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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Sat 19-Nov-11 19:16:11
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RAID1 getting towards full

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My pc's C: drive is a pair of 120 GB SATA drives in RAID1

Earlier today found that I only had 6 GB left, managed to gain another 6 GB by deleting some large Outlook .BAK folders which were already backed up to another drive. However, the problem of lack of space remains.

Is there any easy way that I can replace the two 120 GB SATA drives with two much larger SATA drives? That would solve my current problem.

I know that if either of my current drives fail, I can simply swap in a new drive, but would that end up as only being a 120 GB drive even if the new drive was say 1 TB? (If that method would work then I could swap one, rebuild, then swap the other, but that sounds tooooo simple! )




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Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 19-Nov-11 19:31:25
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
I know that with the sort of RAID controllers you get in servers you can do that. I've upsized RAID 5 arrays that way. (Takes quite a time to complete.) But I'm not sure that the cheap controllers built in to m/bs allow you to resize the logical drive in that way. In any case you would still need to resize the partition to make use of the extra space (not that that's a big deal).

Whatever you try to do, make sure you have a good backup before starting!
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 19-Nov-11 19:41:12
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
It depends on the RAID controller, if it's onboard mobo RAID then I would probably guess not.

Even if it is supposedly possible, I wouldn't risk it on consumer mobo RAID. You would be better using a program to create an image of the logical volumes, make a new array and/or just add a larger hard disk, and then apply that image onto the new drive.

Your latter method works in some cases but what will probably happen here is that it will recreate 120GB arrays on the 1TB disks rather than figuring out they are both larger capacity and expanding the RAID array. If for some reason it does support expansion or expands it itsself, you will then have to expand the partition in Windows. Alternatively it might get confused and corrupt itsself if you start replacing disks with larger versions.

I'd be prepared for the long-winded scenario of imaging/ghosting (that is get an image and a backup), but give your RAID solution a go anyway for a bit of fun.

Also, check specifications and instruction manual regarding what maximum size disks the raid controller will support before purchasing large disks. I'm guessing your system is about 5 years old if it's SATA1, modern hard disks are most likely faster than the RAID controller will be at reading and writing data, so you lose performance in gain for some redundancy. Also, SATA2 and SATA3 is not always compatible with SATA1 and that is going to be especially the case with onboard RAID solutions.


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Edited by Pipexer (Sat 19-Nov-11 19:56:30)

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Standard User MHC
(legend) Sat 19-Nov-11 21:53:10
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
Not too easy ... One possible way that some others may want to comment on.

Use Acronis or something similar to clone your C drive to a single 150/200GB disc ... Then install that as the C drive. It may take some changes to alter the Raid controller.

Put the existing drives in a safe place - as a backup.

Use the 150/200GB drive and create a clone copy of that to the RAID array pair ...

Reconfigure RAID controller and install.



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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 19-Nov-11 22:11:25
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
Do your really want your disk drives configured as a single large partition? Why not add a couple of 1TB drives and partition them? You could mirror some partitions and leave others un-mirrored for more usable space.

  1. Buy two new drives.
  2. Turn mirroring off on the old drives.
  3. Replace one of the old drives with one of the new ones.
  4. Turn mirroring back on. Your C: partition should be mirrored onto the new drive.
  5. Replace the 2nd old drive with the remaining new drive.
  6. The C: partition on the 1st new drive should be mirrored onto the 2nd new drive.
  7. Extend the C: partition with a utility of your choice.
I can't tell you how to do these things or if your RAID controller will allow it. This is simply the procedure that I used to upgrade RAID disks on the Unix boxes that I once worked on.

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Standard User Stanman_24
(knowledge is power) Sat 19-Nov-11 22:34:10
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
dont touch acronis whatever you do when it comes to raid arrays

Standard User metalhead41
(knowledge is power) Sat 19-Nov-11 22:42:07
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Re: RAID1 getting towards full

[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
As I understand it, the RAID 1 array will only ever be as big as the smallest drive - so if you replace one of the 120GB drives with a 1TB drive, only 120GB will be seen in the array...
You could possibly take an image of your drive onto an external disk, break the array, replace the two disks with newer/bigger disks, recreate the array and then restore the image smile

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