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Expand a virtual drive on a Dell Perc 6/i Raid 6?

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Expand a virtual drive on a Dell Perc 6/i Raid 6?

This question has been answered by DELL-Sam L

Hello,

I've got a PowerEdge T310 with 4 hotswap drives (raid 6), and its running dangerously low on space..

Can I just purchase 4 new larger drives, and (one-by-one) replace the old ones?

Can I expand the virtual drive or will I have to create a second virtual drive with the new free space?


Thank for you help

-Michael

Verified Answer
  •  

    Hello RobertQuinn,

    Here is the Supported way of getting the extra space for your system.

    1) Get a backup of your data

    2) Delete array

    3) Recreate array with big drives

    4) Reinstall OS if have an OS on the Array before

    5) Restore data from backup

    Now there is also an UNSUPPORTED way that you can do this as well & to do it that way is as follows:

    1) Get a backup of your data.

    2) Rebuild each large drive to array.

    3) After all rebuilt Delete array.

    4) After the array has been deleted then do a Retag array

    5) Do NOT init the virtual disk

    6) Create new array with space avail

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

All Replies
  • Hello Michael,

    You can’t just purchase new drives & replace them one by one & see the new space. Now what you can do is to replace the drive one at a time & then do a reconfigure. To do a reconfigure you will need to be using open manage 7.1 or higher you can click on the virtual disk and do a reconfigure. When you go into the reconfigure you should see the option to expand using the available space. Now it is best to get a backup before attempting this just incase you run into any issues with it.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • I was looking for this exact answer but: if I already replaced all 5 of my RAID5 drives with bigger drives (one at a time), can I now do a reconfigure to increase space on the virtual drive? Or do I have to go back to the original drives and add/reconfigure them one at a time? Thank you! Robert Quinn Culver City Unified School District
  • This needs to be done one drive at a time.  your RAID5 controller set can only function properly with the loss of one drive.  This means that if you replace one drive your RAID array will be in a critical state.  Replacing the drive with a larger capacity will then require you to reconfigure your VD aforementioned.

    If you were to remove all 5 drives and replace them with larger drives the array has no way to understand the configuration changes since you have removed your parity drive. Put all 5 drives back and replace them one by one.  Remove one, insert new and then reconfigure VD - repeat.

    Never remove/replace more than one disk at a time in a RAID environment.

  • Thank you for the help. I had replaced them one at a time, monitored VD status in Server Manager until each drive was rebuilt, then replaced the next one. Seemed like everything was working ok will all 5 drives replaced, VD status was green. I'm glad I asked here before going ahead with the "reconfigure" process...
  • Ok, I'm more confused now: when I had replaced all 5 drives, one at a time, then started the "reconfigure", it showed all 5 drives with available free space. Now that I have gone back to my original drives and only replaced one, "reconfigure" shows 0 free space, even on the new drive, so there isn't any reconfiguring to be done. Can I ask what I'm doing wrong here? Thanks, I really appreciate the help!
  •  

    Hello RobertQuinn,

    Here is the Supported way of getting the extra space for your system.

    1) Get a backup of your data

    2) Delete array

    3) Recreate array with big drives

    4) Reinstall OS if have an OS on the Array before

    5) Restore data from backup

    Now there is also an UNSUPPORTED way that you can do this as well & to do it that way is as follows:

    1) Get a backup of your data.

    2) Rebuild each large drive to array.

    3) After all rebuilt Delete array.

    4) After the array has been deleted then do a Retag array

    5) Do NOT init the virtual disk

    6) Create new array with space avail

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Thanks again, one last question before I dive into the unsupported method: Can I do the array deleting and retagging from Dell Server Administrator or do I need to reboot and go into the Raid/Array software offered during boot?
  •  

    Hello RobertQuinn,

    Yes you can use Open manage server administrator to do this process. When you do a retag will be from bios. Also remember to verify no initlize of virtual disk.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hello RobertQuinn,

    Yes you can use Open manage server administrator to do this process. When you do a retag will be from bios. Also remember to verify no initlize of virtual disk.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • You were doing it right the first time (i.e. replace one drive at a time, let it rebuild, then repeat for the rest of the drives), the previous poster probably meant 'rebuild' and not 'reconfigure'. Why did you stop the reconfigure after replacing all 5 drives? Or if you didn't stop it, what was the outcome (it should have worked...)

    Don't delete your raid array, that's clearly not the correct method!

  • Ok, now I am feeling better about my process. I stopped the reconfigure because I wasn't sure what it was going to do and wanted to ask for advice first, the advice being the above comments that I was doing it wrong (but yes, it did seem right to me). I am going to try (replace/rebuild x 5, reconfigure) again in a couple weeks when we are closed down here and I can do it without interrupting service. Thank you!

  • Robert,

    Not a problem, & feel free to reach back out if you have any other questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • I am kind of confused with the last step.

    6) create  new array with space available.

    if i have a raid 1 with 50 GB and after the upgrade the new total size of the hard drive is  200 GB.

    do you mean create new array with space available meaning the 150GB difference or the total 200GB?

  • how much time rebuild will take ??

  • Hello,

    I am in a similar situation and I hope that DELL-SAM L can provide some guidance.

    Dell Perc 6/i, Windows small business sever 2011, Dell OpenManage 8.4.

    What I have done so far:

    -Original RAID was 3 drives, 465 GB each, configured as RAD-5.

    -One by one, I replaced each drive with a new 930 GB drive, and then allowed that drive to rebuild before replacing the next drive.

    -I then added a 4th drive (also a new 930 GB drive), which was intended to be a hot spare.

    -Attempting to get the virtual disk to expand, I reconfigured to RAID-0, and then back to RAID-5.

    -Currently I have a RAID-5 array with a virtual disk using all 4 drives, 1395 GB.   The virtual disk is using 465 GB out of the available 930GB on each of the 4 drives.  

    What I want is: RAID-5, with 3 active disks and a hot spare.  The virtual disk should be 1830 GB (using all the space on the drives).

    I have not yet backed up the data.  The server operating system is on this disk.  I don't know what it means to "retag" the array"

    Where do I go from here?  Thanks!

    Ron