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My setup is a Dell PowerEdge 1950 with 2x 140Gb Hard drives in a RAID 1 configuration. The OS is Windows 2003 Web Edition and disk is partitioned into to two, a 12Gb C: partition and the remainder is the D: drive.

Both are very close to full capacity.

Ideally I want to replace those drives with 2x 1Tb drives while retaining all data. First of all is this possible without rebuilding the server?

If so, will I need any 3rd party software, Symantec Ghost, Partition Master for e.g., to do this?

Any general advice as to how to go about doing this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you have a large external drive to spare, you can use Clonezilla to create an image of your existing disks, swap them out for your larger disks, then restore the image onto the new disks.

There are a few methods for moving from a smaller disk to a larger disk on the Clonezilla FAQ.

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You're not going to be able to accomplish this without rebuilding the server in some fashion. You're going to need to either perform a full backup of the server, including the system state or you're going to need to image the server and then you'll need to restore the server after you've installed the new drives and created a new RAID 1 array.

If you've got 146GB drives now that's telling me they're probably SAS drives and moving to 1TB drives tells me those are going to be SATA drives. Is that right?

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Hi, According to Dell documentation, the server can accept either 2x 3.5in or 4x 2.5inSATA drives. How would you recommend I image the server? If I do this, install the new drives and restore the image, how will my partitions look? Will I have C: and D: at the sizes they were before plus a new partition containing the new space? –  ShaneH Mar 13 '11 at 12:40

You should look at your data and figure out whether you can just add new drive(s) and copy your data across.

This entirely depends on the nature of your data and function of the server in question. For example, if it is a file server used for storing user data in shares, you can just move the data and recreate Shares with the same names at the new location. The same would apply for static files served via IIS - you can copy the data to a new location, reconfigure IIS to point at the new location, then delete the files in the old location.

However, if the data is being accessed frequently, such as database files, this may not be an option without some downtime for your applications. That would probably be less downtime than restoring from a Ghost image or rebuilding the server.

If there isn't extra space within the chassis, you can expand drive space as above using external storage. SCSI, eSATA, iSCSI, NFS or even USB might meet your access requirements and budget allowing you to shuffle data about with minimum downtime.

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If I'm not mistaken the 1950 only has 2 drive slots. –  joeqwerty Mar 12 '11 at 15:57
    
Yes, but internal storage isn't the only option. –  dunxd Mar 13 '11 at 22:57

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