Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Looking for feedback/advice. I have a web server with 3 disks of which I currently only use one running Ubuntu Server.

I was curious if it is possible to attempt the following:

  • (re)install Ubuntu using software RAID 1 on disk 2 and 3
  • then swap out 2 and 1 for booting purposes and 3 for 2
  • finally mount the original disk 1 (now 3) and import the web data

Or would I be better off just re-building the whole thing from scratch and not moving any disks?

share|improve this question
The difference between your two proposed solutions is not clear. Why would you install the new RAID device with the disks in the 2&3 positions when you don't need your original disk1 in the system at all for the re-install? Just add that disk back in later to get your data. – Caleb May 28 '11 at 8:17
I guess my first and second steps could be swapped and it would still accomplish the same thing. – emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the time to restore data isn't prohibitive, then re-installing from scratch will be faster and less error prone.

I'm not sure what is your planned final setup, but if you intend to use all 3 disks, you could do 3-disk RAID 1 for /boot partition, and have the rest of the disks set up in RAID 5, if it's acceptable performance-wise for you.

share|improve this answer
It sounds like @emaynard's proposed plan is a from scratch install on new disks, later adding the old disk to get the data. – Caleb May 28 '11 at 8:16
@Caleb You're right, the process I outlined is from scratch to begin with. – emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:26
I plan to swap disks around, then re-install Ubuntu w/ Raid 1 on disks 1&2, then copy old data over. Might add in old #1 drive as swappable unit if possible. – emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:33
If the old one isn't smaller than the two new ones, you could add it as a hot spare. – Paweł Brodacki May 29 '11 at 15:40

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.