Upgrading disks on a legacy Win2008 R2 server

ramzam82

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Jan 6, 2010
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Hi all,

We have a legacy Fujitsu Server with just 4x HDD bays (4x disks) - we have 2 mirrored arrays and one of the array is small and we need to upgrade the disks with larger disks but retaining all the data inside.

As far as I know the below procedure should work well:

  • TAKE A FULL BACKUP TO AN EXTERNAL USB DEVICE USING WINDOWS BACKUP
  • TURN OFF SERVER AND TAKE OUT THE TWO DRIVES WHICH ARE GOING TO BE REPLACED
  • WHILE SERVER IS OFF, REPLACE WITH LARGE HARD DRIVES (2x IDENTICAL DRIVES)
  • TURN ON SERVER
  • GET INTO RAID CONTROLLER AND MAKE SURE THAT NEW DRIVES FORM A NEW MIRRORED ARRAY - OTHER ARRAY HOSTING OS IS NOT TO BE TOUCHED
  • SAVE CONFIG AND REBOOT SERVER
  • ONCE SERVER BOOTS UP TO RECOVER ALL THE DATA FROM THE BACKUP TO THE NEW DRIVES RETAINING ALL NTFS PERMISSIONS ETC FROM THE OLD DRIVES
Its been a long time since I did the above but as far as I know it should work well - can you guys confirm please?

Thanks a bunch
R
 

molletts

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Jun 16, 2009
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If the array controller allows resizing an existing array (check in the management software, BIOS and/or documentation), it may be possible to upgrade the array in place. I've done this on a couple of servers in the past when I wasn't allowed any downtime for the upgrade but couldn't wait any longer (the disks were 100% full). I had hot-swappable disks so the servers were able to be running and in use the whole time.

I was doing it with a RAID5 but the same principle would work with RAID1 (mirroring):
  • Back everything up (are you sure your backup system is working and the backups it produces are restorable?)
  • Remove one drive from the array and put in one new drive
  • Rebuild the array onto the new drive
  • When it has finished rebuilding, remove the other old drive and replace it with the second new one
  • Rebuild again
  • At this point, you will have a small array on two large drives; use the management software or firmware to expand the array to fill the drives
Beware that there is still a risk of losing data if a drive fails during the rebuild step so the full backup before starting is vital.

If you do have the luxury of some scheduled downtime, it may be easier to just do the backup, replace, restore process you described.
 

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