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

I have (4) 146GB HDD set to a RAID10 on one server. I have now run out of disk space and I would like to increase it, however, I do not have any available slots to install more HDD's and no available PCI slots to install a SATA card.

My question is, if I were to remove one of the drives and break the RAID, and replace that drive with a 600GB one, then repair the RAID, then continue this process for the remaining 3 disks, would this work? Any advise on how to proceed?

Any help or comments is appreciated, and thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
This depends entirely on your configuration. Hardware RAID or software RAID? If hardware, what hardware. If software, what OS and implementation? Is there a single volume on the RAID or are there multiple volumes? If it's multiple, what is the partition layout and what volume are you looking to expand? – MDMarra Sep 5 '12 at 15:45
We would need the manufacturer and RAID controller type. But generically, yes, some level of resizing through this method is possible. – ewwhite Sep 5 '12 at 15:47
Thanks for your help guys. As this is a IBM server, I am going to run the DSA software to gather more info and report back on the controller. Thanks again! – Jake A Sep 5 '12 at 16:18

the short answer: maybe.

if your RAID controller or RAID software supports this type of migration, then you can do it.

consult your RAID controller/software documentation to see if this is possible.

as an example, some HP smartarray controllers can do this directly. some can not. for those that can't, you can convert the array to RAID 5 or 6 (leave 1 drive out if you use RAID 5), then swap each drive (allowing for a rebuild between swaps), then expand the logical drive, then migrate back to RAID 10.

however, this takes FOREVER. you could get this done MUCH faster by doing a backup, dextroy array, install new drives, create array, and restore.

share|improve this answer
I think there's a benefit in doing this online, as it saves a reinstall. The amount of time it takes shouldn't matter if this is a planned expansion. – ewwhite Sep 5 '12 at 16:13
Having had things break/die while updating/expanding online, my preferred method is get a whole new box as current needs dictate, migrate all data to new box, wait for a time to be sure all is well, wipe off old box and sell it (or repurpose it to some lesser project). I hope you are not treating RAID as a backup (it isn't). – Skaperen Sep 5 '12 at 16:44

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.