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Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

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  • Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

    Hi there folks

    Apologies in advance if this is a goofy question.

    I have a server (HP DL) with a single disk hanging off a non-raid scsi adapter.

    What I would like to do, with the additon of another disk the same size as the existing disk, is create a RAID 1 array on another server which has (obviously) a raid controller.

    Now, I suspect the common response to this query is 'you can't create a raid 1 array using an existing disk without losing the existing os/data'.

    However, I am certain in a dark and distant part of my career that I witnessed someone do that very thing - though unfortunately I don't know how it was done, nor can I remember the server hardware make.

    Having google'd, it seems that some raid controllers store the raid data in a chip on the raid card as opposed to on the disk, so the disk doesn't need to be over-written when the raid array is created.

    And that somehow it is possible to take an existing disk, create a degraded raid 0 array, which doesn't affect the data at all on the disk, and then 'morph' the raid 0 into a raid 1 array, with the additon of another disk.

    As I say, I am certain I have seen an existing disk being used in a new raid 1 array on another server without the data being affected.

    Can anyone advise if they succeeded at this before?

    Thanks in advance

    Taw_J

  • #2
    Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

    It is going to come down to your RAID controller
    Most hardware based ones I have seen offer you the option to clone an existing disk as opposed to starting from scratch

    Have a good look at the manual before you do anything

    Note though, that if you move the OS drive from one controller to another, it will need the correct RAID drivers installed for it to boot
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

      You will need to provide much more information for me to be able to give you an exact answer...
      What type of server (exact model) is the new server? Is it HP also?
      What type of hard disk are we talking about?
      Most important: what RAID server you have in the new server?

      I managed to do things like these with HP servers, although I will need all relevant info to be sure...

      Sorin Solomon


      In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
      -

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      • #4
        Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

        Thank you Ossian and Sorinso

        I know I should have listed the server details, apologies.

        Will post them asap.

        Thank you both for replying

        Taw

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        • #5
          Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

          Hi guys

          Here are the server/raid details:

          Current Server

          Dell PowerEdge 1850

          SCSI Adapter

          LSI Logic PCI-X Ultra320 SCSI Host Adapter (embedded)


          Disk

          Maxtor Atlas10K5_73SC 68.37Gb

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

          Target Server

          Dell PowerEdge 2850

          PERC 4e/Di Raid Controller

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

          Do Dell raid controllers offer the option to build an array around an existing data disk?

          Thanks

          Taw

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

            DOH ?!?!?
            Where's that HP server you talked about earlier?

            I am not accustomed with Dell products enough to give you an advice in this one ...

            Sorin Solomon


            In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
            -

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

              My apologies.

              With so many different servers to manage spread over various customer accounts, I wrote 'HP DL' instead of 'Dell PE'.

              Taw

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              • #8
                Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

                Never mind ...
                Just kidding...
                The issue is that HP I know pretty well, Dell not even a bit...
                So cannot help

                Sorin Solomon


                In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                -

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

                  As far as I know such things are possible using Dell's OpenManage or ArrayManage suite. However I've never done it. If you are still under warranty it's worth giving Dell a call and have one of their techs go through the procedure with you, as this gives you a degree of protection if things go wrong. Obviously make sure you have a full backup before starting as well.
                  BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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                  Cruachan's Blog

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                  • #10
                    Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

                    Thank you guys

                    Will call Dell and see what the crack is.

                    All the best

                    Taw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Configure non-RAID disk into RAID 1 array without losing data/restoring

                      Update:

                      I came across this document:

                      http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~brecht/s...dc/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. <LI value=1>Connect the SCSI drive to the channel on the PERC 4 controller, with proper termination and target ID (TID) settings.

                        <LI value=2>Boot the computer.

                        <LI value=3>Start the BIOS Configuration Utility by pressing <Ctrl><M>.

                        <LI value=4>Select Configure> Easy Configuration.

                        <LI value=5>Press the cursor keys to select the pre-loaded drive.
                      2. 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. <LI value=8>Set the Read Policy and Cache Policy on the Advanced Menu.

                        <LI value=9>Exit the Advanced Menu.
                      2. Highlight Accept and press <Enter>.
                      Do not initialize.
                      1. <LI value=11>Press <Esc> and select Yes at the Save prompt.

                        <LI value=12>Exit the BIOS Configuration Utility and reboot.
                      2. 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

                      Taw_J

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