I have a Windows Server 2012 R2 installed on a system with RAID1 setup which has several services running like Active Directory, etc.. It has 500 GB hard disk as of now.

Now we want to upgrade the server with more RAM & 2 TB RAID1 Hard disk setup, and we plan to use the same server machine to host virtual machines using hyper-v that will host OSes required for other purposes and some of them will have docker as well.

While this is easy to setup, the real issue we are facing is how to physically upgrade RAID1 500 GB drive to 2TB drive and still preserve the current Windows Server OS & its services setup?

What could be best strategy for performing this upgrade and what are best tools available to do this safely and quickly, without losing any of current data and setup that we have?

Update: RAID Controller is Intel Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller. Currently HDD in use is ST3500312CS from Seagate.

  • What's your raid conroller brand and model? What's your old and new hard drive brand and model? – Tom Jan 2 at 7:18
  • How do I find raid controller brand & model? – Krunal Jan 2 at 7:49
  • You can find it exactly in: Computer Management -> Disk Management -> RC on Disk0 or Disk1 or ... -> Click on properties -> on the windows title you can see exactly disk controller. – Tom Jan 2 at 8:02
  • Get it. It's Intel RAID 1 Volume. – Krunal Jan 2 at 9:22
  • Any update on this? – Krunal Jan 3 at 14:44

Depending on your hardware, you can and you can't!

Attention: It's pretty risky task so please definitely make a backup before attempting these procedures.

Solution 1:
If you have sufficient ports on your raid controller then install the two new larger drives, build the another RAID 1 array with those, make sure that you use the exact same settings as the previous controller used (same stripe size, etc), and migrate your data with migration tools as example Acronis True Image, EaseUs, Windows server backup ....

More details: You need at least two free sata ports on mainboard.
1. Install the two new larger drives.
2. Build the another RAID 1 array with those (new RAID array).
3. Clone old RAID to new RAID with EaseUS RAID. the all instructions that you need is How to Clone RAID Disk Safely and Easily.
4. Change boot order from old RAID to new RAID.

Solution 2:
1. Remove a drive with the OS still running and replace with a bigger drive.
2. Wait for the mirror to rebuild (note that the size of the larger capacity drive wont be noticed yet).
3. Replace the other drive with the other bigger drive and wait for rebuild again.
4. Expand the array to cover all the new space.
5. Create a new disk partition for new space.

  • Can you elaborate Solution 1? And how exactly to use Acronis True Image for my case? – Krunal Jan 2 at 9:48
  • I said as example Acronis. You can use any tools to clone old raid array that you like. However, I put a link that elaborate how to clone RAID disk with EaseUS Todo Backup. – Tom Jan 5 at 7:53
  • Noted. I will go through this. Thank you for adding details. – Krunal Jan 7 at 7:21

Here is an another more elegant way to do this.

1) Take a backup on a remote location in network using Windows Server Backup.

2) Change the disks (make sure you configure it as RAID), replace with newer disk. Boot using Windows Server Installation Media, and select to Repair using System Image Recovery we backed up at remote network location.

Here is the link that describes this in detail.


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