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My current set up is a Dell PowerEdge 1950, two 250GB SATA drives, RAID 1, OS is Ubuntu server. Using it for running OTRS (open source help desk).

I'd like to upgrade the drives to the maximum capacity possible, and it's my understanding that 2TB is the max. I also understand that I can use a non Dell hard drive with the only risk of not having Dell supporting it, although it can work.

So, first of all, are these two statements correct? Secondly, what would be the best way to do that? Can I just replace the first drive, let the array rebuild, then replace the other drive? I assume that if this is a valid practice, I will have to expand capacity from the original size to the new one?

I appreciate any help and advise on this matter in advance!

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  • Yes, yes, and... maybe. At minimum, you'll have to extend your partition(s) to make use of the extra space, and you may have to do so in the PERC array manager as well. Been quite a number of years since I've worked with a Dell that old, so I don't remember the specifics of their array controllers from that far back. – HopelessN00b Jul 18 '14 at 19:52
  • Do you know if the server has a hardware RAID controller (PERC/4i or similar) or if you are using Linux software RAID? That might make a difference. – TessellatingHeckler Jul 18 '14 at 20:18
  • I have PERC 6/i – Dror Ambar Jul 18 '14 at 21:09
  • I just installed new drives in a PE1950 five minutes ago. Works just fine. I do suggest you use a drive intended for RAID. For example the WD RE4 line. newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5EM1PU0711 – Zoredache Jul 18 '14 at 21:38
  • I see. I suppose that to increase capacity from 250GB to 2TB I will need to replace both drives are reinstall everything from scratch, or is there another way? – Dror Ambar Jul 18 '14 at 23:57
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I recently replaced a drive in my PE1950 with PERC 5/i. My drives weren't configured as a RAID array, but I still had to go into the PERC management interface and create a new "Virtual Disk" to get it to use the drive. When I created the virtual disk, I definitely had to specify the size before assigning physical disks to it.

My recommendation would be to install the new 2TB drives and create the new array from scratch, and then restore your data manually (from backup or by cloning over one of the old drives).

Of course, if you're not using the PERC and you're using the Linux software RAID, this advice isn't helpful. (like TessellatingHeckler said)

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  • I have PERC 6/i on my machine. So, first I should replace one drive, correct? Can I just remove one drive, and reinsert the new drive, or do I have to go to PERC first and do it from there? – Dror Ambar Jul 18 '14 at 21:07

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