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  • Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

    I put a Dell PowerEdge 1900 in three years ago (SBS 2003) and at the time, 3 x 76Gb RAID-5 seemed fine. Now we have outgrown the system partition and moved everything off it we can. The C: partition is nearly full with only 5Gb free out of an original 25Gb, I have moved the Exchange mail store to the remaining partition D:.

    I would like to replace the drives and have a couple of questions. Would Acronis TrueImage for SBS be a good choice to do the image? I use it on two other servers but it is used as a file backup.

    If I replaced the drives in this server with larger drives and created a RAID-5 array at the Dell PERC prompt, could I reboot the server with the recovery CD Acronis makes and expect Acronis to see the new RAID-5 partition? I would have previously created an image and stored it to an expernal USB drive which I know Acronis detects fine.

    Thanks
    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

  • #2
    Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

    If acronis sees the current disks then it should see the RAID 5 since it's hitting the same controller either way. I'm assuming you've already backed up that disk with Acronis at some point and thus already know if it can talk to the RAID controller? In my experience with Acronis, if you restore a disk image, you can't expand any of the partitions. You can only expand the partition if you're only restoring a partition. Does that make sense?

    For example, I backed up a whole drive that had four partitions. When I restored it I could not expand the partitions. I had to restore the whole disk and then re-run the restore but only select the one partition I wanted to expand to fill the rest of a new, larger disk. The partition was restored as a larger partition, leaving the previously restored 3 partitions in place.
    Wesley David
    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
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    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
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    • #3
      Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

      I am not quite sure I know what you mean. I want to image a C and a D partition that take up 140GB in a RAID-5 volume. I am thinking if I replace the the drives with larger drives and reimage, I will have the same two partions on the new RAID-5 volume occupying the same space with all this unallocated space left over.

      This is not what I had in mind. I thought Dell had a utility for resizing the partitions in a RAID array but I must have thought wrong. What have others done in the past? The system parttition is the killer at 25Gb.

      This is and SBS server so don't want to reinstall the network as it is spread over two cities by VPN.

      Thanks,
      Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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      • #4
        Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

        What have you got on the C: that is taking up the space? I support several servers that age running SBS with smaller system partitions than that. 5gb of free space is far from critical under normal circumstances.

        I believe Dell Openmanage does have some facility for resizing partitions, never used it myself so I don't know if it is possible to resize system partions. Probably worth giving Dell tech support a ring, even if the server is out of warranty they should still be able to talk you through the process if one exists. Another option is to add another Raid-5 array (A 1900 will take 6 disks AFAIK) and move whatever you can on to it E.g. pagefile, Exchange transaction logs etc.
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

          I have moved what I could over to the other partition ( D: ). They have two LOB applications that use the express SQL versions. One is installed on D: but starts a SQL instance on C:

          BES 4.5 is installed on D: and Trend Micro Worry Free Business Advanced installed on D:

          Exchange mailstore and logs have already been moved to D:.

          I have read that Paragon Partion Manager 10 Server will resize the partition. I am considering replacing the 73Gb drives one at a time with 146Gb drives allowing the RAID array to regenerate with each swap. Then I would use Partition Manager to resize C:

          OpenManage does not let you resize a partition but it would let you add a 4th and 5th drive to the array which might be an option. If I recall from earlier research, I think the added space shows up as unallocated and the initial partitions retain their original size.

          Thanks for your comments.
          Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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          • #6
            Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

            Start looking at clearing the BES logs from the server. Our BES with 50 users creates approx 1.5GB of logs per month.

            Also what backup software are you using??? Backup Exec catalogues can take up huge amounts of space if left untouched. Won't be the first time i've deleted 5GB of them.

            Have you moved the pagefile??

            As mentioned 5GB is quite a chunk of space on the system drive. As it stands with your system you have 20% free space on the drive.

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            • #7
              Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

              based on this:
              http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/...024039,00.html

              slowly add larger disks to the array. Add a 300GB this saturday, a 300GB next saturday, a 300GB the saturday after that.

              use a GParted LiveCD, or Hiren's BootCD, to increase the partition size.
              Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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              • #8
                Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

                Originally posted by RobW View Post
                I am not quite sure I know what you mean. I want to image a C and a D partition that take up 140GB in a RAID-5 volume. I am thinking if I replace the the drives with larger drives and reimage, I will have the same two partions on the new RAID-5 volume occupying the same space with all this unallocated space left over.
                Most of my answer was concerning your quote "could I reboot the server with the recovery CD Acronis makes and expect Acronis to see the new RAID-5 partition?". I was thinking that if the Acronis CD already saw the existing array, it would see a new array as well.

                Moving on, I'm always nervous about intentionally compromising arrays. Just to soothe my own paranoia, I'd favor forklifting the whole drive image to a new array in one night rather than fiddling with adding and removing drives and then expanding the partition. But that's just me. Make sure you have very up to date backups in case a rebuild goes awry or a drive goes sneakers up during the compromised time period.
                Wesley David
                LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
                -------------------------------
                Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
                Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
                Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
                Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

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                • #9
                  Re: Upgrading PowerEdge 1900 Drives

                  Hope I didn't miss all the fun

                  This is the _proper_ action plan for a pe1900 with a perc5/i and small drives:
                  1. backup everything and test the backupsl make sure the PERC and the drives all have the latest firmware and drivers.

                  The following steps will require you to run OMSA, and the server to have downtime scheduled

                  2. pull a small disk offline
                  3. replace it with a larger disk
                  4. assign the new larger disk as hotspare
                  5. wait for the rebuild to finish
                  6. repeat 2-5 for all the small drives

                  This should bring you to a state where you have a raid5 using 76Gb of all the new drives. You can now create another Logical Disk (array) on top of the remaining free space, partition, format and use it.
                  Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                  BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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