Firstly, I am very new to storage and RAID setups so forgive my basic understanding of this.

I have a Dell PowerEdge R720 running Windows 2008 R2 Server with three physical HDDs and no RAID setup, diskpart displays this.

Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
--------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
Disk 0    Online          136 GB      0 B
Disk 1    Online         1843 GB      0 B
Disk 2    Online           18 GB      0 B
  • Disk 0 is the system disk
  • Disk 1 is a shared drive (with Hyper-V and three virtual disks)
  • Disk 2 is empty

The server is rapidly running out of space, so I purchased six new 1TB HDDs which I have physically installed. Although they don't appear in 'My Computer' - presumable I need to 'activate' them?

Dell OSMA physical and virtual discs displays this.

I'd like to assign the extra 6TB to Disk 1 - the data on this disk is referenced from various network locations so it's important that the file structure remains intact.

My question is what's the best way to approach this? My (basic) understanding of the process is as follows;

  • backup the whole system to an external drive
  • create a RAID5 array on the 9 disks
  • restore the backup

One of the six new 1TB HDDs can act as a hotswap disk.

I've been using this tutorial as a reference.

  • Is there a recommended method of backing up and restoring the existing data?
  • Is there anything I should be aware of?
  • Disk 0 contains the OS, so I don't amend this at all?

I understand creating the RAID will erase all the data, however I don't have the resources to test the backup before creating the RAID.

Any advice is appreciated.

  • People who don't care about their data use RAID5. If you must use parity RAID, use RAID6. Better yet, avoid parity RAID altogether and use RAID 10. – HopelessN00b Jun 8 '17 at 4:53

The article you are reading is about creating a Software Windows RAID. I would highly recommend to use your storage controller (Dell Perc for many reasons) if isn't used already. I don't remember if this storage controller gives you the option to reconfigure RAID on a live system but might do. What the "Virtual Disks" Section shows? There you will understand if you run a RAID at all. Don't forget to take a full backup of the server before you experiment with any of the settings and I would do it off hours on a weekend just to keep safe.

| improve this answer | |
  • Let me explain very quickly how that setup works. You now have a dell server that has 2 RAIDS, RAID 1 & RAID 5. The RAID 1 is the OS Disk and the RAID 5 is separate on two different Virtual Disks that you see them as partition "1843 GB" and partition "18 GB ". The responsible for these RAIDS as also for any new plugged disks is the PERC Storage Controller (not windows). So on some storage controllers it gives you an option to add disks on the RAID 5 etc. Conclusion is that you want to use the Storage Controller to add the disks. – Alexios Pappas Jun 7 '17 at 12:19
  • I am attaching the manual for your controller which from what I see does the change you want. Check pages 19,20,21 downloads.dell.com/Manuals/common/… and for gods sake take backup before :) – Alexios Pappas Jun 7 '17 at 12:31

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