Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data or having to restore

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Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data or having to restore

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Hi there

Wonder if anyone can advise me on a raid query?

I have the following two servers:

Server                                  Disk Controller                                                                            Disk

PowerEdge 1850              LSI Logic PCI-X Ultra320 SCSI Adapter (non-raid)              1 x Maxtor 68Gb Atlas10K5_73SCA

PowerEdge 2850              Perc 4e/Di raid controller

What I want to find out is....is it possible to add the disk from the PowerEdge 1850 into the PowerEdge 2850, create a Raid 1 array (with another disk) but WITHOUT losing any of the data on the original disk.

I know the standard response to this query is no, all data would be lost as the disk has to be over-written in the creation of the new array.

However, I have been advised by someone that this is in fact possible on certain HP raid controllers.

Do any Dell raid controllers have this functionality?

if the answer is yes, is the Perc 4e/Di such a controller?

Advice very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

JHH

All Replies
  • Update:

    I came across this document:

    http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~brecht/servers/docs/PowerEdge-2600/en/Perc4scdc/UG/bios.htm

    In the document there is the following chapter:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using a Pre-loaded SCSI Drive "As-is"

    NOTE: To use a pre-loaded system drive in the manner described here, you must make it the first logical drive defined (for example: LD1) on the controller it is connected to. This makes the drive ID 0 LUN 0. If the drive is not a boot device, the logical drive number is not critical.

    You may have a SCSI hard drive that is already loaded with software. The drive may be a boot disk containing an operating system. If so, add the PERC device driver to this system drive before you switch to the PERC 4 and attempt to boot from it. Perform the following steps to use the PERC 4 controller as a SCSI adapter for such a drive:

    1. Connect the SCSI drive to the channel on the PERC 4 controller, with proper termination and target ID (TID) settings.
    2. Boot the computer.
    3. Start the BIOS Configuration Utility by pressing <Ctrl><M>.
    4. Select Configure—> Easy Configuration.
    5. Press the cursor keys to select the pre-loaded drive.
    6. Press the spacebar.

    The pre-loaded drive should now become an array element.

    1. Press <Enter>.

    You have now declared the pre-loaded drive as a one-disk array.

    1. Set the Read Policy and Cache Policy on the Advanced Menu.
    2. Exit the Advanced Menu.
    3. Highlight Accept and press <Enter>.

    Do not initialize.

    1. Press <Esc> and select Yes at the Save prompt.
    2. Exit the BIOS Configuration Utility and reboot.
    3. Set the host system to boot from SCSI, if such a setting is available.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The intersting line is:

    1. Press <Enter>.

    You have now declared the pre-loaded drive as a one-disk array.

    I wonder then, if the pre-loaded scsi disk is now configured on the perc raid controller as a 'one-disk array' can this one disk array be morphed into a raid 1 configuration by adding another disk?

    Anyone done this?

    Cheers

    JHH

  • You will lose your data. If the drive was setup in a RAID 0 and then reconfigured to a RAID 1 it would be a different story. When you add the drives to the controller and create a RAID 0 or 1, you will have to initialize the array. This will cause the RAID controller to create the RAID map and will earse all information on the drive, kind of like a format.

  • That's disapointing, especially considering there are HP raid controllers that can do this.

    I guess Dell have some catching up to do.

    Cheers

     

  • There is a work around this “When you add the drives to the controller and create a RAID 0 or 1, you will have to initialize the array. This will cause the RAID controller to create the RAID map and will earse all information on the drive, kind of like a format” by at5147.

    If you create the RAID 0 volume from the BIOS configuration utility (Ctrl-M), initialization is an option, the user can decide to initialize the drive or not.  If you do not initialize the data will not be deleted, it will stay there.  This is only warranty from the BIOS; other management utilities usually "help" the user by initializing the RAID volumes automatically.

    Try this:

    1 back up your data,      

    2 create a RAID 0 from the BIOS on the "good" HDD and DO NOT INITILAIZE

    4 boot to the OS and verify all data is available

                    If not just go back to the BIOS and delete the RAID 0 (you’ll be back on square one)

    3 convert RAID 0 into RAID 1

  • You'll have to let me know if that works.