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We have a a server with a PERC 6/i controller. There is currently a single virtual disk on that controller, it's a RAID 5 disk with 4 physical drives. We'd like to add 3 drives to the virtual disk and convert it to RAID 6, but aren't sure if we can do that without data loss.

The Dell SAS RAID Storage Manager will allow us to make this change using the reconstruction wizard, but it does not indicate if the reconstruction will be destructive...it does 'strongly reccomend' backing up data.

One additional note, the server boots off a drive that is on this virtual disk if that makes a difference.

Thanks, jon

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't have direct experience with doing a reconstruction, but three general points to keep in mind when you do anything to the raid subsystem:

  1. BACKUP
  2. BACKUP the BACKUP
  3. Test the backup before you do anything

Personally I am very wary of anything that would change something that low level to your system without any data loss or corruption. But then again people keep telling me I'm way to paranoid sometimes.

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BTW, I did complete the reconstruction on this array without any issues. Took a while...around 40 hours, but completed without any data loss. –  Jon Rauschenberger Jan 5 '10 at 23:45

Sorry, you can't do it without destroying the existing array.

Everything else in Zypher's post is right on the money: backup twice, restore somewhere once, then proceed.

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I have successfully reconfigured a RAID 5 to RAID 6 with the PERC 6/i. All data was preserved. If my memory serves, I added 2 drives, with 1 used to extend the size of the RAID 5 array, and the other used to upgrade the RAID level from 5 to 6.

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