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Add new hard drive into array


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Add new hard drive into array

  • I currently have Dell PowerEdge 2600 and I need to add another hard disk into array5.  How do I do this?  Thanks, Linh.
  • Hi lpham73,
    Read this thread
    I've covered several issues there that will apply to your situation.

    Message Edited by DELL-GaryS on 08-30-2007 11:31 AM
  • Thanks Gary!  After reading all the information, I am more confused than ever!  Could you please give me step by step guidelines?  I have a PowerEdge 2600, Perc4Di.  I am supposed to add another 146GB into Array Group 0 -- Virtual Disk 0...
  • Linh,
    Here is the manual,
      You go to the reconstruct menu, select the RAID 5, then you add the new drive and press enter, and the reconstruction will start. Reboot after it's complete and go to disk management, you'll see some new unused space on the hard drive, you may either create a new drive letter or extend your partition other than C:.
    Reconstructing Logical Drives: RAID Level Migration and Online Capacity Expansion

    A reconstruction occurs when you change the RAID level of an array or add a physical drive to an existing array. RAID level migration changes the array from one RAID level to another. Online capacity expansion is the addition of hard disk drives to increase storage capacity. You can perform a reconstruction while the system continues to run, without having to reboot. This avoids downtime and keeps data available to users.

    NOTE: After you start the reconstruct process, you must wait until it is complete. Do not reboot, cancel, or exit until the reconstruction is complete. NOTE: When performing a RAID level migration or an online capacity expansion, a fictional disk may appear in the Windows Disk Management, Dell OpenManage Array Manager, or Dell OpenManage Storage Services application, if the system is rebooted before the process is finished. This disk can be ignored and will disappear once the RAID level migration or online capacity expansion is complete.

    Performing a RAID level migration on a clustered system will change the system to non-clustered mode, causing a cluster mismatch error if the system is rebooted.

    NOTE: An automatic drive rebuild will not start if you replace a drive during a RAID level migration or an online capacity expansion. The rebuild must be started manually after the expansion or migration procedure is complete.

    Perform the following steps to reconstruct a drive:

    1. Move the arrow key to highlight Reconstruct on the Management Menu.

    2. Press <Enter>.

    A window entitled "Reconstructables" displays. This contains the logical drives that can be reconstructed. You can press <F2> to view logical drive information or <Enter> to select the reconstruct option.

    1. Press <Enter>.

    The next reconstruction window displays. The options on this window are <spacebar> to select or deselect a drive, <Enter> to open the reconstruct menu, and <F3> to display logical drive information.

    1. Press <Enter> to open the reconstruct menu.

    The menu items are RAID level, stripe size, and reconstruct.

    1. To change the RAID level, select RAID with the arrow key, press <Enter> and select a RAID level from the list that displays.

    2. Select Reconstruct and press <Enter> to reconstruct the logical drive.

    You are prompted to start the reconstruction. A progress bar for the reconstruction displays.

  • Thanks Gary.  Reconstruction doesn't wipe out any data on the existing disk, does it?
  • Hi Linh,
      No. Reconstruction is supposed to be a safe operation. That being said, there is always a chance of hardware failures, so back up all data and the machine state (registry) review the backup logs and repair or replace any files that do not back up. You might even run consistency checks to find and remap any media errors. In fact you should do this last bit on a set schedule so that if you DO have a drive fail, you are less likely to have media errors that have not been remapped on one or more of the drives that are still online. (That would be a BAD THING, having media errors on your online drives when you have a drive fail).
  • Do you know how long the process takes to complete as I want to extend to another 146GB.  How do I prevent the media errors or run the consistency checks?  Can users still access to server for other activity on different disks?
  • Linh,
      How long it takes depends on the I/O processing load you have the system under and the size of the reconstruction. I've had reconstructions take over 12 hours. Yes users can access the drives (any, not just ones not involved with reconstruction), the more user traffic, the slower the reconstruction.
      No you cannot prevent media errors, all you can do is detect them and remap them. The hard drives have a couple of % of total capacity reserved for such remapping. The SMART monitoring F/W on the drives counts the errors and triggers an alert when the error count is high enough to indicate that the drive needs to be replaced.
      From the manual, objects - logical drive menu lets you start a consistancy check on a per logical drive basis.

    Message Edited by DELL-GaryS on 09-06-2007 01:45 PM
  • Hi Gary,

    I have a problem with using free space of a logical raid disk after online capacity expansion.
    The server is Dell PowerEdge 2950, with installed Windows 2003 32-bit version.
    Initially it had 4 x 750GB Raid5 configuration.
    Few days ago I added 2 new 750GB drives and used online capacity expansion to increase the Raid 5 volume size.
    According to Open Manager volume has been resized to 3.4TB, Windows shows plenty of free unpartitioned disk space in the Disk Management.
    But I can not create new logical disk in Windows, because New Partition menu in Windows Disk Management is greyed out. Convert to Dynamic Disk menu is also greyed out in Disk Management.
    When I tried to run command line diskpart utility to convert to a dynamic disk I got the "Diskpart cannot convert MBR disks larger than 2TB to dynamic." error. 
    We have an important information on this server and it is not possible to loose it, therefore we can't create/reinstall everything from scratch and need a solution how it can be done without data lost.

    What is the procedure to create new disk in Windows using existing free space after online capacity expansion in my case?
  • Hi Greg2124,


      As I understand it, this is a limitation of the MBR table under NTFS, you can use dispart to convert to a GUID partition table see the "convert GPT" command documentation in diskpart's manuals.


    Ref kb/919117  kb/302873




  • Greg...

    For the next time, would be best to run a manually started Patrol Reads along with a CC before the expansion. A Consistency Check checks only the parity info, Patrols Reads check the disk surface for errors. The greatest danger of array loss comes during a rebuild, as all the sectors are checked by the adapter. During normal use the adapter does NOT check sectors which do not contain data, so errors can build up in unused areas of the disk. If multiple errors build up, it is a good chance the raid adapter will fail the array in the rebuild process. With an array this size make sure Patrol reads run often, either automatically or manually scheduled.


  • Hi Gary,

    Thank you for your reply,
    According to notes in
    it's not possible to convert MBR to a GUID without deleting all partitions on the drive:

    "- You can change a disk from MBR to GPT as long as the disk does not contain any partitions or volumes."

    Is there any way to split expanded 3.4TB raid volume in 2 drives 2TB and 1.4TB in the Perc 5/i raid controller management interface without loosing all data on the current raid drive, where only first 2TB are used by Windows and other 1.4TB at the end of raid5 volume are free?
    If yes, what's the procedure for doing this?
  • Hi Greg2124,


      Not to my knowledge, it appears that you're going to need some down time to do a rebuild of the server.




  • Hi Gary,

    Do you know any Dell or 3rd party software tool which can convert MBR to GPT without loosing the data on the disk?
  • Is there a way to view the Process % of the reconstruction process? We have added 2 extra drives to a RAID5 array 20 hours ago and it is still running.