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I have a 2850 setup with 3 146Gb drives, two partitions 1 12GB system with server 2003 sp2 and 1 261Gb Data. I am strapped on disk space on the data partition having to push data around. I wanted to add a 300Gb single drive for lesser critical data, is this possible? Or is it best to add 2 300Gb drives for another RAID 1 configuration? This is my church network and while it is mission critical it is not enterprise so I can take it down for a few hours. Any pointers to documentation or direct help would be greatly appreciated. John

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd suggest adding two drives for a RAID 1 myself, but I appreciate that budget sometimes intrudes - there's certainly no requirement from the controller itself to add drives in pairs or anything like that.

There is software (whose name escapes me just at the moment, sorry) that Dell make available for install to control the PERC raid controller which will allow you to do all your configuration of the new drive(s) with the server online.

If this software is not present and you don't fancy finding out the name of it and installing it then reboot the system - as part of the boot process you should see startup text for the PERC raid controller appear and one option will be hit a key combination to enter the 'bios' of the RAID controller itself. You can also configure new drive(s) from here. Once you've told it what to do then you can reboot back into windows, so the downtime won't be anything to worry about.

Either way, once the RAID is configured and created, head into the computer management MMC snap in, look at the storage tab and the new disk/raid set should appear there as a disk ready to be initialised and formatted... at that point you're good to go.

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To add to what Robert said - the software is called Dell OpenManage Server Administrator [OMSA], available from A single drive can be added, but it still needs to be in a raid array. The trick is to create a new logical drive, in raid-0 config with a single disk in it.

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Thanks for the quick response, you guys are awesome! – John Steele Jun 27 '11 at 4:25

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