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How to upgrade RAID1 drives to larger capacity?

by bmansc / July 1, 2008 11:09 AM PDT

I currently have Intel 82801FR SATA RAID controller with 2x120g hdd, using RAID 1, and I want to upgrade it to 2x500g hdd. I purchased 2 WD 500 Caviar GP SATA drives and am not sure how to proceed. If I take out one of the 120's, and replace it with a 500 and allow the array to rebuild, I'll only have 120 capacity, right? So will this process work? I'm using a Dell Dimension E310 (don't laugh, it does the job) Happy
Here is my idea-
Break the array by disconnecting the 120 on port 2. Replace with a new 500g hdd. Use Norton Ghost 10 to do a drive copy of the existing 120 on port 1 to the 500 on port 2 using the full capacity. Next take out the 120 on port 1, and moving the 500 up to port 1, adding the remaining 500 to port 2, and rebuilding the array that way? I do have a ghost image of the current 120 on a removable 500 ghdd, but don't see how to get that to work without losing the ability to boot. Any advice?

I read that I should back up the 120g, then replace both 120's with the 2 new 500's, then restore the 120 to it, but I only have the 2 SATA ports available with mb, so I don't see how I can do that and not lose access to the OS. I've also read that this cannot be done with Intel Matrix, but there has to be a way.


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(NT) Can't you boot from a Ghost restore CD?
by samkh / July 1, 2008 12:27 PM PDT
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more information
by microtecher / July 3, 2008 12:03 PM PDT

Whether the device you mentioned is mirror or hardware RAID 1? You could upgrade the drives with larger ones, but you should not simply disconnect one hard, then replace it by another one.

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See how this sounds
by Steven Haninger / July 4, 2008 12:08 AM PDT

Depending on how much data is on the array, you should be able to create a compressed image of it on another drive. Then, remove the array and install the new drives. Create the RAID array on the new drives and then restore the image to it.

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thanks, but how?
by bmansc / July 4, 2008 11:55 AM PDT
In reply to: See how this sounds

Thanks for the suggestion. I do have a compressed image, but my problem is I only have the 2 SATA ports, so if I rebuild the new RAID1 with the 2 500gig drives, how do I have access to the external drive with the compressed image, since I will have lost my OS?

I have been reading more and more, and the Intel manual
seems to indicate that if I have a good drive, with everything on it, I can migrate it to RAID1. Sounds like maybe I can break the array - using ghost make a copy of the original 120g drive to a new 500 gig drive, switch that 500 gig drive to port 0, still with the array broken, and then install the new 500gig, and migrate to the RAID1 array. My only fear is what if it doesn't work? Again I do have a compressed image on an external, and I should still have my 2 - 120 gig drives that are bootable, right? So I should be able to go back to at least the 120 drive.

Sound reasonable? My other concern is that the manual is for Intel Matrix version 7, and I have version 5.1, but I would guess I could update it.

thanks again,

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Just sharing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 4, 2008 11:59 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks, but how?

When I need to move big things like that...

I can use G4U since it's os is all on the CD and I can "slurp" the entire OS and image to some USB drive, FTP server and more. This is not an offer to teach how to use this FREE SOFTWARE but to show that there are solutions.

The problem I see with homebrew RAID is exactly the issues you are running into. And why I don't suggest RAID for most of us.

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Thanks for the share
by bmansc / July 4, 2008 9:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Just sharing.

I will read up on G4U. What do you recommend other than RAID1. The only thing I need is "instant back up and running" if something goes wrong. That is why I was willing to make the space sacrifice and use RAID1. I'm open to all things now that I have 2 500gig ready to go in.

thanks again for the tip on G4U.

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RAID1 is usually too easy. It's a mirror.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 4, 2008 10:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the share

So you install your new big drive and clone to your new big drive that drive C: Now pull the old RAID1 drives and slip the new big drive onto the raid1 connection that boots and the matching drive on the other and if it's acceptable the raid1 software will rebuild the clone.

-> But and this is a mighty big but, the original OS could be Windows XP that has a baked in drive size limit of 127GB. I won't duplicate web content about that but all this as the advanced user you must become are things you have to consider.

Also of consideration is your disaster plan. That is what happens when the drives and motherboard are stolen. Where's the back copy and plan to get you back and running. I can't count the times someone used RAID1 as their excuse for no backup.

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Sounds great!
by bmansc / July 4, 2008 11:02 PM PDT

That is exactly what I was wanting to do with the drives! Someone told me that if I rebuild the RAID1 using Intel Matrix, it would wipe both drives clean, which concerned me. I've read up on the drive limit as you suggested and it sounds like I'm good since both current drives are already SATA

Thanks for the reminder about the backup plan. I run ghost every night to an external, and usually once a month or so, burn that image to a DVD, but I have not made the disaster recovery disk! I'll do that today.

So was I right in that Intel Matrix will allow me to build RAID1 from an existing drive with data and OS, and not lose that data? And I am safe in that I actually not only have a compressed image of the 120g drive, but I have 2 bootable working 120g drives that I could just plug either one back in to the raid1 connection that boots and be back in business?

thanks again - sounds like I'm almost ready to go!


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Sounds like a safe plan.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 4, 2008 11:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Sounds great!

To repeat...

Since your OS is not XP (notice no SP1 or SP2) and as such does not have the burned in 127GB limit (SATA doesn't matter here) then you could clone the boot drive, slide in both new drives into the old positions and test your new boot system without touching, altering any of the original drives.

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