Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

Thanks ahead for any help.

My original setup was an Areca 1220 RAID card with (5) 2TB drives in RAID 5 with a hot spare, making only 4 of them part of the array for a total of 6TB. I then created an LVM2 volume and mounted it as /storage (my root is a separate drive). I formated the LVM2 volume as EXT4.

A few days ago, I hooked up another 2TB (exact same model) drive, the card found it, I was able to initialize it (actually had to set it to 7999GB for some silly reason) and was able to expand my RAID volume just fine.

I found this guy: had a nearly identical setup, so I tried following his instructions, but when I get to pvdisplay it still says there is only the original amount of space available. Here is the output of pvdisplay:

--- Physical volume ---
PV Name /dev/sdb1
VG Name grp0
PV Size 5.46 TiB / not usable 3.81 MiB
Allocatable yes (but full)`
PE Size 4.00 MiB
Total PE 1430510`
Free PE 0`
Allocated PE 1430510`
PV UUID n3Jzyl-nWUw-lKGC-KiJb-7yUu-3jkI-GOOytf`

So you can see there is 0 free PE when, to my understanding, there should be some.

I also found other people who had similar issues on various forums, including this one, but none of their advice helped either, and I actually got to the point where I couldn't mount the volume anymore, but was able to revert back to before I goofed.

I have tried rebooting, upgrading the RAID firmware, manually setting the PE size, and even seeing if the file system would increase automagically, nothing worked. Another fun thing, parted (and gparted) show 8TB available, but says that it cannot manage LVM partions, so no apparent luck there.

For good measure, here is lvdisplay:

--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/grp0/vol0
VG Name grp0
LV UUID cQ2Eqv-qMDV-xa7D-cMLA-EU1i-3pKg-iJQ9gz
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 5.46 TiB
Current LE 1430510
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors auto
- currently set to 256
Block device 251:0

And vgdisplay:

--- Volume group ---
VG Name grp0
System ID 
Format lvm2
Metadata Areas 1
Metadata Sequence No 18
VG Access read/write
VG Status resizable
Cur LV 1
Open LV 1
Max PV 0
Cur PV 1
Act PV 1
VG Size 5.46 TiB
PE Size 4.00 MiB
Total PE 1430510
Alloc PE / Size 1430510 / 5.46 TiB
Free PE / Size 0 / 0 
VG UUID zqKhpV-j7fi-IeIU-A4aV-0fDo-YWHF-C5M0il

Also, parted:

Model: Areca ARC-1220-VOL#00 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 7999GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 1049kB 6000GB 6000GB lvm

And another strange thing, when I run pvscan I get this, and I don't get why:

PV /dev/sdb1 VG grp0 lvm2 [5.46 TiB / 0 free]
Total: 1 [1.46 TiB] / in use: 1 [1.46 TiB] / in no VG: 0 [0 ]

If there is anything else I can provide, please let me know.


share|improve this question
Was my answer helpful? – sciurus Oct 4 '11 at 5:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your hardware RAID volume is exposed to your system as /dev/sdb. If you had created your LVM physical volume directly on sdb, then running pvresize on it would have picked up the space you added.

Instead of directly using sdb you created a partition, sdb1, and used that. That partition is still 6000GB. You'll have to delete the partition and recreate it using all 7999GB. The tool I recommend for manipulating GUID partition tables is gpt fdisk (aka gdisk). Below are the steps you'll need to take. Verify that you have a good backup of all your data before doing this.

  1. Start gdisk with gdisk /dev/sdb
  2. Press b to backup the GPT data
  3. Press x to bring up the expert menu
  4. Press e to relocate backup data structures to the end of the disk
  5. Press l to change the sector alignment. Set it to 1.
  6. Press m to return to the main menu
  7. Press i to see the partition information. Note the first sector.
  8. Press d to delete the partition.
  9. Press n to create a new partition. Accept the defaults.
  10. Press i to see the new patition information. Make sure it has the same first sector as before.
  11. Press w to write the new information.

After rebooting, you should be able to run pvresize on /dev/sdb1 and have it detect the additional space.

This kind of headache is why I've learned not to partition devices when I don't have to.

share|improve this answer
Hi, sorry, I never realized this had been answered. Thank you for that. Would you mind touching on "not partitioning devices when you don't have to"? Do you mean you don't partition them until they are needed, or do you mean you just don't use partitions in some manner I am not aware of? – mitnosirrag Jul 4 '12 at 0:57
You only have to partition your device if there's going to be more than one item (e.g. LVM physical volume) on it. When setting up the system you could have run pvcreate directly on sdb instead of partitioning sdb and running pvcreate on sdb1. – sciurus Jul 4 '12 at 21:45

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.