Array in Slots 4 & 5, and later 3 new SAS drives in a Raid 5 Array with a 6th new SAS drive as a Global Hot Spare. Since this is a Critical production server, I am wanting to maintain the current OS in an Operable condition that I can switch back to during normal business hours until I have the new OS and SQL loaded,updated, tested, and ready for production operation. That being said: the question is…If I add 2 new SAS drives in slots 4 & 5 in a Raid 1 Array, can the bootable Array/Volume be swithced back and forth between the current Array and the newly created Array so that I can work on the new OS install and then switch back to the current Array for business hour operation?

This would not be attempted without first updating all system firmware to current versions from Dell Support. Any "heads up" on the 2008 R2 64 bit install on the PE2950 would be greatly appreciated as well.



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2 Iron

Re: Switching bootable arrays on PERC 5i in a PE2950

To change the boot order you would go into CTRL –R at boot, and CTRL-P to the CTRL MGMT tab, boot order is on the bottom left.

Pull out the VD you don’t want to use right now, create your other VD, then hot add the drive old array (should show up as foreign, and need to be imported). Note: once the OS is installed on the second set and the original drives are installed, the booting OS will "see" the other volumes as well.


I would not do the second procedure until after I had the “new” config up and running and the data Is migrated… then it might not be needed if you clear the config and make this a second data volume etc.


PS: backups are a good idea also in case mistakes are made…

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1 Copper

Re: Switching bootable arrays on PERC 5i in a PE2950

you would only need to shutdown, pull the existing vd out, boot up, and import it if you want to switch the VD # assignments (ie make the new VD 0 and old vd 1)

If you dont mind the new OS being on "disk 1" instead of "disk 0" it's not needed.


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