Upgrade Server 2003 R2 STANDARD Service Pack 2 200GB RAID1 SATA drives

Sep 13, 2018
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Looking for best way using to take a Windows Server 2003 with a pair of WD2000JD drives running as a software RAID1 which is almost out of hard drive space and replace those with a pair of new 1 TB WD SATA drives to gain some needed space.
Thank you.

Info: Server is: Intel SC5295UP; Xeon 3070 @2.66Ghz

 

mcconkeymike

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If Windows is installed on those RAID1 drives, then in theory you could use a drive copy software, but I wouldn't. Server 2003 hasn't been supported in years (as it is a server version of Windows XP) and continuing to run it is just asking for a problem. I understand that server OS are expensive as all get out, but I would recommend at least Server 2012r2 or 2016. One big concern is if your server hardware is on the weak side, if it is less than a quad core CPU and 16gb RAM, then I would replace it and save yourself the headache of dealing with the hard drives on the old 2003 box.
 

mwryder55

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A better solution may be to backup the current system and replace the drives. You would then install the OS and the software that was on the computer before restoring the data files. This would also give you a backup in case of any problems. The only downside to this solution is if the RAID controller is not supported by the Windows 2003 install disk. I just went through this nightmare on a HP Proliant server. Creating a new boot disk with the required drivers and turning off most of the server's cores, etc. finally got me past that problem.
@mcconkeymikec- sometimes you have to use an older operating system because the programs that are run on the server do not run on newer versions and the cost of replacing the software may be too high both financially and in terms of the amount of time and manpower needed.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I understand Mike but these are the conditions I have to deal with this time.
So looking for solutions or advice on this just the way I presented this.

It is a DOMAIN SERVER so there are 6-8 users logging into it, mainly for access to shared file folders.
So it basically is acting as a elaborate file server (slow) but that's the way this job will go (for now)..
 
Sep 13, 2018
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That is the way I am going to approach this. I would like to do a FULL IMAGE BACKUP first to a 5TB external USB.
I cannot risk playing around downgrading the drives,etc without backup first.

 

USAFRet

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Business critical server box.

1. Before you do anything, create a known tested backup of the entire thing.

2. Depending on how it is set up, you might be able to just swap the drives in one at a time.
Power OFF
Take out one drive
Power up
Allow the system to rebuild the array on the two now different size drives.
Once done...power off again
Swap the remaining original drive with the other 1TB.
Let the array rebuild itself again.

Might work, and now be presented with a viable array with the 2x 1TB.

If that does NOT work....then you can just apply that full backup to the new 2x 1TB drives.
 

ikaz

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Since it just a Raid 1 that just similar mirroring so as USAFRet suggested you should be able to pull one drive and wait for it to rebuild. Assuming it builds correctly pull the other drive and it should fail over and the other drive should start building. Now it has been awhile even with the new drives the partitions would be the same as the old drives and not sure if Windows server 2003 will allow you to resize the partition. You may have to create a new partition from the free space and mount it to a folder.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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It may have 4 sata ports. Not sure yet as I plan to start on this tomorrow night as a weekend project.
What is your thinking if there are two more open sata ports?
Thanks for replying..
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I like your thought process on this.
I tried something similar as to what you describe on a Lenovo NAS storage that was RAID1 and had a pair of 1TB drives in it. When I pulled one of the 1TB drives in the array and installed a 5TB, it did rebuild itself to the 5TB drive but only used 1TB of the 5TB space available.
This case should be different though if I can use something like EaseUS Partiton Magic once I follow what you suggested in case both 1TB drives need to expand to fill the 800GB available partition space.

Very good suggestion but it couldn't be that simple, could it? And this in no way should damage both original 200GB drives if I have to go back to how it was...

 

mwryder55

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Then you should be able to add the drives into the other two slots and configure them in the RAID controller. After you reboot the server go to Computer Maintenance and add the new Drive(s). No moving or reinstalling needed.
 

USAFRet

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Although slightly different, I did exactly that with a 4 drive RAID 5 in my Qnap NAS box.
4x 3TB, changing to 4x 4TB.
Swap 1 drive, let it rebuild
Swap the next, and the next.
Upon swapping in the last drive...poof, resized array with the 4 new drives.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I understand everything you explained except for the "mount it to a folder" if I can't expand the partition to fill the new unallocated space. Could you elaborate please?
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I know now from the specs there are 4 sata ports so i should be able to add the (2) 1TB drives.
Not sure how the DVD/CD is connected yet, if it has it's own NON-RAID sata port.

So I can remote into this server right now and under Disk Management I see this:
DISK0 186.30GB DYNAMIC
DISK1 186.30GB DYNAMIC

Once I install the new drives, I think I can enter RAID setup as the server is booting with some ALT+? command
What would I want to set the two new drives as in this menu and what would be the next logical step to get these (2) new 1TB drives as the replacement drives once booted up?
Thanks!

 

mwryder55

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You can either configure the two new drives as a mirrored array, RAID 1, or a spanned array, RAID 0. On HP servers you press the F8 key during boot up when it is in the RAID section and the prompt appears. Once the array is created you enter computer management after it finishes booting and initialize the new drive. You then assign it a drive letter and it is available to everyone. This will not be a replacement drive, unless you clone the old drive to the new one, but an additional drive available for storage, backup, etc.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I have the server 2003 on the bench now doing a FULL BACKUP to a USB external 5TB drive. Then it looks like it'll need me to create a floppy disk at the end which I have ready.
So if you were me, would you add the (2) new 1TB drives as or try swapping out one of the 200GB dribes with a 1TB, power on the server and see if it will rebuild the array on the 1TB?
You explained it well..sounds like once the two new drives are added to the current configuration and those two drives are added to the raid config as 1 or 0, then I would merely copy the data to the larger drive array as C:? once they are dynamic disks in the array?

 

mwryder55

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Personally I would not try to expand the current array by adding the new drives. Is there any reason you could not add the new drives and give them a new drive letter, like D:? You could then put all the data files on the new drive or use it for archiving and backing up the files from the C: drive. You said you are using it as a file server so changing the data drive to D: would only require a small change to shortcuts, or you could create the shortcuts on the C: drive and have them point to the files on the D: drive.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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I'm really trying to take the old drives out of there they are 14 years old and much too small.
 
Sep 13, 2018
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Interesting night working on this Server.
When I go into the BIOS I see that SATA MODE is set to ENHANCED.
Configure SATA as RAID is set to Disabled.

So it is not running RAID at all! It appears maybe the enhanced SATA mode may image both drives as the same but not as a RAID is all I can figure. If that is the case I should be able to boot on just one 200GB SATA0 drive if I turn off the SATA ENAHANCED MODE.
Anybody ever come across this and is my thinking correct?
 

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