We were getting rid of some Dell PowerEdge 1850's at work and I scooped one up but am a bit befuddled. The server has dual Ultra 320 80pin 150GB SCSI drives that were setup in RAID 1 while in production that had a 36GB system partition and a 101GB data partition. However, the drives were DBANed so now there is only one physical 150GB partition on each drive. what I am curious about is how to recreate this original setup so that I have two logical partitions on the drives under a RAID1 configuration. I am going to be putting Windows Server 08 onto the box to mess around with.

Any thoughts?

  • 1
    How where they setup in a RAID? Does that box have a RAID controller, or was it a software RAID? – Zoredache Jun 21 '10 at 20:37
  • Why do you want to create two partitions? I think you'll find that old idea of separating the OS and data is seldom used these days, at least in the Windows world, because it creates more problems than it prevents, unless it's done with separate drives, not partitions. – John Gardeniers Jun 21 '10 at 23:34
  • @Zoredache - The 1850's has an onboard RAID controller that is controlled through the PERC (PowerEdge Expandable Raid Controller) BIOS. @John - I don't necessarily want two partitions it is just how the SysAdmin sets the boxes up in the production environment so I figured I would follow his lead. I am, obviously, not a SysAdmin so some of the "best practices" allude me. – dparsons Jun 22 '10 at 12:14

If the server has a hardware RAID controller, when you turn on the machine, you should see an option to enter the RAID BIOS (sometimes Ctrl+R, Ctrl+A, etc. You should be able to recognize it while it’s starting up). Once in there, you can select the two disks and create a RAID set. There shouldn't be too many option to configure because it’s RAID1.

If the server does not have a hardware RAID controller, you'll first want to set up Windows on one of the hard drives with a partition setup like you described (36GB system, 101GB data). Once Windows is installed, go into Disk Management, create partitions on the second drive that match the first drive. Then, choose each of the first disk's partitions, right-click, and "Add Mirror" and chose the second disk's partitions.

  • 1
    You shouldn't need to create the partitions on the other drive. If you just choose add mirror Windows can create the partition out of free space. – Zoredache Jun 21 '10 at 21:03
  • Interesting, I didn't know that. – David Jun 21 '10 at 21:55
  • Hi Dave. Yes there is an onboard RAID controller. I will give your suggestion a shot. – dparsons Jun 22 '10 at 12:16
  • If you choose to make a single RAID1 drive in BIOS, when installing Windows you can make the two partitions that match the sizes you want. – David Jun 22 '10 at 17:08

Like it was said, just go in during post to the raid controller config.

  • 1)You will want to clear the old settings (even though they have been wiped).
  • 2) Select configure
  • 3) Press the space bar on each of the drives (they will be flashing)
  • 4) Read the bottom of the screen on which key to hit next (f10?)
  • 5) You will get a small popup, just hit arrow down or space key and it will auto select raid 1 I believe.
  • 6) Verify
  • 7) Booted back out to raid config
  • 8) Initialize the drives
  • 9) As said before, during Windows install just create your 1st partition for the windows install and setup up your 2nd partition in disk mgt in Windows.

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