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I've got VMWare ESXi (the free version) machine that is booting off a 9650SE RAID-1 drive setup (two 1TB mirrored drives). I'd like to replace the 1TBs with 2TBs.

Is there a safe way to do this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, this is possible with most hardware RAID controllers. The overview of the steps needed for your controller are here.

You can replace each disk one at a time, allowing time for the drive to rebuild before moving to the next drive.

Once the array is built with the newer, larger disks, you will be able to leverage the additional space at the ESXi level. You can either use it to expand the existing datastore or create a new datastore.

Are you just looking for more space in general, or more space for the existing virtual machines?

Also see:

Does any hardware RAID controller support hot expanding a unit to larger disks?
What are the recognized ways to increase the size of the RAID array online/offline?

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I'm looking to replace the two existing drives entirely, and yes, for more space in general and to free up the existing drives. – Jamie Feb 7 '13 at 0:23
Yeah, replace disk one with the bigger drive... wait... then replace disk two... – ewwhite Feb 7 '13 at 0:24
Just pull the drive and replace it? Do I need to be in the cards BIOS to do anything? – Jamie Feb 7 '13 at 0:29
nope, just do it. once the rebuild is complete after the second swap you will need to use the 3ware management tools to actually expand your logical drive. then your os will see the larger drive and you can expand the partitions there. if you don't have the management tools installed and you don't want to install them then you will need to enter the bios to rains the logical drive. – longneck Feb 7 '13 at 1:21
Thanks. Onto the next question ... – Jamie Feb 7 '13 at 18:48

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