I have a Dell PowerEdge 2600 with Perc 4/Di RAID card and Windows SBS 2003 installed. The original system drive was a set of 17GB drives in a RAID 1 array. Over the years, these drives have failed (individually) and been replaced by a set of 73GB drives, but the RAID array is still 17GB in size.

Is there a safe procedure to resize the RAID 1 array to use the entire 73GB without destroying/corrupting the data on the array?

The Perc documentation mentions a Reconstruct option with Online Capacity Expansion, but is a woefully short on the exact details. Has anyone performed this procedure successfully (or unsuccessfully)? What were the steps? Are there any gotchas I should watch out for?

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    Regardless of what the docs or others say, I would do a backup of the data. – kbyrd Jun 2 '09 at 21:55

I went through much pain with this, and the bottom line is that although the controller supports array expansion, Dell have disabled this in their Array Manager and they will not support it. If you replace the Dell driver with the LSI one (I think the controller is an LSI, though I wouldn't swear that it isn't an Adaptec) and use the LSI management software then you might be able to do it. However I would find this a scary business!

My solution was simply to create a new logical disk in the free space. This is completely safe and needs no reboots, though obviously it's clunkier having separate disks. If you really, really want a single partition then you'll have to backup then delete and recreate the array. Note that if your server has the Dell utility partition on it you need to be careful with partition imaging tools as you need to recreate the Dell utility partition or your server won't boot. I speak from (bitter) experience.


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Even if you can do it online then given the array size I'd suggest you just do a full drive/system backup onto another disk, then wipe the array, build as you wish and restore. It'll almost certainly be quicker, less risky and give you a more optimised array layout once you're done.

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  • +1 - backup is CRITICAL here. – SirStan Aug 19 '09 at 12:39
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    Trust in the Chopper, the Chopper is good. – Scott Pack Nov 2 '11 at 2:12

Here is a guide to resize partition with free


You don't have to reload system but kind of good mention that do backup data in advance.

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You need to "expand" it now using diskpart.exe.

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Backup with Clonezilla.

Boot it with Knoppix and use gparted to resize the partition, i have done this on production servers with good success.

Heres some generic instructions for someone one elses project.



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(Its been a while since I've worked with PERC controllers)

If the PERC recognises free space is available, it might be quicker and easier to create a new mirrored volume in the free space and extend into that using Disk Management. It's not an ideal solution, and will introduce a miniscule slow-down into disk access (1% max I'm guessing), but it could give you the space to survive until the next hardware refresh.

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Just figured out how to do this. Make sure the drives are in sync!!! Then do New Configuration and create a new logical drive that takes up the whole disk, making sure to use the same settings (like stripe size) as the old one. Then DO NOT INITIALIZE IT!!!!!!! That is what erases the data, so make sure you don't even though it will tell you you should. Then just reboot and you're good.

The next step is resizing the partition inside it from the OS, then growing your FS to fill it.

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  • It looks like it is the only way but it seems so risky I don't even want to do that. – SamK Oct 7 '10 at 21:38

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