Is it possible / rational to replace a failed disk in a PE2850 (win2003) RAID-5 array with a larger size? Im not looking to expand the array - just to replace a failed disk with one that I have in stock.

I don't care about losing the extra space on the disk. Just wondering if the RAID controller will use what it needs and ignore the rest or if it will just get upset.


Yes, it should work just fine. In fact, Dell has shipped us larger drives when we request replacements for failed units.

  • Same here. It was for a fancy SAN though so I just wanted to make sure. In any event, RAID recovered nicely with the larger drive. It just left most of it unused. – ethrbunny May 1 '12 at 13:26

Dell indicates this is possible but you will only get the capacity of the other drives in the array. We had a drive fail and Dell sent a larger drive and advised that it would work. It did allow the array to rebuild.

In the past, vendors suggested faster drives should not be mixed but Dell sent a 15K drive to replace a 10K drive. Server was retired a year later so no report on long term issues

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