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How to increase hard drive capacity on server RAID 1

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It’s been a while since I have had to upgrade hard drives on a server, so I was a little scared, a lot excited to perform an upgrade on a client’s database server.  This particular client had two 72.8GB SCSI U320 15k RPM HP hard drives and was running out of room on the drives and forced to perform regular bi-weekly maintenance in order to ensure there was enough space to run critical database operations.  Storage being cheap these days, it was an easy decision to increase the capacity of the RAID array by purchasing two 146.8GB drives (U320, 10k RPM SCSI). 

Here are the steps I took to increase capacity:

  1. Update the Array Configuration Utility (ACU) to the latest version from HP’s website.  In my case a reboot was required.
  2. Update the firmware on the Array Controller.  I don’t believe in updating firmware or software just to do it, but after reading over customer advisory C01587778 I thought it prudent to have the latest version.  I have the Smart Array 6i so this advisory applied to my system.  In my case a reboot was required.
  3. Remove one drive.  I chose the drive on the right side (Drive 0).  Swap in the new drive and wait for it to rebuild the RAID array by mirroring the data on Drive 1.  While it’s rebuilding, you’ll see the green drive LED flashing.  When it stops then the drive is ready.
  4. Remove the second drive.  Wait for that one to rebuild.  The rebuild process took less than 15min on my system. Yours may vary.
  5. At this point you can open up the ACU, select the drive and click to Extend it.  This process took 1 hour and 15min for my system. Yours may vary.
  6. After the drive extended, I checked it in the Windows Disk Management (WDM) snap-in and verified the unallocated space.
  7. Then it was time to assign the space to a partition.  After much deliberation, I chose miniTool Partition Wizard Server Edition 7.  It worked perfectly.  I have heard of others having great success with Paragon software.  It costs more, but may eliminate the nasty surprises I experienced in the Notes section below.
  8. Check the hard drive space in WDM.  Make sure it’s properly allocated.
  9. Check the event log.
  10. Check and double-check all software and services on the server

Notes:

  1. If you have Shares on the drive you’re adding capacity to  then you may experience trouble accessing them after you run the partition software.  Make sure you note the share names and security settings so  you can recreate them quickly if you need to.
  2. If your server is a SQL 2005 server, then your SQL services may stop when you run the partition software.  Make sure you restart them or you may have some angry users on your hands!
  3. I list updating the firmware on the AC in step 2 above, but I didn’t actually perform that step myself until after I was done with everything else.  Updating the firmware is not only recommended by the customer advisory you see in the ACU, but also when you run array Diagnostics…you may see “SCSI Port 1 Drive ID 0 is not stamped for monitoring” under the ERRORS section.  Side Note: That error in Diagnostics can also occur when any kind of replacement disk is inserted and another way of clearing this error is to go into ACU, change settings, save, then go back in and change back and save.  I never had to use this solution, but it was suggested by others who had seen the same error message in the Diagnostics.

That’s about it.  I’m not saying you won’t run into more problems than I did, but hopefully I helped you avoid the major pitfalls.  Oh, and the server was a Proliant DL360 G4p running Windows 2003 standard ed.

reference: click here

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